It’s no secret men and women are different. John Gray cashed in with Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus a little over 20 years ago to the tune of 50 million copies. In fact, that book was the best-selling non-fiction book sold in America in the 1990s outside of The Bible. Clearly, there’s an interest in understanding what makes our bodies tick, and what makes them different.
Simply put, the differences are physical, even if they manifest themselves as emotional or mental. From the early days on the playground, we all wonder what the heck is going on with the other gender. Biologically, men and women are different and an understanding of that difference can help to better connect with members of the opposite sex.
As far as understanding their own bodies goes, doctors say that women too often don’t understand what is normal and abnormal, especially when it comes to issues surrounding their sex organs. While it’s important to always get checked if you think something is wrong, most women find that their concern is also a concern among many other women and more often than not, nothing is wrong. It’s just still taboo to talk about certain things for a lot of women, but hopefully that is changing.
So whether you’re a man trying to figure out just why women act that way or if you’re a woman who wonders if something going on in your body is normal or not, we provide 12 things you didn’t know about the female body.
12. They get drunk faster than men
Despite the fact that women have more water in their blood than men (we’ll get to that later on), overall, women have less water in their body overall than a man of equal weight. This means a faster absorption rate for alcohol. They also eliminate alcohol from the body quicker than men, which sometimes leads to drinking more in a shorter time span than a man. Interestingly, if a woman is premenstrual, the hormone level changes in her body can lead to her getting drunk faster. So when someone mentions “That time of the month” it could just mean the time of the month a woman gets drunk faster. And men, don’t take this as a great sign. Research also shows that while a man needs 5-6 drinks before he is physically unable to perform sexually, a woman has almost no chance of achieving orgasm after three drinks.
11. Breasts are getting bigger
Good news for chest men, bad news for sore backs. A few sources have confirmed this evolution, including a leading lingerie retailer that said over the last 20 years, the average sized bra sold has gone from 34B to 34DD. Journalist Florence Williams reported in her 2012 book that the average breast size has gone from 34B to 36C, based on the data she gathered. Since most doctors don’t measure breast size, we’ll take their word for it. Why is this happening? Women weigh more now than they ever have and that additional fat goes to the breasts just as evenly as it goes to the thighs or butt. The CDC reported in the 50 years between 1960 and 2010, the average woman’s weight had gone from 140 pounds to 166 pounds. Interestingly enough, data also suggests 85 percent of women are still buying bras too small for their bodies.
10. Their bodies live longer than men’s
While it’s been known through circumstantial evidence that women tend to live longer than men, a fact which is true in every country in the world, the disparity in age ranges was recently shown to be almost five years, according to census data and a study by the University of Southern California. The average guy lives 76.4 years old while women have climbed to 81.2 years old. Why the wide disparity? Preventable heart conditions. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of most preventable deaths of men over 40. The fact that more men throughout the world smoke and have a diet higher in both calories and saturated fat also contributes to the survival rate difference.
9. Their blood has a lot of water, not a lot of oxygen
Women’s blood contains more water than men’s because it has 20 percent less red blood cells. So what? Red blood cells are the vessel that delivers oxygen to the body. Since women therefore carry less oxygen in their bloodstream, it means that they get tired more easily than men and are also more prone to fainting spells. Obviously there are millions of women who can out-do men in terms of stamina, but overall, most studies have found that women tend to fade faster than men and need up to 15 percent more sleep than their male counterparts.
8. It’s normal for breasts to hurt when running
Despite the slow motion montages of Pamela Anderson that made Baywatch barely passable, according to reports from doctors, many women worry about the pain they feel in their breasts when running. British researchers interviewed almost 1,300 women participating in the 2012 London Marathon and found out a third of them had experienced breast pain when running, or working out in general. The problem grew in number as the cup size grew with the women interviewed. The culprit? Nature and sports bras. There’s not much large breasted women can do about some minor pain, the researchers found that despite the fact 9 out of 10 women wear sports bras, most are not wearing ones with enough support. One of the tricks to finding out if a sports bra is doing its job is if the band around the bottom of the breasts moves at all during vigorous running, or exercise like jumping jacks, lifting weights, or pull-ups. If the band moves, there’s not enough support.
