Few aspects of genital anatomy have sparked as much scientific debate as the so-called G-spot (also known as the Grafenberg spot). Some researchers have argued that it is a distinct anatomic site, claiming to have found definitive evidence for its existence, whereas others have argued that the evidence behind such claims is far from convincing.Read More
For much of our history, our bodies have been used to separate us into categories that tell us who we are (e.g., male vs. female). However, the more that science has advanced, the more we have come to realize that the categories we created are not as clear cut as we once thought. In this TED talk ("Is Anatomy Destiny?"), Dr. Alice Dreger walks us through history and science to demonstrate that the line separating man from woman (not to mention the lines separating several other social categories) is actually pretty fuzzy.Read More
As part of my Human Sexuality course, I teach about sexual anatomy in both biological females and males. During my anatomy lecture, it is not uncommon for students to ask about the significance of the male nipple. If it doesn't appear to serve any biological or reproductive function, then why is it there? The answer is that during the initial stages of gestation, our bodies all begin developing toward the female form, regardless of which chromosomes we have. This creates the basis for a lot of common structures in the male and female body, including the presence of nipples. It is not until later in development that the male and female bodies begin to differentiate physically and functionally, but by that point, the nipples have already become a permanent structure. For more on the science behind this, check out the short video below.Read More
“The penis is a very effective solution to a very basic biological problem.” – Diane Kelly
There is amazing variation in penises throughout the animal kingdom. Some phalluses have multiple heads (spiny anteaters), others are shaped like a corkscrew (lake ducks), and others are several times the length of the creature’s entire body (barnacles). By contrast, the mammalian "fleshy inflatable cylinder” we’re all used to seems pretty boring, right? As it turns out, however, the anatomy of the human penis is actually quite fascinating.
In this TED video, comparative biologist Diane Kelly shares what she has gleaned from years of penile research. As you’ll see, it turns out that something as seemingly simple and straightforward as the mechanics of an erection is really quite complex. After watching this video, I think you’ll agree with Kelly that anatomy is far from being a “dead” science and there’s still a lot we have to learn about our own bodies.Read More