What % of women don't know basics of female anatomy? - page 3

I had a wonderful daughter of an elderly patient assist with doing a minicath. I missed the first try, making some comment about getting the correct hole, and the confusion at times. The 60 something... Read More

  1. by   TruvyNurse
    I grew up in a conservative family. I truly didn't understand sex/female anatomy until I was 15. I vow to not let my daughter go unaware as I did.
  2. by   meanmaryjean
    A dear friend and mentor of mine told this great story:

    Cathy graduated from an all-girl Catholic high school in 1960 and went straight into a Catholic hospital diploma nursing program. First term anatomy class (taught by a nun) the nun says "Now ladies, we all know that there are three holes in the pelvic area- one for urine, one for stool and one for menses." Cathy (and almost every other girl in the class) blurted out "Three?!?!?"
  3. by   Kitiger
    As a young child, I knew that I would never be able to have babies. You see, I knew that there were supposed to be three holes, the urethra, the vagina, and the anus. (My mom was a nurse; so we used medical terms like urinate and defecate. I remember my aunt asking me if I had to "go tinkles". I had no idea what she meant!)

    Anyway, when I explored myself, I could only find two holes. Since I knew that I could urinate and defecate, I figured that I wouldn't be able to have babies.

    Mom explained it all to me the night before THE MOVIE in 5th grade.
  4. by   Extra Pickles
    Quote from TruvyNurse
    I grew up in a conservative family. I truly didn't understand sex/female anatomy until I was 15. I vow to not let my daughter go unaware as I did.
    good news for your daughter she has you! in your case though at least you did learn what was where at 15. Not fully grown and still no idea what any of it is, like some of these posts tell us. How we can be an advanced society when it comes to medicine and science and still have mature women not knowing what is between their own legs really does amaze me. LOL maybe I'm sheltered from knowing what other people don't know!!
  5. by   djh123
    I have no idea re: the answer to your question, but I'm surprised, that's for sure.
  6. by   Jen-Elizabeth
    Threads like this make me even more glad I teach sex education in grades 7, 8, and 10 at my school (I am a school nurse, as my icon shows). I was reviewing anatomy with my 10th grade class this week and while they were fuzzy on remembering the full details of a few things from 8th grade, one thing they did remember was that women do not urinate using their vagina .

    (Though I did have a pair of seventh graders once ask a teacher how she closed her vagina when she peed. While I scratched my head at that - we had just started health class the day before and hadn't gotten to the anatomy yet - I was proud that students used the word vagina vs any slang I'd heard prior. I have a rule in my class that we use the proper medical terms.)
  7. by   Extra Pickles
    Quote from Jen-Elizabeth
    Threads like this make me even more glad I teach sex education in grades 7, 8, and 10 at my school (I am a school nurse, as my icon shows). I was reviewing anatomy with my 10th grade class this week and while they were fuzzy on remembering the full details of a few things from 8th grade, one thing they did remember was that women do not urinate using their vagina .

    (Though I did have a pair of seventh graders once ask a teacher how she closed her vagina when she peed. While I scratched my head at that - we had just started health class the day before and hadn't gotten to the anatomy yet - I was proud that students used the word vagina vs any slang I'd heard prior. I have a rule in my class that we use the proper medical terms.)
    Bless you. There is hope for our future after all.
  8. by   OCNRN63
    Quote from klone
    Yes, it's pretty sad. Also, vulvas are mythical/mystical/magical in a somewhat evil kind of way, I've learned. Even many people in healthcare don't want to know anything about them.

    I did my MSN capstone QI project on trying to decrease contaminated urine samples in an outpatient OB/Gyn clinic. As part of my project, I made a graphic representation (color drawing) of a vulva with labia separated, to visually show the two holes and where they're located, how to clean the area before peeing, etc. I posted the drawings in the patient restrooms. OMG, the complains I received! From other staff! One particularly vocal complainer was a pediatrician whose practice was with adolescents! The pictures regularly disappeared off the bathroom walls.

    Six months later, I was invited to do a poster presentation at the local EBP symposium, and when I submitted the .PDF of the poster (which had a the graphic on it) I was asked by the symposium coordinators (who were healthcare people) to please remove the vulva from my poster.
    For cripes sake, it's not like you were distributing porn.

