In the health section of today's New York Times is a disturbing article on the increasing number of hymenoplasties - the surgical version of "reclaiming one's virginity" - being performed in Europe and elsewhere. It seems that some young Muslim women are driven to undergo this medical procedure to conform with what many might consider outdated cultural expectations of purity.
Of course, it doesn't help that these expectations are reinforced by misguided court decisions like the one reported in the Times piece. It seems that a divorce court in Lille annulled the 2006 marriage of two French Muslims because of "breach of contract." Apparently, on their wedding night, the groom found his bride was not the virgin she had claimed to be.
Cultural implications and arguments aside, I find it disturbing that the simple lack of blood on the nuptial sheets was sufficient proof for the groom to announce to the entire wedding party of his bride's fallen status. Sounds like someone needs an anatomy lesson.