Like a Virgin? by Thomas S. Buchanan

Like a Virgin?

“I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided.”
—1 Corinthians 7:32–34

People often snicker at biblical passages that refer to virgins. At best, we find it odd that anyone would be referred to by that title. It seems like an embarrassing way to describe someone. At worst, we think not of purity but of prudishness, a fear of sex, or sexual undesirability.

Not long ago the word still carried some of the weight of holiness. Wedding dresses are white by tradition as a symbol of virginity. A young woman boldly wore white on the day of her marriage as a proclamation of her chastity.

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Thomas S. Buchanan is the George W. Laird Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware. He has studied at UCSD, Northwestern University, and MIT, and has held visiting professorships at the University of Western Australia and the University of Aix-Marseille. He has served as department chairman, deputy dean, and institute director, president of the American Society of Biomechanics, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Biomechanics. He is on the Board of Trustees of Saint Katherine College, the editorial board of Touchstone, and the board of The Fellowship of St. James.

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