Gynaecological Knowledge

The Catherine Breillat film Romance features a quite unerotic scene in which a patient is used to train medical students in gynaecological examination. Because the scene is not faked, and the half-dozen actors really do insert their hands, up to the wrists, into Caroline Ducey’s vagina, male audiences may acquire their first notion of what this procedure is actually like. However it made me wonder: given that nowadays half or more of all medical students are female, why do they not practice their gynaecology on one another? The answer is surely that this would be considered a degrading invasion of the students’ personal integrity. So they continue to use patients.

In whodunits and TV series, medical examiners always seem to know whether a dead woman had recently had sex or not. I get the impression that they can tell whether or not she has recently been penetrated by the very appearance of her genitalia. This makes me wonder: how do they know? Do medical students perform gynaecological examinations on a mixed sample of women, some of whom have come straight in from having sex, others of whom have been celibate for months, so that they can study the difference? If this goes on, it may be the profession’s best-kept secret. Alternatively, they may have read in a book that if the genitalia have such-and-such an appearance, then she has just had sex, and if not, then not; but then how did the author know? A third possibility is that the whole thing is quackery, a piece of pseudoscience enshrined in a prestigious textbook that no one dares challenge. A fourth is that it is all the writers’ fault, and real medical examiners are unable to say exactly how much protected sex a now deceased woman had previously been enjoying. I should like to catch a few and put them to the question.

Posted on December 27, 2009 at 12:01 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Therapists And Other Health Hazards

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