When a marriage is going to take place, some men feel that it is important for their future wife to be a virgin. Partly, this is because of an insecurity complex that men may have. If the woman is not a virgin, the man may fear that he will be compared to previous partners of his wife, and he may not live up to the woman's expectations. If she has been with no one else though, the man can be more confident, since his wife will have no one to compare him to. His wife is pure and untouched, and since he will be the first man she has ever known, the husband can feel secure heading into the marriage.
Besides the jealousy and insecurity factors though, I think many men also want their wife to be a virgin because it is a way of the woman proving that she will be faithful to her husband once they are married. If a woman has been with other men before she is married, a man might see that as meaning
that since she could not wait up to that point, she may be unfaithful to him in the future. But if a woman has remained a virgin up until her wedding, it shows that she was willing to wait for her husband, and is much more likely to remain a faithful wife throughout the rest of her life. By remaining a virgin until marriage, the marriage is made to seem more meaningful for the woman. The husband is then reassured that he is the only one his wife desires to be with.
In the novel, remaining a virgin was such a big deal that the perpetrator, Santiago, was put to death for causing dishonor to Angela and her family. In that society, this matter was taken much more...