Sunday, January 16

Identified the area of ​​the brain that represents the female genitalia

The female genitalia are represented in the brain in a particular way in each woman: their location varies slightly from one to another and their thickness depends on the intensity of their sexual life. A clue to improve sexuality.

Research from the Berlin Medical University (Charité) has identified for the first time the area of ​​the female brain that represents the clitoris, 16 years after science identified the representation of the penis in the male brain.

This research, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, has also appreciated that this area is not exactly the same in all women, and that it increases in size depending on the frequency with which they have sexual intercourse.

The entire process takes place in the somatosensory cortex, a brain region located in the parietal lobe, specialized in processing sensory information: specific areas of the somatosensory cortex correspond to specific parts of the body.

However, the exact location of the female genital field on this brain map has been controversial: previous studies have obtained conflicting results due to less precise mapping methods.

More precision

The new research overcomes this limitation, since it has scanned the brains of 20 healthy women, between 18 and 45 years of age, while they were sexually stimulated: in this way it measured the response of the brain to a membrane that vibrates over the clitoral region .

The first thing they appreciated is that the somatosensory cortex represented the genitals next to the hips, coinciding with the anatomy of the body. However, the precise location was different from woman to woman.

They also found that the thickness of the genital field in the brain varied according to the frequency of sexual intercourse, suggesting that the structure of the region is altered in relation to its use.

This conclusion was reached because the researchers asked the participants about the frequency of their sexual intercourse in the last twelve months, as well as since the beginning of their sexual life.

Frequency influences

The researchers then determined the ten most activated points in the brain during the stimulation elicited in the experiment and measured the area obtained.

In this way, they discovered that there was a relationship between the thickness of the female brain area specialized in genital stimulation and the frequency of sexual intercourse.

The researchers suspect that the size of the brain area related to genital stimulation could also be reduced if the woman has suffered sexual abuse at some point in her life, but this extreme has not been confirmed in this research.

The researchers note that their results pave the way for future research on the plasticity of the human genital cortex as a function of normal or adverse experience.

It will also allow the development of studies that examine the role of the genital field in healthy sexual function, in sexual dysfunction and, especially, in the long-term consequences of sexual abuse, all due to the precise mapping of the female genital region in women’s brains.

Also in men

This study complements another anterior, from 2005, which determined the exact location of the male genitalia in the brain, but until now this representation had not been achieved in women.

Christian Kell, from the University of Frankfurt in Germany, studied the brain activity of eight men using MRI while brushing the skin of the penis, as well as the big toe and lower abdominal wall.

All of this provoked significant focal activations in the contralateral primary somatosensory cortex and allowed Kell to discover that each man’s penis was represented in the same place in the brain, flanked by the areas of the toes and the abdomen.

The researchers concluded in their article that the male genital tract is represented between the legs and the trunk and that, therefore, it agrees with the logical somatotopic sequence, something that is different in the case of women, since the representation of your genital area in the brain is not exactly the same for all.


Sensory-Tactile Functional Mapping and Use-Associated Structural Variation of the Human Female Genital. Andrea J.J. Knop et al. Journal of Neuroscience 20 December 2021, JN-RM-1081-21. DOI:

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