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The Unspeakable

© Tom Tomorrow

Why is it that it is ok to say the words “penis”, “erection”, “erectile dysfunction”, but not the word “vagina”? A study of the use of the words “penis” and “vagina” on network television (counting scripted shows only) found that the word “penis” was used 116 times in the 2010-2011 season, but “vagina” only 35 times (and 12 of those were on a single show — “2 Broke Girls” on CBS). A decade earlier, “penis” was used 30 times, and “vagina” only 4 times.

Ironically, during the recent debate over laws that would have forced women to have an ultrasound of the fetus before having an abortion, the term “vaginal probe” was used frequently, but not the word “vagina”.

One possible explanation is that the word “vagina” does something that men can’t stand — in an age where women are constantly over-sexualized, the clinical-sounding word “vagina” takes the sex out of it. Men prefer other words for that body part.


One Comment

  1. Don wrote:

    Perhaps too many men just simply don’t know how to pronounce vagina, let alone clitoris. Using short, 4 letter words is simply a means to cover up that embarrassing stutter when trying to say the word? “>D

    Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

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  1. Unspeakable « David's Slingshot on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

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