TikTok Mom Shares Why She's Teaching Her 5 Daughters That Virginity Isn't Real—And Experts See Her Point

The South Carolina mom of five girls explained that virginity is a "patriarchal concept used to control women and serves no purpose other than making women feel bad about ourselves."

When it comes to teaching kids about sex, every parent has their own unique approach. This past week, a 40-year-old mom from Charleston, South Carolina went viral on TikTok for sharing hers. Cayce LaCorte, who posts on the app under @book_mama, replied to a post shared by mom influencer Nevada Shareef, in which she asked other parents to name something about the way they raise their kids that people think is weird but they think is healthy. And LaCorte shared that she's teaching her five daughters, who range in age from 7 to 16, that there's no such thing as virginity.

In the clip, which has been viewed over 2 million times, LaCorte shared that it's "a patriarchal concept used to control women and serves no purpose —other than making women feel bad about ourselves." She noted that "some guy randomly stick[ing] his penis in you at some point in your life" doesn't change a woman's worth or who she is. Not to mention that sex might not even involve a penis for many LGBTQ+ people.

That's not to say that the mom of five doesn't see sex as important. "It's a big deal," noted LaCorte. It should always be a big deal. It has nothing to do with your first time…it's just ridiculous. The whole concept is ridiculous."

LaCorte acknowledged that plenty of parents disagree with her. "I get a lot of crap from other moms saying, 'Oh well, do you think that will make your daughters promiscuous? Don't you think?'" she shared. Her response: She's raising her girls "to be good people and have solid foundations ... and make smart, intelligent choices."

As for her daughters' reactions? LaCorte tells Parents.com, "They are so sick and tired of hearing me talk. It's typical teenager stuff." It's not that she's trying to be the "cool mom," she clarifies. "I'm actually pretty strict," she notes. "But they've shown me they feel comfortable coming to me with questions about sexuality and their bodies, so I think we're on the right track."

Experts are on the South Carolina mom's side. Anne Hodder-Shipp, certified sex educator and founder of Everyone Deserves Sex Ed, says LaCorte's take is correct.

An image of a mom on a couch with her two daughters.
Getty Images.

"There is no medical or scientific 'diagnosis' or definition of virginity, and it's purely a social construct, meaning it's something that's widely believed to be true and factual but really is something based on personal values and belief systems," she tells Parents.com. "Teaching young people the truth about sex—including the truth behind various constructs like virginity—is important, as it gives them accurate information with which to base their decisions and helps them grow into informed, confident, and self-aware adults. Young people deserve the truth from the adults in their lives, even though that truth might feel uncomfortable or challenging to give."

Hodder-Shipp's argument is research-backed, too, as a January 2021 review out of Montclair State University found that comprehensive sex ed should start in elementary school, as it could lead to better outcomes for kids, including appreciation of sexual diversity, dating and intimate partner violence prevention, development of healthy relationships, prevention of child sex abuse, improved social/emotional learning, and increased media literacy.

It seems that approach would naturally go hand-in-hand with what LaCorte told Buzzfeed she'd like to see replace talk of virginity: "How about, instead of making the first time special, make sure it's always special because that's the bare minimum you deserve."

The mom's powerful statement has been met with a round of applause from young parents with whom the take resonated, as well as sexual assault survivors.

"We all have our own 'rape/assault/pressured into doing something I didn't want' story," LaCorte told Buzzfeed. "We can all empathize. For an entire society to tell you that your worth is tied to your virginity or purity, then have someone take that from you?! It's heartbreaking and infuriating and makes me want to smash things. We are so f***ing angry about all of this, and if I can make a single survivor feel better about themselves, then I've already succeeded."

She also noted that the message she's trying to send her girls—and others, through her TikTok—isn't just about virginity. LaCorte believes it's about "the way we force arbitrary rules on ourselves and our kids and miss the big picture." She would rather we focus on educating them about pregnancy, STIs, and self-worth.

LaCorte tells Parents.com that ultimately, she hopes people raising kids can realize that the issue at hand is about much more than virginity. She notes, "It's how we communicate with our children and each other. It's about having these conversations and letting our kids know that they can come to us for guidance and reassurance."

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