The aim of this study was to describe the level of knowledge and perceptions of the Turkish nursing students regarding virginity, the virginity examination and the hymen repair. A convenience sample was used for the study purpose. An investigator designed questionnaire was administered to a total sample of 781 undergraduate nursing students originating from two universities in Mersin and Gaziantep, Turkey, respectively. The results showed that the participating nursing students agreed that a man must marry a virgin woman and the students' opinions had been affected by the social pressures and the social values regarding virginity. In additon, it was found that the repair of the hymen was acceptable by the participating students. The findings of this study addressed and highlighted the gap in the knowledge on virginity related violence so as to improve the educational programmes and clinical practice within the context of preparing nurses for an extended role in violence against women. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.