Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill tracked how women answered questions on the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. They found that a small fraction of women – 0.5% – reported getting pregnant before they started having sex.
Women with “virgin pregnancy” were twice as likely as other pregnant women to have signed a chastity pledge, with more than 30% reporting they had done so. Their parents, in turn, were more likely to say they had trouble discussing sex or birth control with their children, the survey showed.
Did the women really think they became pregnant as virgins? It isn’t clear. Women were asked when they started having sex and when they got pregnant – and might have misremembered one date or the other, said UNC-Chapel Hill professor Amy H. Herring, one of the authors of the study.
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“They might also want to put their best foot forward. Maybe they don’t want to admit it,” Herring said.
It could also be possible that some women misunderstood the definition of sexual intercourse
In a US nationally representative cohort, we found that 0.8% of pregnancies were reported by virgins and not related to use of assisted reproductive technology, and these women were more likely than other virgins to have signed chastity pledges, to endorse knowledge of birth control, and to have parents who endorsed items indicative of lower levels of communication about sex and birth control.