The debate about why women have a clitoris has long been shaped by cultural, religious and moral influences.
New research suggests the clitoris is equally as important for reproduction as it is for sexual pleasure. But the evidence behind that claim is up for debate.
It is normal for girls and women to masturbate.
Nina Maile Gordon/The Conversation
It is normal for girls and women to masturbate, and there are even health benefits.
Titian’s 1583 painting Venus of Urbino: historically, pleasure was not the only, or even the main, expectation from sex for women.
Australian women were once largely seen as reproducers, rather than lovers: sexual pleasure was suspect. Attitudes have changed, yet our culture is still troubled by female desire.
Installation view of Del Kathryn Barton: The Highway is a Disco at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, 17 November 2017 – 12 March 2018.
Photo: Tom Ross © Tom Ross
The paintings in Del Kathryn Barton's new show at NGV Australia are visually stunning and painstakingly executed. But the women depicted are often de-personalised objects or headless cauldrons of destructive passion.
The alleged sexual incompatibility of the heterosexual couple is not actually new.
Surveys of sexual practice conducted between 1921 and 1995 found that women tend not to have orgasms during penile-vaginal sex. And yet men's and women's magazines continue to offer 'lessons'.