A new survey by a British nonprofit group concerned with researching and treating gynecological cancers found that half of men and more than four out of 10 women could not properly identify where the vagina is when shown a medical diagram.
What’s more, as The Eve Appeal notes on its website, the stats are slightly worse among millennial women, People reported.
“[J]ust half of women aged 26-35 were able to label the vagina accurately,” the group noted. The release of the data is timed to coincide with the beginning of “Gynaelogical Cancer Awareness Month” in Great Britain.
“This is simply something we want to stop. We need women to call things by their proper names and know what these gynae organs do,” says the group on its website on a page with a cartoon representation of internal female sex organs and the cheeky caption “Public Cervix Announcement.”
Part of the confusion, apparently, stems from the common layman’s practice of referring to the vulva — the external female genital organs — by the term vagina, which is the canal between the cervix and the vulva.
“I’ve seen cases where patients call in and say they have a vaginal irritation when they really mean the vulva, and now care is happening on the wrong part of the body because of this sort of anatomical game of telephone,” San Francisco-based OB-GYN Dr. Jen Gunter told People. “So apart from just being empowered enough to know what’s what, there are real medical reasons why it’s important to be precise.”
As clickbait-ensuring and blush-inducing as the campaign may be, The Eve Appeal says its goal is to “encourage women to #knowyourbody and continue to raise awareness of these women-only cancers.”