Did Aristotle discuss virginity? If so, where? What did he say about it? If not, were there any Greek philosophers who did?
I'm not only concerned in the biological aspect of virginity, but whether Aristotle saw virginity as a virtue.
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I can't find a specific reference in the Ethics, Politics or Generation of Animals. However there is in the view Aristotle takes of contemplation (theoria) in Nicomachean Ethics, X.7 an indirect argument for virginity or at least (if 'virginity' is objected to as an ahistorical term) non-experience of sexual intercourse or coitus and hence abstinence from procreation. Penetrative sex that does not or cannot lead to procreation (as in cases of infertility) is not a topic Aristotle deals with distinctly. I omit same-sex relations since they did not in Aristotle's time involve abstinence from procreation; procreation was not then posssible within them.
We need to work up to this point about the link between contemplation and the abstinence from procreation. In Nicomachean Ethics I.1 Aristotle tells us that human well-being or flourishing consists in activity : activity in accordance with virtue (arete). This means activity in accordance with the various excellences of which we are capable as a species. Prime among these excellences is intellectual contemplation.
Theoria is the best activity of which we are capable. Unfortunately because we are not just intellects but have other, bodily needs, theoria can never be our sole activity. (That is reserved for God.) The practicable human good, eudaimonia, is intellectual contemplation plus excellence in the other activities in which we have to engage.
However, we need to be untrammelled from as many ties as possible if we are to maximise our chances for engaging in theoria. From this an argument for non-experience of sexual intercourse and hence abstinence from procreation can be derived. Procreation, marriage and the family are just such ties as reduce or eliminate our opportunities for theoria. Non-experience of sexual intercourse entails abstinence from procreation or at least did so in Aristotle's time. In the interests of theoria, this is an argument in its favour.
This is not an argument explicitly to be found in Aristotle but it is based on what he says and is a reasonable inference from it.
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, various editions.
David Charles and Dominic Scott, 'Aristotle on Well-Being and Intellectual Contemplation', Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes, Vol. 73 (1999), pp. 205-223+225-242.
Robert Heinaman, 'Eudaimonia and Self-Sufficiency in the "Nicomachean Ethics"', Phronesis, Vol. 33, No. 1 (1988), pp. 31-53
St. John Chrysostom, Quod regulares feminæ viris cohabitare non debeant (PG 47, 514):
Ἕλληνες παρ' αὐτοῖς φιλοσοφήσαντας, καὶ ὀργῆς δέ τινες ἐν ἐκείνοις περιεγένοντο· παρθενίας δὲ ἄνθος οὐδαμοῦ παρ' αὐτοῖς, ἀλλ' ἀεὶ παρεχώρουν ἐνταῦθα τῶν πρωτείων ἡμῖν, ὁμολογοῦντες ἀνωτέρω τῆς φύσεως εἶναι τὸ κατόρθωμα, καὶ οὐδ' ἀνθρώπινον. ∆ιὰ τοῦτο σφόδρα ἡμῶν τὸ πᾶν ἔθνος ἐθαύμαζον· ἀλλὰ νῦν οὐκέτι, ἀλλὰ καταγελῶσι καὶ κωμῳδοῦσι·
[Clark transl. pp. 209-10, PDF pp. 227-8:]
The Greeks, nevertheless, can show some few of their number who adopted a philosophic attitude toward riches, and some of them overcame anger, but the flower of virginity was in no way to be found among them. Always they conceded the first place to us here, agreeing that this virtue was superior to nature, was not even human. Therefore all people admired us [Christians] greatly.