Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Virginity: South Asia
(1,583 words)

In reviewing literature on marriage in South Asia, Caldwell et al. (1998, 143), argue that many of the communities are agrarian, and in the past families struggled to maintain their social position and control their inheritances. As a consequence, the control of female sexuality and virginity became necessary in order to ensure the purity of the lineage, as well as “appropriate landed class.” The only way a bride's parents could guarantee marriage into good families was through strict supervisio…

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Rashid, Sabina Faiz, “Virginity: South Asia”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 03 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0209f>
First published online: 2009

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