Georgia: Brides 'undergo virginity inspections'

Brides-to-be in Georgia are apparently undergoing "virginity inspections" before they tie the knot.

The independent National Forensics Bureau in the former Soviet state is offering the service for 175 lari (£69), or twice that if you want it done quickly, reports Imedi TV. That's more than it costs the average person to get by for a month, according to national statistics. The women are often accompanied by relatives, their prospective husbands or - often - their mothers-in-law, bureau medical expert Eka Chavleishvili told the privately-run channel. "In many cases, they leave very happy when they find out the truth - that is, if the truth is acceptable to them," she added.

Maintenance of virginity before marriage is deeply entrenched in the Orthodox Christian country, although not everyone's happy with the idea of it being documented. One young interviewee branded it "disgusting". She told the TV reporter: "I would say no if I were asked to do this... if I am to spend my whole life with him, he should trust me." Web users also mocked the inspection service, circulating a digitally-altered image of an ID card with an added "virginity status" parameter.

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