Between renowned experts, scientists, and the medical community, people have been getting female sexuality wrong since recorded history. We as a culture have always believed some pretty weird things about female sexuality, and while things have gotten better, it’s definitely still happening. As a woman, you probably already know that your sexuality is often the first thing to be demonized – and that’s partly because some of the harmful things people used to believe were backed by science and medicine. I mean, the female orgasm was only truly revealed and studied in the twentieth century, despite the fact that humans have been sex for, uh, forever.
The stereotype that women who are in touch with their sexuality are “slutty” has been around for a very long time, and it’s designed keep women down. Most of us now realize that a lot of these popular myths are false, but that doesn’t go for everyone! Even with all of the new studies and research, female sexuality is still kind of mythical. Think about it: researchers still can’t say for sure what squirting is, the G-spot will probably be debated until the end of time, and most people don’t even know where the vagina is down there. We need to improve, and if you’re still not convinced, check out these weird things people used to believe about female sexuality… and remember that some people still do believe these things. Spooky.
Women Give Men Gonorrhea Via Period SexPeriod sex can be a polarizing topic, but in the 1800s, people actually used to believe that it gave men gonorrhea, a punishment for having period sex. It describes symptoms which roughly soundslike a UTI, so no big surprises there, but the reasoning behind how and why these men got gonorrhea is the actual best. Women allegedly sucked the lifeblood, energy, etc. from the men via sexual intercourse as a means of replacing what was being depleted by menstruating. Now, we know that period sex is no more harmful than having any other kind of penetrative sex, but we used to absorb life through our vagina like some sort of succubus. Source: iStock
Vaginas Are Just Really Cold, Shy PenisesOkay, are you ready to hear something totally ridiculous? In antiquity, it was believed that the body was ruled by "humors" and that women's bodies were essentially defective variations of men's bodies. So, while "warm humored," men had their penises on the outside of their bodies, whereas "cold humored" women could not release their she-nises to the outside of their bodies and that our vaginas were literally inside-out penises that lived inside of our bodies to keep warm. Ovaries were also considered female testicles. I guess everybody looked at the mechanics of heterosexual sex, made up a fun story, and never investigated it further. Source: iStock
Masturbation Makes You Flat ChestedFemale masturbation was thought to make girls grow up to be flat-chested by depleting their hormones and preventing them from "fully developing." Never mind that some girls just have different breast sizes and that's no big deal, but it was popular advice in Victorian era England to avoid masturbation if you wanted to grow into the woman you always wanted to be. People viewed masturbation as a disordered behavior indicative of larger medical issues, so it's no wonder that they made the leap to glandular development, but could you imagine having your sexuality repressed like that? You know what, you probably do. Don't you love how we've come so far and yet we're still so close to this way of thinking?Source: iStock
Getting An Education Could Wreck Your UterusIn 1873, Dr. Edward H. Clarke from Harvard Medical School stated that since women's brains were inferior to men's brains, they were ill equipped to handle the rigorous stimulation from a higher education. In fact, being too intellectually stimulated could result in their infertility and other reproductive malfunctions. Furthermore, women shouldn't worry their pretty little minds too much when they're having their periods either. First of all, excuse me. Second, you can't be smart and sexual at the same time? That doesn't sound like a far off myth from what some people believe today, but it used to be backed by science, and thank god it's not anymore.Source: iStock
You Can Only Get Pregnant From Consensual SexRemember that time Todd Akin said that women could only get pregnant from "legitimate rape" because if it's actual rape, the female body has a way of shutting that down? Well, as it turns out, that backwards, victim-blaming, unscientific trash belief is actually medieval. No, really. As far back as the thirteenth century, there are scientific and medical texts from Europe that say conception cannot take place without the presence of sexual desire. Now we know that's absolutely untrue because during the medieval time period, people just didn't know better and we have science that disproves that, but it's really disheartening to see that some people still believe that. Source: iStock
Women Are HystericalHysteria was a medical disorder that only existed in women. The symptoms were a catch-all for basically being horny and annoyed or both, which to be honest sounds like just an ordinary Tuesday. So, this isn't news for us, but since you needed a way to police women for experiencing unsavory/impolite emotions, hysteria was invented to keep female sexuality restrained. Women were given cold showers, clitoridectomies, or treated with a vibrator by a medical professional. This sounds like a funny outdated thing, but when I found out that the American Psychiatric Association didn't disqualify hysteria as a medical condition until the 1950's, I was shocked. So, it's too late to get our vibrators covered under our insurance, but at least we're not shamed for being female and having a sex drive.Source: iStock
Oxytocin Bonds Women With Their Male Sexual Partners ForeverIn the era of fake news, I feel it's important to let you know about fake science. The myth of the "bonding hormone" is used by abstinence-only advocates for propaganda to keep female sexuality restricted and repressed. Of course, there's joy inducing hormones like oxytocin released by both people having sex, but it bonding you with someone forever is ridiculous. What's gross is that the abstinence only die-hards imply that this bond weakens over time with multiple partners, like you only have a set reserve of romantically connective magic hormones. Some people actually still believe this! I know we harp on it a lot, but it bears repeating. This is a myth that is untrue about female sexuality.Source: iStock
Only Immature Women Orgasmed From Clitoral StimulationFreud said that only mature women could orgasm through vaginal penetration. It was a sign of true adulthood, not unlike getting your period. Clitoral orgasm was referred to as an immature orgasm and was considered babyish. Now, we know that's the center of sexual pleasure in women and that vaginal orgasms come from stimulating your clitoris - which, like the TARDIS, is bigger on the inside. Women who couldn't orgasm vaginally were considered frigid, so you got shamed on both counts and there was only one correct way to have an orgasm. Ugh. Bless the clitoris, though, honestly.Source: iStock
Sneezing After Sex Could Prevent PregnancyIt seems that female bodies were always viewed as witchy and that reproductive and sexual rituals were always par for the course. So, it's no surprise that in ancient Greece, people used to believe that pregnancy could prevented if women sneezed after sex, washed their vaginas, and drank something really cold. Women were told to hold their breath if a man came inside of them and to let it out when they sneezed after the sex was finished to prevent the sperm from reaching the uterus. Ever try it? I don't care how hard you sneeze, you're not going to vaginally eject sperm from your vagina like that. Source: iStock
What’s the most ridiculous sexuality myth here? What’s the weirdest thing you used to believe about sexuality? Let us know in the comments!
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