Coming This Fall: French Sex Ed Classes Will Get a 3D Printed Clitoris

While American children are learning that girls who have sex are like chewed up gum, French children will get models of the only human organ devoted solely to pleasure. Yep, starting this September, French sex ed classes will include the world’s first, open-source, 3D printed clitoris to help provide accurate information about female anatomy and sexuality.

Odile Fillod, a sociomedical researcher, developed the model at Fab Lab in Paris after working with V.Ideaux, a video production company focused on social change, to produce modern sex ed videos. She realized the clitoris is never correctly pictured in sex ed textbooks or materials and decided to make a change.

“It’s important that women have a mental image of what is actually happening in their body when they’re stimulated,” Fillod told the Guardian. “In understanding the key role of the clitoris, a woman can stop feeling shame, or abnormal if penile-vaginal intercourse doesn’t do the trick for her – given the anatomical data, that is the case for most women.”

Certainly, the diagrams in my own sex ed classes never showed the clitoris in its entirety. We were never taught the anatomy of the clitoris and its purpose was mentioned as quickly as possible before we moved on to more “polite” topics, like male erections. In fact, my teachers had glossed over the clitoris so much I didn’t even know how to pronounce it properly until my college roommate corrected me.

It’s shameful that something so important to sex is discussed so briefly during classes about sex that most students probably don’t even realize what it does, let alone what it looks like. The penis, on the other hand, gets plenty of air time in sex ed classes. Given the similarities between the two, it’s easy to think this discrepancy is mostly because we’re averse to discussing female sexual pleasure.

“It’s also vital to know that the equivalent of a penis in a woman is not a vagina, it’s her clitoris,” said Fillod. “Women get erections when they’re excited, only you can’t see them because most of the clitoris is internal. I wanted to show that men and women are not fundamentally different.”

In fact, according to the Guardian, the penis and clitoris are way more alike than most people realize. “[The clitoris] is divided into crura or legs, bulbs, foreskin and a head,” writes Stephanie Theobald. “[The] only difference between a clitoris and a penis is that most of the female erectile tissue is internal – and that it’s often longer, at around eight inches.”

American children definitely don’t learn that in school, probably because sex ed in the United States is still obsessed with purity and stubbornly insists that abstinence is paramount. Despite contrary evidence, sex ed in the U.S. still clings to the hope that if we just don’t teach girls about the positive aspects of sex, like pleasure, and only teach them about the “consequences,” maybe they won’t have it.

Maybe that’s why so many people are confused about consent, teen birth in abstinence-only states have the highest rates of teen pregnancy, and there’s a glaring orgasm gap.

Simply acknowledging that women enjoy sex and showing them what’s going on in their own bodies could go a long way toward changing that.

CLITORIS 3D from Marie Docher on Vimeo.

Photo Credit: Fab Lab

85 comments

Jim Ven
Jim Ven9 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Habout a year ago

I think this is going way too far!

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Wendi M.
Wendi Mabout a year ago

TYFS

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natasha salgado
Past Member about a year ago

Kooool! So progressive--impressed i am France!

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Jennifer H.
Jennifer Habout a year ago

I don't think the US will ever catch up to the French when it comes to sex ed.

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Marie W.
Marie Wabout a year ago

Light years ahead of USA.

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JoAnn Paris
JoAnn Parisabout a year ago

Thank you for this very interesting article.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallusabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jamie Clemons
Jamie Clemonsabout a year ago

How about show them the real thing???

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Maud M.
Maud Mabout a year ago

merci :-)

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