An unbelievable-sounding new study reveals that one in 200 young American women claims to have experienced a virgin pregnancy, à la the Virgin Mary.
The US researchers looked into a long-term, confidential study about reproductive health. The results showed that 45 of the 7,870 women involved said they had become pregnant without ever having had vaginal intercourse or going through in-vitro fertilization.
Of those, 31% had made a "chastity pledge" of the type popular among Christian groups.
The results of this research were published in the British Medical Journal.
A lead author explains: The subjects "weren't asked a question 'Have you had a virgin pregnancy?'" Rather, the findings were "put together from a series of questions about pregnancy history and vaginal intercourse history."
According to her words, it's possible that some of the women "did not want to admit that they had intercourse," or perhaps misunderstood the questions, seeing as the results are rather "unrealistic."
It is being stressed by Live Science journal that the study's real finding is the problems inherent in researching sensitive information: "Scientists may still face challenges when collecting self-reported data on sensitive topics," despite taking precautions.