It was getting harder and harder to ignore the fact that in journal after journal the human female genitalia consistently had more arrows pointing to it than the human male genitalia.
I’m not talking about all the inside stuff, just the stuff that shows. The part count was demonstrably lopsided and decidedly incorrect. And every place I looked the error was repeating itself.
Some quick math confirmed there was a consistent 1:3 ratio in the discrepancy. All in favor of the female. As a man I found the disparity irritating. As a scientist I wanted to know why.
I did a thorough part count of my own genitalia 10 times and averaged the results. According to my findings the ratio was nearly reversed. I came up with 1:2 favoring the male. Was that why one was more highly regarded than the other? And from my count it was the wrong one. Female genitalia was getting credited for having more parts than it actually had. And unfairly garnering most of the attention as a result. I was sure of it.
To prove it I needed to develop a competent criteria for determining what was and what wasn’t a bonafide part. And then apply the same standard to both. It was the only way to scientifically confirm the error and then take the necessary steps to document it. I wanted to publish a strong enough paper to correct this misunderstanding. That was my focus now.
In order to be considered a genuine part did it have to do something that no other part did? Could it be near a part that did roughly the same thing and still be considered a separate part? Maybe by taking advantage of the natural symmetry of human genitalia I could draw an imaginary line right down the middle, do my count on one side only and then multiply by two. But if the line bisected a part, then I would have to divide by two after the initial doubling. That might save me some time but could detract from my study’s verisimilitude. Good science only has so much patience and taking shortcuts can test it sorely.
I decided to look at it from the perspective of functionality. I spent some time determining if the part being pointed at actually did anything or not. In the case of the female few did. Maybe the germane question here is, “Can something be something even if it doesn’t do anything?”
Considering the organs as a whole, I contemplated the fairness of putting forward the observation that from a purely functional point of view one seemed to do much more than the other. Irrespective of how many arrows were pointing at it. I try to avoid metaphors in my work but in the world of hammers and boards which one actually does something? A hammer, once taken in hand, can beat itself here and there but the board can do little more than lie there waiting to get nailed.
Logical as that was, it did not negate the fact that if something has more arrows pointing at it, it’s going to be of greater interest and attract the most attention. Was one erroneously receiving the accolades that rightfully belonged to the other? Was one more maligned and the other more flattered than it had a right to be? In the case of the female, in many instances, I had to squint to see what the arrow was actually pointing at. In the case of the male every denoted part was clearly visible, its function obvious.
So, how did the count get so cockeyed? How did it start and who started it? If nothing else, modern science allows us the opportunity to take a fresh look at things that flummoxed the science of days gone by. I quickly finished up the self-gratification portion of my original study and moved on.
What current woes are we enduring as a result of this transposed adulation? For myself, I’ve always lamented the ogling of private parts generally goes only one way. One can only speculate what the changes to our current lives might be if this high regard wasn’t misplaced. Obviously dancing and dating would be much different. And fashion would never be the same. For instance, the current popularity of bikinis vs speedos would most certainly be reversed. And lingerie would need a complete revamping. I had a hold of a bombshell and I knew it. Science has been known to change lives.
As I settled into my investigation I gave a silent hoorah while studying the fertility tributes of the ancient world. They were overwhelmingly phallic. There were a few clefts being tossed around in a civilization here and there. But tributes to the male far outweighed those to the female. Obviously, the part count was correct then. So, what changed? I’ll admit to an unnecessary dawdle while I envisioned the days when phallic worship was a cult. Pleasant musings no doubt but I needed to move on.
TO BE CONTINUED.