The History of the Clitoris (Video)

April 1, 2020 by Justin Lehmiller

Clitoris anatomy.

“The clitoris is an iceberg. About 90% of this organ is beneath the surface.” – Rachel Gross

The clitoris is an organ that has been wildly misunderstood and mischaracterized for most of human history. The last three decades have dramatically changed the way that scientists think and talk about the clitoris; however, many myths and misconceptions remain.

In the video below from Scientific American, author Rachel Gross walks us through the history of the clitoris and uses modern research to challenge a lot of previously held beliefs, such as the idea that the clitoris is a “tiny” piece of anatomy. To the contrary, research tells us that the clitoris is about ten times larger than most people assume.

Also, as Gross explains, the clitoris isn’t an isolated organ, either. In fact, it’s connected to many other pelvic and reproductive structures (including the urethra and vagina), which is why many doctors and scientists now describe it as “the clitoral complex.” Also, it appears that the area people typically associate with the G-spot is actually part of the clitoris as well.

This is important because it challenges the popular idea that women necessarily have different “types” of orgasms that stem from different structures (e.g., clitoral, vaginal, G-spot). This type of thinking is probably incorrect given that all of these structures are interconnected, which means that all female orgasms are actually clitoral.

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Image Source: 123RF/indianjoe

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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