    I was recently in the ED, and when I was asked to give a urine specimen, I was given a cup in a brown paper bag. No wipes to clean off with, not even a label for the specimen.
  9. by   macawake
    Quote from LibraSunCNM
    Our genitalia are irrevocably linked to sex, and sex is still taboo in the U.S. in a lot of ways.
    I do believe you hit the nail on the head. As a European/Scandinavian who has spent some time in the US I did notice a significant difference in attitude to sexuality, especially towards female sexuality. In my opinion most Americans definitely have a more puritanical/prude attitude to female sexuality than I'm used to.

    Women are shamed for breastfeeding in public.
    In my neck of the woods breastfeeding in public is, as has been for some time, such an everyday occurence that hardly anybody bats an eye. It's simply regarded as baby-mother-food. While the female breast definitely has sexual connotations in some situations, sometimes it's just a food factory

    As far as women knowing their own bodies my entirely unscientifical estimate is that approximately 98% of all my female patients born in country and younger than ~80 do have a good grasp of their anatomy and physiology/functions. Among some immigrant groups I've observed that a knowledge deficit regarding female anatomy is more common.

    Sex education in school covers areas such as biology (in depth/detail), reproduction and sex simply for pleasure (male and female of course). It delves into subjects like how to properly use contraceptives, including practising how to put on a condom the right way (on a dildo or cucumber). Yes, a cucumber...

    Information about hetero-, homo-, and bisexuality and today LGBT rights are included as well. Lots of information about how to prevent STDs and unwanted pregnancies but even more emphasis on the importance of sexual consent and each and every individual's right to autonomy. Even advice on how to navigate intimate relationships is included and respect for your partner is emphasized. Sex education even includes videos on how to masturbate and how to reach orgasms (again, of course male & female). I also recall discussing in class that how women's libidos is viewed in society is likely more influenced by social and cultural influence/norms, than biological differences between the sexes.

    Anyway, after going through all that there is no way that you haven't understood that urine comes out one place and babies and menstrual blood come from a different place.

    I wish that all women could be as comfortable with and proud of their genitalia as most men are. They're nothing short of a miracle A source of new life and also wonderful pleasure.

    Many taboos still remain and the need for education is significant. Just today I saw this in the news and it makes me both deeply sad and bleeping furious.

    Nepal police investigate death of girl banished for menstruating - BBC News
    Last edit by macawake on Dec 21, '16
  10. by   Rose_Queen
    My "other job" involves educating women solely about their sexuality. It is astounding how many of them don't know their own anatomy, but through my experience as a nurse and as the product of a puritanical yet public sex education experience, I'm not surprised at all anymore. My high school sex Ed course did not include any external female anatomy- we only covered the uterus, ovaries, and the menstrual cycle. Our innocent little minds couldn't be polluted by knowledge of female parts, especially those whose only function is pleasure. It's why my presentation always includes an anatomy lesson.
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from TruvyNurse
    I grew up in a conservative family. I truly didn't understand sex/female anatomy until I was 15. I vow to not let my daughter go unaware as I did.
    Uh oh . . .

    Gotta chime in here because not all conservative families don't tell their children about sex/anatomy.

    My kids were raised by conservative (oh the horrors) parents. They were told the facts of sex and their own anatomy when they were pretty young. We started off with just simple facts. But as they got older, we talked about wet dreams and masturbation and menstrual cycles and pregnancy.

    As pre-teens, I got a poster from public health of close-ups of sexually transmitted diseases and hung it in our bathroom.

    When my oldest was a senior, my 2nd was a sophomore, and my 3rd was a 6th grader, their conservative parents got pregnant with a surprise baby. The two oldest thought we were kidding . . . "you can fake sonogram pictures on the internet mom" or "you and dad still have sex?" .

    There are some great books out there for pre-teens too.
  12. by   VivaLasViejas
    I didn't find out till I was pregnant with my first baby that women do, indeed, have three openings "down there". I was kind of embarrassed, so I asked my mother why she hadn't taught me that. She looked at me with an expression of surprise and said, "What do you mean, there's three holes?"
  13. by   Semper_Gumby
    Quote from emmy27
    Soooo many.

    And it's even worse among men.

    I've had more than one person (male and female) express the believe that it's *impossible* to pee with a tampon in, because they believe urine is coming from above the insertion site of the tampon.

    See also: the many men, including one in my high school health class, who steadfastly believe that it's both possible and desirable for a penis to penetrate the cervix.
    The labor and delivery department at my old hospital once had a young-but-grown patient pull her cervidil out because she thought she couldn't pee with it in. Of course, she didn't let her nurse know until the next morning when the nurse came to pull it herself.

close