Planned Parenthood has drawn criticism after posting a video aimed at young people defining virginity as a social construct. The video argues that individuals should define sex in their own terms, irrespective of societal norms. Critics have accused the organization of trivializing sex and encouraging early sexualization among children.
In the video, a woman clad in pink explains that the societal definition of sex is often restricted to penetration – penis into vagina. She highlights that this narrow definition excludes queer people, and those who choose other forms of sex such as oral or anal sex. She emphasizes that only the individual can define their sexual journey.
The video met with widespread backlash. Conservative commentator Allie Beth Stuckey claimed that by portraying concepts such as sex and virginity as flexible, progressive campaigners aim to make children view sex as trivial and lose regard for virginity. Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life Action, accused Planned Parenthood of sexualizing children to increase its profits and buttress progressive activism.
Planned Parenthood has long promoted the idea that virginity is a tool of patriarchy, tweeting back in 2023 that the idea of virginity emanates from outdated patriarchal thinking. Despite the backlash, Planned Parenthood reported the second-highest number of abortions in its history, along with record-high revenue, in its 2021-2022 fiscal year.