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Study: Nearly 1 Percent Of Moms Claim To Be Virgins

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The image of the Virgin Mary inspires many Christians. (Getty Images)

The image of the Virgin Mary inspires many Christians. (Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE (CBS Charlotte) – In an astonishing study, a small number of American women claimed to be virgins even after getting pregnant.

Researchers examined data on about 8,000 American women who self reported their sexual histories from 1995 to 2009, over 5,000 of them became pregnant.

45 women claimed they did not have sexual intercourse before becoming pregnant.

That’s 0.8 percent of the women who responded said they gave birth despite being virgins without any medical assistance like in-vitro fertilization.

“(T)hese women were more likely than other virgins to have signed chastity pledges, to endorse knowledge of birth control, and to have parents who endorsed items indicative of lower levels of communication about sex and birth control,”  wrote the researchers, led by Amy H. Herring,  a biostatiscian at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Researchers also found the women claiming virgin births were younger (an average of 19-years-old) than the other women who were pregnant (average 22-years-old).

The women in the long-term survey gave their religious views; researchers virginity was associated with a strong religious belief, but not virgin births.

The women claiming virgin births were generally aware of birth control methods like condom use, but were less likely to know how condoms worked.

The study did not take economic factors into account.

The researchers concede that because the data was provided by the women themselves, there is room for error.

Some of the women may have misunderstood the concept of virginity or not been fully aware of the definition of sexual intercourse.

The study is published in the British Medical Journal.

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