This virtue applies to all, the married and single, but is expressed differently according to one's state of life. This virtue, according to the Vatican's Declaration on Sexual Ethics, "increases the human person's dignity and enables him or her to love truly,..., unselfishly and with respect for others." The vow of chastity is one of the evangelical counsels (see Matthew 19:11) and one of the three vows (together with obedience and poverty) professed by religious in the Church.
The term literally means "purity" and usually refers to sexual purity. In the development of Christian sexual ethics this has meant virginity for the unmarried, fidelity for the married, and continence for the widowed.
A moral value (applied to and expected only of women) where the individual is to abide by the socially defined sex norms of sexual abstinence till marriage, and sexual fidelity to the husband after marriage. Chastity is a socially constructed concept of female "virtue" that underlies the sexual double standard between men and women, where men are expected to be sexually adventurous and virile as an expression of their masculinity. Chastity is a restrictive and discriminatory standard against women. Even a woman who has been sexually assaulted or raped is said to lose her morals, i.e. be "un-chaste" when what happened was not her fault
Chastity, in many religious and cultural contexts, is a virtue concerning the state of purity of the mind and body. The term is most often associated with refraining from sexual intimacy, especially outside of marriage. Chastity is often taken to be synonymous with virginity or abstention from all sexual activity; however, some consider sexually active married couples to be chaste if they have relations only with each other.