A study conducted on 1,500 adults in the UK has revealed that less than half of adults can correctly label the female anatomy.
Also, only one in ten people were taught about gynaecological health in school.
Interestingly, sex education was made compulsory as part of the UK school curriculum three years ago.
Following the findings, British charity The Eve Appeal has urged authorities to focus more on providing sex education in schools.
According to the study, just over half (51 per cent) of all women are able to describe their own anatomy correctly. It also discovered that only 9 per cent of adults were taught about gynaecological health in school.
Athena Lamnisos, chief executive of The Eve Appeal, pointed out that more knowledge and information about gynaecological organs can help people to look after their health.
“Covering topics like anatomy and menstrual health and on to HPV and preparation for cervical screening, these resources will help everyone know their bodies that bit better. Sixty people a day are diagnosed with one of the five gynaecological cancers in the UK, yet awareness of them is shockingly low, with just 2 per cent of the population knowing all five gynaecological cancers- womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal. We hope this programme will go some way to plugging that knowledge gap,” she was quoted as saying by media outlets.
More than one-third (37 per cent) of adults can’t label the vagina, while 31 per cent don’t know where the vulva is, the study said. Just 8 per cent of those surveyed said their parents made it easy to talk to them about the issues during childhood.
Before 2019, schools in the UK were not obligated to educate children about genital anatomy or menstrual health.
“With schools previously missing this vital information, and parents often at a loss too, it is unsurprising that so many adults in the UK today have little understanding of their bodies and the gynaecological cancers,” said GP Dr Ellie Cannon.
The charity has now started the Know Your Body Programme – a collection of gynaecological health lesson plans for teachers to plug women’s anatomy knowledge gap. It plans to teach seven to 13-year-olds on topics such as anatomy, menstrual health, HPV and cancer, and female genital mutilation.
The pilot of 53 lessons reached 1,100 young people in schools in London and Greater Manchester.
The charity claims that now 88 per cent of young people have developed a greater understanding of the internal gynaecological organs and 70 per cent now know how to keep their genitals healthy.