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17th century science addresses female orgasms.

Nathaniel Highmore, an English surgeon who was one of the few doctors to publicly acknowledge that the end result of pelvic massage—the “hysterical paroxysm”—could also be described as an “orgasm,” noted that it was no easy task. He likened it to “that game of boys in which they try to rub their stomachs with one hand and pat their heads with the other.”

English physician Thomas Sydenham estimated that hysteria was the most common disease after fever, accounting for a sixth of all human maladies. Among women, he wrote, “there is rarely one who is wholly free from them.”

Oh, my. The poor dears. We must do whatever we can to save them! … PZ Myers


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