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Scientists have discovered what the clitoris is for... but it's not great news for women

A British scientist has claimed to have solved “the ongoing mystery” of what the clitoris is for 
A British scientist has claimed to have solved “the ongoing mystery” of what the clitoris is for  Credit: Telegraph

It’s time we had a talk. About, you know, women’s anatomy and stuff. I may have studied biology to A Level but speaking as someone who once appeared on Woman’s Hour to talk about bras yet was so embarrassed I insisted (and persisted) in calling them ‘foundation garments,’ this is a little awkward.

So let me begin with an ice-breaker: what’s the difference between a kebab shop and a clitoris? Men have no problem finding a kebab shop. Even when they’re drunk.

Now a British scientist chap claims to have solve “the ongoing mystery” of what this particular organ is “for”.

Obviously giving a women pleasure wasn’t quite a good enough reason to explain its existence; I mean, seriously, guys?

Apparently the clitoris (incidentally the word is derived from kleitoris, originally Greek for door-keeper) has an important reproductive function too. When it is stimulated (sorry, getting a bit graphic, Lady Violet) it triggers internal changes, making reproduction more likely.

Apart from the obvious (don’t make me say it) ahem, enthusiasm this generates for the act, the clitoris plays a pivotal role in shifting the position of the cervix, thus preventing sperm from entering the uterus too rapidly, before they have had a chance to activate and become motile. Well that’s a relief to know. Or is it?

Meg Ryan's famous fake orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally Credit: Film Stills

Writing in the Clinical Anatomy journal, sexual health expert Dr Roy Levin said he had reviewed 36 studies and papers and had concluded: “The often repeated mantra, that the sole function of the clitoris is to induce sexual pleasure is now obsolete.”

Thanks a bunch.

He doesn’t mention what Mrs Levin (if there is one, you can’t catch me out for making oppressive heteronormative assumptions) has to say on the subject but I’m wishing he’d left well alone.

I know romance is dead along with chivalry, but must science rob us of all mystique?

These findings will no doubt be entirely misconstrued, giving rise to a male misconception (sic) that going anywhere near the clitoris – terrifying at the best of times – makes women pregnant.

I fear one night stands just became even more bleakly unsatisfactory than they are already.

Dr Levin has done feminism no favours. The average British suitor already struggles to know what he’s doing or where he’s supposed to be doing it without guidance.

By way of apology I suggest his next undertaking should be to develop a GPS for this most unknown clitoral terrain (would it be too naughty to call it a CPS?). Kebab shop co-ordinates optional.

Read Judith Woods at telegraph.co.uk every Thursday from 7pm