A Christmas miracle, perhaps?
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill weren't looking to find out how many women got pregnant despite claiming they never had sex.
But that's what they found when evaluating a survey of 7,870 American adolescents and young adults that was conducted in 1995, 2008 and 2009. The data shows that half of 1 percent of women said they got pregnant yet never had sexual intercourse.
The findings were highlighted in "Strange Nativities," which was published in the December issue of the British Journal of Medicine.
Upon discovering the finding, the researchers were looking into how many people reported that they were virgins as adults.
The scientists say that the findings show a need for better education on reproductive health.
"We found [the "virgin birth" phenomenon] was more common among women who signed chastity pledges or whose parents indicated lower levels of communication with their children about sex and birth control," said Amy H. Herring, a professor of biostatistics at UNC's Gillings School of Global Public Health, who co-authored the study.
"Some of these women did not want to admit they'd had vaginal intercourse," she said. Some may have misreported information, Herring added.
But numbers are still numbers — and according to the data, one in 200 young American women say they have experienced a virgin pregnancy just like the Virgin Mary.
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