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  • Writer's pictureLimor Kleinman

Ten Facts about the Clitoris

  1. In the fetal stage, the clitoris develops as a lump before the fetus can be visibly distinguished as male or female. Later, the bump will develop into a clitoris or penis. Hence the visible part of the female clitoris is in the exact parallel location to a man's penis.

  2. The etymology of the word clitoris is derived from the Greek kleitoris, which translates as “small hill.”

  3. The clitoris includes approximately 8000 nerve endings, 2-3 times as many as the nerve endings in the penis. Therefore, rubbing the clitoris produces a pleasurable sensation even early in a girl's life.

  4. The clitoris serves no physiological purpose beyond pleasure; the woman is the only creature in nature with such an organ. For this reason, the clitoris used to be ignored and omitted from medical books.

  5. The visible part of the clitoris is located above the opening of the urethra, and constitutes only approximately 10% of the clitoris; 90% of this organ is beneath the surface. In 1998, Helen O'Connell, an Australian urologist who performed autopsies, mapped the clitoris in its entirety more accurately than ever before. She showed that its total length, both external and internal, was approximately 10 cm.

  6. Most women can only reach orgasm through sexual contact that includes clitoral stimulation.

  7. Researchers Masters and Johnson (1966) were the first to determine that the internal part of the clitoris surrounds the length of the vagina, and that in effect every orgasm is a "clitoral" orgasm.

  8. Clitoral tissue is identical to erectile tissue in the male penis. The clitoris expands and hardens when aroused, just like the male erection.

  9. The clitoris does not age or stop functioning as a sexual organ. Woman can reach clitoral orgasm at any age.

  10. In 2016, French researcher Odile Fillod successfully created a realistic three-dimensional clitoris model for new sex education programs in schools across the country. The model can be viewed here.

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