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TI says he has his daughter's virginity checked by a doctor—and there is so much wrong with this

Pelvic exams are difficult enough as it is. The assessment of one's hymen, especially if done under emotional duress, can be indescribably traumatic physically and emotionally.

TI says he has his daughter's virginity checked by a doctor—and there is so much wrong with this

[Editor's note: This article contains a reported case of virginity testing, which may be upsetting for some to read.]

When our children are young, parents stay in the exam room during medical appointments because we need to keep them safe and having access to all their medical information allows that. But when our children are grown, their medical information is their own.

That's why a celebrity news story this week has us outraged.

In an interview for podcast Ladies Like Us with Nazanin and Nadia, T.I. shared this week that he accompanies his 18-year-old daughter to the gynecologist every year to ensure that her hymen is intact. It appears that the podcast episode has been taken down, but according to BuzzFeed News T.I. said that his daughter's doctor told him that under HIPAA regulations, he wasn't allowed to disclose this type of information.

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"He's like, 'You know, sir, I have to, in order to share information'— I'm like, '...they want you to sign this so we can share information. Is there anything you would not want me to know? See, Doc? Ain't no problem," he stated.

The doctor informed him that many activities besides sex, such as bike riding and horseback riding, can cause the hymen not to be intact. T.I. replied that his daughter didn't do those activities, and asked the doctor to "Just check the hymen, please, and give me back my results expeditiously."

The internet is outraged, and rightfully so.

There are so many wrongs in this story, and it is a strong reminder that there is still so much work to be done toward gender equality.

1. Virginity testing is inhumane and traumatic

Virginity testing is the physical assessment of pelvic anatomy to assess whether the patient has had penetrative intercourse. The hymen, a thin piece of tissue near the opening of the vagina, is inspected. The theory was (was, not is—see item two) that if the tissue was "broken" or nonintact, the person had had intercourse.

But virginity testing is a violation of human rights. In 2018, the World Health Organization released a statement in which they decry the practice of virginity testing. They state that it is "detrimental to women's and girls' physical, psychological and social well-being… The examination can be painful, humiliating and traumatic."

Pelvic exams are difficult enough as it is. The assessment of one's hymen, especially if done under emotional duress, can be indescribably traumatic physically and emotionally.

2. Virginity testing is not accurate

The presence or lack of a hymen does not indicate whether or not someone has had sex. Not only can many activities cause a hymen to be non-intact, intercourse does not always result in a non-intact hymen. In addition to causing trauma, this examination is useless.

3. Virginity testing is misogynistic and heteronormative

When trying to determine if something is misogynistic, we can apply a little test: What would happen if we tried this with men?

Let's try it here:

What about male virginity testing? "Oh, well, we couldn't test male genitalia because it wouldn't reveal anything that would accurately allow us to determine if they were a virgin."

Right. Return to item number two above—neither does female virginity testing.

The WHO states, "'Virginity testing' reinforces stereotyped notions of female sexuality and gender inequality."

Also, sex is so much more than penetration, and the only person who can state whether or not they consider themselves to be a virgin is that person. What if a woman has sex with a woman? Penile penetration doesn't happen, but the people involved may or may not consider themselves virgins.

To use penetration to describe sex discounts the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community. It's inaccurate, outdated and discriminatory. Oh, and also? It is none of our business.

Assessing someone's virginity has nothing to do with the patient, and everything to do with the person wanting the information. It is not our children's responsibility to carry the burden of our lack of comfort around human sexuality.

4. Despite the consent form that was signed, the gynecologist is in the wrong.

Dear doctor, remember that whole "do no harm" oath you agreed to? Consider yourself in violation. Virginity testing is a traumatic and useless procedure, and conducting it harms the patient. The WHO states, "Given that these procedures are unnecessary and potentially harmful, it is unethical for doctors or other health providers to undertake them. Such procedures must never be carried out."

A medical professional should not perform unnecessary and dangerous surgery.

A medical professional should not perform unnecessary and dangerous testing.

This is no different.

5. Was the consent form appropriate?

The Joint Commission is the leading hospital accreditation organization in the United States, charged with ensuring patients receive safe, evidence-based, quality care. Here's what they have to say about the appropriate way to obtain informed consent:

"Agreement or permission accompanied by full notice about the care, treatment, or service that is the subject of the consent. A patient must be apprised of the nature, risks, and alternatives of a medical procedure or treatment before the physician or other health care professional begins any such course. After receiving this information, the patient then either consents to or refuses such a procedure or treatment."

Translation: The doctor would have had to say, "Here is how this exam will go; here are the risks; here are the other options you have."

I was not in the room, so maybe this happened. I can tell you that in my professional opinion, the fact that her father was allegedly sitting next to her telling her to sign it, makes the consent seem invalid.

6. This was not a cool dad move, T.I.

The teenage years are arguably the most trying phase of life to get through. Teenagers are bombarded by massive changes in their bodies, minds and hormones, social pressures and relentless media messaging. They need an adult they can turn to to help them sort it all out, even when—especially when—it's messy, scary and confusing.

T.I.'s desire to micromanage his daughter's sexuality could have lasting effects on how she connects with her own body and how she connects with her father. What happens if she is presented with a scenario that she needs guidance with? Will she feel comfortable asking her dad for advice after this?

Look, the idea of my kids having sex one day certainly throws me. This morning my kindergartner was asking me what country is closest to the North Pole and whether Santa makes or buys batteries for all the toys. There is a big part of me that wants to preserve this childlike innocence forever.

But I can't.

They are, God willing, going to grow up. And I will have two choices.

I can instill fear and distrust, or I can show them that I am there for them—even when it makes me uncomfortable.

Let's agree to do a better job showing our children that we are with them as they navigate the perils of growing up.

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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