50% of 16-25 Year Olds Can't Identify Their Vagina on Diagram

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 08:15
Submitted by Carlin Ross
Original Drawing Betty Dodson

Sometimes I think we're paranoid and there isn't a worldwide conspiracy to keep women ignorant of their sexuality and ashamed of their bodies until I read studies like this one.

According to The Eve Appeal (a women's cancer charity) 50% of 16-25 year olds couldn't identify their vagina on a picture of the female reproductive system.  If you can't locate your vagina, I'm pretty sure you can't locate your clitoris either. 

What's even more disturbing is that 40% of 16-25 year olds felt uncomfortable using terms like "vagina" and "vulva" to describe their sex organ and preferred terms like "lady bits".  Betty always says that if we can't agree on a term for our sex organ - "vulva" - we'll never approach anything close to sexual equality.

Once women hit their late 50s and 60s, all this ignorance and shame dropped off but that means that most women aren't fully informed and comfortable with their bodies until after menopause.  So when you're in your sexual prime and really need the information you're kept in the dark and have no idea what's going on.  And we wonder why so many women can't achieve orgasm.

What's crazy is that we could clear up all the confusion if we just included some instruction on the female anatomy in public schools.  If they learn about their heart and their lungs, why not the one part of their body devoted solely to pleasure: the clitoris and why not the part of their body that can bring new life into this world: the vagina?

The vulva sketches Betty drew over 40 years ago are more necessary now than ever. I've been thinking about releasing an ebook of just vulva images to educate young women about their bodies. We won't be able to sell it on Amazon but maybe Smashwords would distribute it or, fuck it, we'll distribute it right here on D&R.

Editor in Chief & Keeper of All Things Betty Dodson