TV and YouTube personality Adam Conover recently teamed up with writer and actress Emily Axford to make a video in which Axford does something that women, sex educators, and health professionals have all been dying to do for years: She gets on a loudspeaker and proclaims to everyone who can hear that, “The hymen doesn’t work that way!”
In the video Axford shatters her friends misconceptions about the hymen with comedy and real life statistics, as well as with some help from a college marching band.
“People picture the hymen like it’s one of those paper banners at a sports game,” Axford explains. “They think it covers up a lady’s vagina, and then when she has sex for the first time, it gets busted…Everything about that is wrong.”
Although in the video Axford is obviously displeased with her male co-stars ignorance about the hymen, she points out that hymen myths have been appropriated at every turn. School health classes, music, television shows, and even reputable new sources like the New York Times are just some of the places that have been feeding the “hymen equates virginity” to audiences for years.
In the midst of the laughs and visual gags, the video also gives viewers some very serious and important information, like the fact that sex isn’t supposed to hurt the first time and that “virginity exams,” which are performed in some parts of the world, can bar women from getting jobs and filing charges against sexual assault, and they can even get them thrown in jail.
The video has gained over one million views after being featured on both truTV and College Humor’s YouTube channels. Although reactions to the video range anywhere from thankful to skeptical, the writers and creators of the video can rest assured that it has reached many people who may never have known any of this information otherwise.