Charlotte Hannah
January 03, 2013

Rebecca Bernardo Is the Latest Young Woman to Hold a Virginity Auction

Photo credit: CNN

A few months ago, we brought you the story of Catarina Migliorini and Alexander Stepanov, two young adults who auctioned off their virginities for cash and starring roles in a documentary about the process.

While the present status of their virginities is unclear (Stepanov basically disappeared after the auction and Migliorini has sold some nude pics to Playboy but probably hasn’t done the deed yet), it seems their success has inspired another young person to sell her virginity.

Her name is Rebecca Bernardo, and she’s an 18-year-old woman from Sapeacu, Brazil (where prostitution is legal). Bernardo decided upon turning 18 that she’d sell her virginity to the highest bidder in a desperate attempt to pay her mother’s medical bills. Her mother – who doesn’t approve of her daughter’s money-making strategy – recently suffered a stroke that left her bedridden and unable to care for herself.

Photo credit: CNN

So far, the highest bid for Bernardo’s virginity is $35,000 – certainly a ton of money for just having sex one time, but still mere chump change compared to the hefty $780,000 Migliorini raked in for hers last year.

Unfortunately, Bernardo’s unknown suitor isn’t the only one paying a price. Allegedly, Bernardo’s controversial choice has made her a pariah in her hometown.

“When she started the auction, people in the street threw coins at her when she went by,” a mechanic from Sapeacu told CNN.

In my article about Migliorini and Stepanov, we explored the reasoning behind the high monetary value given to female virginity. Now, I’d like to ask: do you think Bernardo is doing the right thing in exchanging the symbolic value of her virginity for something of physical value? Is she taking advantage of a society that’s put an artificial price on “purity,” or falling prey to that same society and disrespecting herself by allowing herself to be “bought”?