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Glans penis

The glans (Latin for “acorn”) is a structure internally composed of corpus spongiosum in males or of corpus cavernosa and vestibular tissue in female-bodied people that is located at the tip of homologous genital structures involved in sexual arousal.

The exterior structure of the glans consists of mucous membrane, which is usually covered by foreskin or clitoral hood. This covering, called the prepuce, is normally retractable in adulthood.

The glans naturally joins with the inner labia, and the frenulum of the penis or clitoris. In non-technical or sexual discussions, often the word “clitoris” refers to the external glans alone, excluding the prepuce, frenulum, and internal body of the clitoris.

In males the glans is known as the glans penis, while in females the glans is known as the glans clitoris.

In females, the clitoris is above the urethra. This organ was once though to serve no function other than sexual arousal, but research is beginning to prove otherwise. The glans of the clitoris is the most highly innervated part. Female circumcision involves the removal of the prepuce (covering the glans) or even more drastic, the whole clitoris and labia minora.

There have also been cases in which the outer labia have been removed (these cases are mainly found in tribal regions which still practice female circumcision, usually at puberty.) Female circumcision is now widely discouraged and in some regions of the world it is illegal, but the removal of the prepuce is still practised in some rural areas because it is thought to inhibit sexual arousal.

  • For more information on FGM, or “Female Genital Mutilation”, you can visit this site. The site contains very graphic descriptions, so please keep this in mind.