Virgin births: Study finds one out of 200 young pregnant women claim to be virgins

virgin mary
These women are not going to let Mary get all of the glory.
Credit: Getty

Immaculate conception? Maybe.

Mary wasn’t the only virgin mother, or at least that’s what 45 out of 7,870 women claimed in a study for the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Researchers at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill followed 7,870 women over a 14-year period between adolescence and adulthood and found that 0.5% insisted they were virgins, even after they became pregnant. These women did not use In Vitro Fertilization or other tools of assisted reproductive technology.

During the study, researchers interviewed the women and their families, asking questions about religion and sex education. They found that many of the pregnant virgins had signed chastity pledges: 31 percent of women who reported virgin births had signed pledges, whereas only 15 percent of non-virgins who reported pregnancy had signed them. Twenty-one percent of virgins who did not report pregnancy had signed chastity pledges.

Researchers also found that virgins who reported pregnancy were less likely to have talked about birth control and sex from their parents.

The BMJ pointed out, “Virgin births in non-humans generally occur by asexual reproduction, and have been documented in multiple animals including pit vipers, boa constrictors, sharks, and Komodo dragons, but among humans the incidence of virgin pregnancy has received little attention.”

The science behind virgin births remains a mystery.

Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

Local

Tsarnaev defense lawyers in court Wednesday, seek family…

Lawyers for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are due in court Wednesday to ask a judge to order prosecutors to hand over more information on the defendant's family.

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

Bomb squad detonates backpacks left at Marathon finish…

The Boston Marathon finish line has been evacuated and the Copley Square T station has been closed as police investigate a suspicious package, WBZ is reporting.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 16: 'The Americans,'…

'The Americans' Philip and Elizabeth face "painful turns" in their missions. Maybe next week they'll have a nice easy mission with no moral ambiguity? Probably…

Going Out

Pastoral provides a country feel in the big…

One thing any packrat crafter will note on walking into Pastoral is how much fun chef/owner Todd Winer undoubtedly had in designing this, his first…

Movies

Review: 'Bears' is a cute Disney doc about…

Disney's latest nature doc, "Bears," doesn't completely shy away from the fact that its subjects would devour you (or eachother) if they had the chance.

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

MLB

MLB video highlights: White Sox beat Red Sox…

Red Sox fall on walk-off error to White Sox

NBA

NBA Draft Lottery day is May 20: Celtics…

NBA Draft Lottery day is Tuesday, May 20: Celtics percentage odds for a top overall pick

MLB

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be…

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be dumped just yet

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready…

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready to erupt once again in playoffs

Wellbeing

Could a facelift give you the edge at…

It's not just women lining up for procedures.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.