Considering how obsessed people are with their junk, it is amazing how long it took humanity to finally figure out what it was all used for. The clitoris wasn't fully mapped until 2005, which you may recognize as being about 160 years after the general layout of the solar system had been mapped. To be fair, at least we don't treat the clitoris like a campfire ghost story, or set people on fire for having an extra nipple, or assure women that the cause for all of their ailments was a powerful need to masturbate. If you'd been born in a different time, you'd have been 100 percent invested in all three of those ideas, plus a handful of other wacky beliefs about the human underwear zone.
#6. Testicles Were Sexual Ballast
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Testicles are ridiculous. They can't stand it when it's too hot or too cold, and they're located in a dangerous place where they can get knocked around or sat on. They're like a biological self-destruct button dangling around inside a pouch in the least defensible area of your entire body.
Because most of the people in history who were allowed to study the human body were men, and therefore were obsessed with the functioning purpose of the groinal meat-and-two-veg, we've known basically what testicles were for since at least around the time of the ancient Greeks. But the Greeks decided that firing babies into a woman's body simply wasn't awesome enough to be the sole job of the noble testicle and decided to add a bunch of completely unwarranted features to it, like an insurance quote on the GEICO website.
"And put a ribbon on it, too. Why the hell not?"
Aristotle believed that the testicles were weights connected to the vocal cords through blood vessels. As a boy reached puberty and started to produce sperm, his testicles descended, thus pulling on the vocal cords and causing his voice to deepen, because "science" has worn many strange and fanciful masks over the centuries.
The Greeks were in a good position to test this hypothesis, considering they castrated people all the time. A castrated boy's voice never dropped, which apparently proved Aristotle's theory that the weight was no longer there to pull on the boy's vocal cords. The idea was eventually discarded, and that is the last we will hear about male genitalia in this article, because men nailed down that scientific mystery a long time ago and were more or less content to leave the female anatomy confined to the realm of cryptozoology and superstition.
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Here we see the female human absorbing her new breasts through the mighty boob tree.
#5. The Disappearing Clitoris
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You would think a simple anatomical examination would make it pretty clear that the clitoris is a real thing that exists. Nevertheless, its existence has been the subject of scientific debate for thousands of years (and is often left out of sexual education classes even today). For example, the Greeks thought that all sex acts required a penetrative aspect, so they assumed that all lesbians had giant clits, large enough to have vaginal sex with another woman. Where they thought these women were hiding their shoehorn-size clitorises is unclear -- perhaps they assumed the vagina was like a switchblade.
While the Greeks were obviously wrong, at least they acknowledged the clitoris' existence. In the 1500s, a Belgian anatomist named Andreas Vesalius decided the clitoris didn't exist, despite the fact that he was a physician who had seen several of them throughout the course of his career. He was like the Agent Scully of female anatomy, stubbornly refusing to believe even though the evidence was literally staring him in the face all the time. In order to explain away all the clitorises he had seen, he simply came to the conclusion that all women who possessed them were hermaphrodites with tiny little goblin penises, and that normal "healthy" women didn't have them.
She's a huge horror fan, so her unhealthy discovery was like winning the masturbation lottery.
The reason Vesalius was so anti-clitoris was because he had a theory that men and women's genitals were exact opposites of each other, with the penis being the reverse of a vagina and the testicles the opposite of the ovaries. However, men don't have anything that looks like an inverse clitoris, so instead of admitting that there was a serious flaw in his theory, Vesalius decided that all women who possessed clitorises were genetic anomalies, which makes us wonder exactly how many women he bothered to examine during the course of his research.
#4. Sideways Vaginas
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Thousands of Chinese immigrants landed in California during the 1800s. Since America was a beacon of hope and freedom and had been founded by immigrants, the Chinese were accepted into the newly formed Gold Rush communities with open arms and- HA, wow. OK. There's no way we can finish that with a straight face. They were totally treated like shit, forced to live in slums while working the worst jobs for slave wages. And that was just the men. Many of the women went into prostitution, since the double whammy of racism and sexism meant it was basically the only employment option open to them (when they weren't being sold or kidnapped into it against their will, that is). America is a shady sumbitch every now and then.
Subtlety isn't really our thing.
Anyway, at some point a rumor started among white male brothel patrons that Chinese women had a "sideways slit," meaning their vaginas were oriented horizontally instead of vertically. Despite the fact that this would be an enormous disability that, at the very least, would make it very difficult for Chinese women to walk, word of these "exotic" prostitutes and their impossible vaginas spread far and wide. Ahem.
How this rumor managed to continue once someone had actually seen these women's decidedly non-sideways vaginas is unknown. But it didn't stop in the 1800s -- American men fighting in the Korean War claimed afterward that the prostitutes they had visited overseas had the same sideways slit of legend. A quick Yahoo search reveals that this is something many individuals still believe today, which in the grand scheme of the Internet is honestly not that surprising.