The hosts of a podcast that caused a viral uproar apologized Thursday for how they reacted to rapper-actor T.I.'s story about taking his virgin daughter to the gynecologist annually to have her hymen checked.
"We were completely caught off guard/shocked and looking back, we should have reacted much differently in the moment," "Ladies Like Us" hosts Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham wrote on Instagram. The two had laughed and joked with T.I. as he continued to dig his hole deeper with more details about intruding on his 18-year-old's doctor-patient relationship.
It was, they said, a "knee-jerk reaction to the uncomfortable topic." T.I.'s comments and their responses didn't reflect their views, they wrote.
"We support and love Women and feel that their bodies are theirs to do as they wish. There was absolutely no ill intent towards any party involve & 1/8we3/8 feel deeply awful about the entire incident," Mandi and Moham wrote.
Meanwhile, as they took responsibility for the podcast episode, the rapper had no comment on social media as of Thursday and a representative had not replied to a request for comment. The Times also reached out Wednesday to T.I.'s 18-year-old daughter, who models and also has participated on the family's VH1 reality shows, but got no reply.
"This is what we do: Right after the birthday, we celebrate," T.I. said on the "Ladies Like Us" podcast, which went live Tuesday and was taken down Wednesday afternoon amid a flood of criticism on social media. "And usually like the day after the party, she's enjoying her gifts, I put a sticky note on the door: 'Gyno. Tomorrow. 9:30.'"
The Atlanta rapper, who also goes by the nickname Tip, went on to explain that the physician -- "maintaining a high level of professionalism" -- always tells him that his daughter has to sign away her privacy before results can be shared, and always tells him that a hymen can be broken in many ways that do not involve sex.
"I say, 'Look, doc, she don't ride no horses, she don't ride no bike, she don't play no sports. Man, just check the hymen please and give me back my results expeditiously,'" he said, referring to "results" that legally belong to his daughter.
"Hymens are not a measure of virginity," Brittany McBride, a veteran sexual health educator with Advocates for Youth, told The Times on Wednesday. She also lamented some people's "need for virginity" that measures a daughter's worth by "a thin, mucosal piece of tissue."
Dr. Jennifer Gunter, an OB-GYN in San Francisco, tweeted a long thread on hymen education, including the tidbit that fully half of sexually active teen girls still have their hymens intact.
"We want men to be aware of women's health issues. We don't see that enough, and that can put the burden entirely on women," Dr. Brian T. Nguyen, an OB-GYN at Keck Medical Center of USC, told The Times on Wednesday. "At the same time, we don't want it to happen in a way that encroaches upon a woman's autonomy."
Nguyen said physicians typically encourage patients to transition away from having a parent in the room with them around age 13, to lay the groundwork for a confidential doctor-patient relationship that encourages honest exchanges on awkward topics.
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