Hymens: Now Made in China
Egypt may be up in arms over the latest stroke of Chinese manufacturing brilliance—a synthetic hymen—but according to Popular Science, it really is sort of cool. Developed in Japan and currently sold by a Chinese company called Gigimo, the product promises to give women back their first time for a cool $29.90. Though it's sold as an adult entertainment item, conservative officials across the Muslim world fear it might find more nefarious uses in countries where virginity is a prerequisite for marriage. Egypt has gone so far as to attempt a ban against the artificial hymen, calling peddlers "bandits" and charging that the device will corrode the moral standards of the country.
Controversy over the device began after a Dutch radio station broadcast an Arabic ad for the product. The BBC calls it a cheap and easy alternative to hymen repair surgery. When inserted into the vagina, the device expands to fit the wearer, providing resistance and a small squirt of blood-like substance when punctured. In places where honor killings are practiced against women who can't prove they were virgins on their wedding nights, this little, seemingly innocuous sex toy has opened quite a can of worms.