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Clitoris, the Unknown: What do Postgraduate Students of Educational Sciences Know About Reproductive Physiology and Anatomy?

1 November 2019

Publication Date
15 October 2019

Original Abstract
Students around the world demonstrate a limited conceptual understanding of sexual reproduction. A lack of understanding of how the human reproductive system works has been linked with risks such as sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies. Our focus in this paper is to explore the level of knowledge of reproductive physiology and anatomy among postgraduate students of educational sciences. Administering a questionnaire to 65 educational sciences postgraduate students we traced (a) the level of their knowledge concerning the organs of the male/female reproductive system before and after they were shown pictures of internal/external genitalia and (b) the level of their knowledge concerning the organs where the production of sperm/egg cells and the fertilisation happen. About two-thirds of the students failed to name prostate and external female genitals such as the clitoris and labia, even after detailed pictures were provided to them. Moreover, about one out of five of students appeared to believe that egg cells are produced in the uterus, which – according to the majority of the students asked – seems also to be the organ where the fertilisation occurs. Relevant literature and possible implications are discussed.

Ampatzidis, G., Georgakopoulou, D. and Kapsil, G. (2019). Clitoris, the unknown: what do postgraduate students of educational sciences know about reproductive physiology and anatomy? Journal of Biological Education. DOI: 10.1080/00219266.2019.1679658.

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conceptual understanding: genitalia, reproductive anatomy, reproductive physiology, students’ knowledge


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