7. Women are far more likely than men to get Alzheimer’s disease
A study was conducted recently by Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York that while men and women get Alzheimer’s disease at about the same rate past the age of 80, it found women in their 70s are twice as likely as men to develop the disease. In fact, nearly 70 percent of the over five million people suffering from Alzheimer’s in the United States are women. Unfortunately, there is a lack of data suggesting why the gender gap is there, although the belief it is because women tend to live longer has been mathematically debunked. Experts disagree on whether the reasons are biological or cultural in nature, but all seem to agree that this is one disease that needs more gender-specific research.
6. Cowgirl bad, Reverse Cowgirl good
When it comes to sexual positions, cowgirl and reverse cowgirl are two favorites of the adult entertainment industry because, well, you know. According to a study out of the Netherlands, however, most women report a world of difference in the forward-facing and rear-facing options to this position. Cowgirl doesn’t provide a world of stimulation because of the way the genitals line up, creating almost a 90-degree angle where no pressure is being placed on a woman’s sensitive spots. If a woman turns around, however, she has much more control over how her partner’s penis her body because of the way the male member is designed to move during intercourse.
5. Women are fatter than men
Obviously there’s a whale for every beanpole, man or woman, but biologically speaking, an average woman carries more body fat than the average man. Studies show the average woman’s body fat content is 25 percent, while it is only 15 percent for her male counterpart when things such as age, diet and exercise are similar. One of the reasons for this is because women require fewer calories than men. Certain hormones in women can also produce higher amounts of fat and water, such as estrogen, which can increase the body’s fat-producing cells to do 10 percent more converting. On the other side of things, men produce testosterone, which causes the body’s muscle-producing cells to do the work. Women who are looking to lose body fat are encouraged by trainers to train with weights to build up muscle mass.
4. Women’s bodies react stronger to sex while on her period
First, to specify, we are talking about traditional vaginal intercourse. Oral intercourse on a female is discouraged for a variety of health reasons when a woman is on her menstrual cycle. Doctors say that because of the elevated hormone levels in a woman, sex physically feels better during her period. On the first day of a woman’s menstrual cycle, estrogen and other hormone levels tend to drop, but by day three, they are higher than non-period days. Do not make the mistake of thinking that sex during a woman’s period is a form of birth control so it’s OK to take the condom off. Sperm can live for three-to-five days inside of a woman’s body and ovulation will sometimes overlap with menstruation, so it’s best to keep your raincoat on, men.
3. Intercourse can hurt long after giving birth
Painful intercourse, known scientifically as dyspareunia, is something that 75 percent of women will suffer through at some point in their lives according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and it’s especially likely after childbirth. Australian researchers released a study in early 2015 showing that nine out of 10 women experience pain the first time after they have intercourse following the birth of a baby. That’s slightly higher than the experts predicted, saying that it didn’t matter whether a woman waited six weeks or six months for her first post-birth sexual activity. The researchers were more surprised by the fact almost 25 percent said it was still hurting 18 months later. Ironically, many of that 25 percent had delivered birth via cesarean section, not vaginally. Through their work, they found that factors associated with painful intercourse included painful sex pre-pregnancy, symptoms of depression, fatigue levels and the mother’s age, with younger women reporting more pain.
2. It’s OK if breasts are different sizes
One out of five women report that one of their breasts is as much as half-a-cup size different than the other, and it’s nothing to be worried about, according to doctors. In fact, during puberty, it can almost be expected that there will be times that breasts appear to be different sizes, but that by age 20, they should be at roughly the same size. A report about plastic surgery showed that when women want work done on their breasts, 88 percent tend to have a natural asymmetric chest. An average woman’s breast is made up of 12-to-20 chambers that spread out from the nipple and slight differences in the number and size of these lobes is natural. Doctors, however, don’t discourage women from talking to them about fears of asymetrical breasts because it can cause emotional or psychological damage even when nothing physical is awry. They do caution however to be vigilant as women with slightly different breast sizes have been shown to have a higher risk of breast cancer.
1. The G-Spot is the Clitoris
Mathematically speaking, it’s safe to say that an orgasm for a woman is twice as strong as one for a male’s because a women has double the nerve endings (nearly 8,000) at or near her clitoris as a male does on his penis. Not only that, those clitoral nerve endings control 15,000 other nerves in the pelvis. While slight variations in anatomy around the vulva may still make women more aroused with traditional vaginal sex, most women report stimulation of the exterior part of the clitoris to be the mythical G-spot. One of the best ways for someone to tell they’ve satisfied their female partner is if the clitoris becomes erect, like a penis. That’s right, women get erections, too.