Ancient beliefs about women's bodies

Reading leads to infertility -
Harvard professor Edward H. Clarke wrote in his 1873 book ‘Sex in Education, or A Fair Chance for the Girls,’ that women should limit their reading. 

Women shouldn't exercise - Gymnastics should be avoided because it can damage women’s reproductive organs.

Menstruating women can kill swarms of bees - In his encyclopedia Natural History, Pliny describes the “powers'' menstruating women reportedly had. 

Menstruating women can “blunt the edge of steel” - And, of course, menstruating women should stay away from swords, knives, or anything remotely sharp made of steel.

Menstruating women can “take away the polish from ivory” - Ivory trade is now illegal, but back in Roman times, it was greatly appreciated.

Women have wandering wombs -
Hippocrates, the Greek forefather of modern medicine, also had dubious assumptions about women’s bodies. 

Women have no sexual desire -
In Victorian times, sexual urges were something most exclusively attributed to men.

Menstruation will lead to diseases -
Magnus adds that menstruating women "tend to have epilepsy and leprosy because menstrual matter is extremely venomous."

Men have more teeth than women - Aristotle believed that women had fewer teeth than men.

Conception is only possible in willing women - It dangerously asserts that women who are forced to have sex can’t get pregnant because their bodies “shut down.”

Women’s brains are less capable than men's - This belief has been used to justify numerous things, including the once lack of women’s right to vote. 

Virgin women have healing powers -
More specifically, they can heal a man of any venereal disease. 

Fertility is solely attributed to women - Ancient Egyptians believed that fertility was solely a woman's responsibility. 

Menstrual blood has special powers -
Menstrual blood is not just toxic and dangerous, as according to the 12th-century, it also has other magical properties. 

Women’s flesh is weaker than men's -
The belief that women had more porous skin than men goes back to ancient times.

Bad personality? Blame it on the ovaries - In the 18th century, it was believed that the ovaries controlled women’s personalities.

Menstruation is the purging of evil -
In the 16th and 17th centuries, it was believed that menstruation was "a monthly purging of those evil humors."

Tampons will make a woman lose her virginity - This myth spread in the 1930s, when Tampax introduced the first tampons on the market. 

Click Here