The penis and the clitoris are two sides to the same coin. When in the womb, biology flips that coin and we usually grow male physical characteristics or female physical characteristics. Before puberty the only one of these physical differences that makes itself known is the genitals. But the genitals aren’t as different as they may appear. The penis and the clitoris are formed out of the same material in the womb and perform much of the same functions outside of the womb. The major differences between the two are the fact that the penis is bigger and lives mostly outside the body, where as the much smaller clitoris extends most of it’s shaft within the body. The penis also contains the opening of the urethra from which urine is expelled.
The evidence of the similarities between the two goes much further than that however:
1. The clitoris and the penis are the primary erogenous zones for women and men respectively, that is, they are the sources of the most erotic focus and sensation. The clitoris is the only organ in the human body with the sole function of pleasure.
2. Women and men are both born with foreskin. The clitoral hood, or the skin that rests over the clitoris is made from the same stuff as the oft removed male foreskin.
3. Women get erections. The corpora cavernosa, or the part that fills with blood and causes the penis to enlarge, does the same in the clitoris causing it to swell, usually during sexual arousal, but like men, it can sometimes just happen.
4. Just like men, women get nocturnal erections and sometimes even morning wood. Throughout the night women’s clitorises become erect and are often erect upon first waking (morning hood?).
5. Clitorises also lose their erection after orgasm although it may take a fair bit more time than it would for men.
6. Some women suffer from a kind priapism, or persistant erection, called clitorism in which the clitoris becomes repeatedly erect causing extreme discomfort and pain, as can happen to men.
Like penises, clitorises (clitori?) come in all shapes and sizes and like penises they are exceptionally sensitive. They don’t really look the same from the outside but as with most things to do with sex/gender, the similarities outweigh the differences.