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ASPPH News

UNC Study Finds Numerous Virgin Births Reported in US since Mid-1990s

The prestigious British Medical Journal has published a study by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers that found numerous pregnancies reported by self-described virgins in The United States since the mid-1990s. The researchers, led by a team from UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, discovered 45 “virgin pregnancies” while analyzing data for a much larger study on adolescent health. “Actually, we weren’t looking for virgin births at all,” said Dr. Amy Herring, professor of biostatistics at the School of Global Public Health and the study’s lead author. “While analyzing data for a separate project that examined correlates of virginity in adulthood, we were surprised to discover that a number of these individuals who stated they were virgins also reported pregnancies. Once we confirmed these were not programming errors, we became interested in understanding factors related to this type of response pattern.”