Sexual abstinence before marriage is a way to maintain loyalty to the future spouse. Upbringing in a particular kind of culture further ingrains the concept of chastity in moral purity. The sexual act shared only with the spouse strengthens fidelity in marital relationship and in many cases leads to a long and happy life together.
Eastern and Western Concepts
Recent developments in socio-political history has affected the age long concept of purity associated with female chastity. Inspite of the re-definition of moral values there remains a stark difference between women in the occident and the orient. Women, especially in western countries, have gained much sexual choice and freedom. The accessibility to female contraceptives has made sexual encounters less fraught with risk. Women ultimately had the independence to explore all the aspects of female sexuality. In communities where women have better sexual expression they are often more conscious of their sexual behavior, whereas women in traditional societies do not have much awareness on sexual pleasures available around them. Female chastity even in mature age gives rise to perversions and frustrations which can lead to certain problems.
Modernity and Chastity
With the stigma associated with sexual acts lessened, women with several sexual partners are no longer a rarity. Women who practise sexual abstinence do it more out of choice than compulsion. Very often female chastity amongst young urban female population is propagated to prevent mishaps like teenage pregnancies and resultant health hazards.
Voluntary participation in any religious cult also results in permanent chastity. The religious doctrines require conquering of all the personal urges, including sex, to gain a higher degree of spiritual enlightenment. The women who are in a spiritual quest resort to permanent chastity as a path to attain elevation of the soul. The equivalent of permanent chastity by women in particular religious cults is practised by the men in the form of celibacy and sexual abstinence in similar and several other religions.
Sexual restriction has gained a renewed value with the increased risk of dreadful diseases like AIDS. If not female chastity, at least sexual abstinence is practised by many women during fertile periods to avoid unwanted pregnancy and lots of problematic issues connected with it. The virgin image is en vogue among several luminaries from the glitterati world. Sexual self-restriction is propagated aiming to reduce promiscuity amongst the students and younger people.
Female chastity imposed by social dicta is the oppression, but sexual abstinence as a choice is adopted by many women and has become a lifestyle trend. Even in the orient where pre-marital is not so uncommon - at least in the urban areas - many women opt out of it because of emotional reasons. This self-control is more psychological in nature where it is followed, because a woman wishes or desires it.