Mary Roach Explores the Clitoris

Science Journalist and Author
The author shares the clitoris’ little known anatomy.
  • Transcript


Question: What surprised you most about the clitoris?

Mary Roach: I was surprised with alarming frequency. Okay, I didn't know. I didn't know that women have nocturnal erections. That was a surprise to me. The whole... You know, clitoris as tiny penis. Sorry, penis is a huge clitoris, for our feminists in the audience. Apparently, you know, the erectile chambers, a little foreskin, little tiny smegma. I mean, it's this little analog, which, I guess I knew, but didn't really realize the extent of it and the fact that women on the same sort of cycle as men have these little erections, that was interesting. Male multiple orgasm, didn't realize that it was common as it is, not that it's common but it's not terribly uncommon. That was interesting to me. Just... And, I guess, also, you know, surprise... A lot of times the surprise was that somebody actually study that, you know, the female erection studies. Somebody actually took out a little tiny strain gauge and attached it to a clitoris, a bunch of women and actually went to the trouble of doing a well-controlled scientific study of that. And you got to love science, you know, that people are actually... inquiring minds want to know.

Recorded on: April 6, 2009