The Eve Appeal, a London-based charity for women’s cancer, has drawn attention to a recent survey in which only half of UK women aged 26-35 could label the vagina accurately. This got me thinking:
1) Lord only knows how the US cohort would score in a similar survey. American test scores in all other areas haven’t been faring well lately.
2) These findings represent quite a paradox–if Europe is anything like the U.S., Gen X & Millennials are enjoying the enlightenment of sexual liberation yet they evince less knowledge than their sexually repressed Judeo-Christian forebears.
3) Contra #2, maybe the survey isn’t about paradox but parlance. That is, today’s sexual sophisticates aren’t accustomed to “clinical” language. They know what a vagina is and where it’s located but they’re not eggheads. Their most memorable discourses concerning human anatomy & sex has come through the wider pop culture which has its own vernacular when it comes to “lady parts.”
4) The UK is the home of E. L. James, author of Fifty Shades of Grey. No doubt women have learned much from James about what being a strong, independent woman is all about (i.e. submitting to a man’s fetishes). However, she might consider that her young readers, even when bound and abused, aren’t truly free so long as they’re ignorant. Maybe the next printing of her trilogy could be illustrated. Even an anatomical chart in an appendix is better than what they have now.