Genitals in the Wild: The Uterus-Like Flower Bed

Although not everyone considers a woman’s uterus to be one of her “genitals”, some do (as it is one of her “generative” organs or reproductive parts). And as we invented the whole “genitals in the wild” idea here at MSP, we also get to decide what we’re going to include in it.

Today, what we are including is this flower bed. Working at Indiana University, I have long appreciated the attention that goes into the flowers, trees and stone structures around campus (ours has been described as one of the most beautiful college campuses for good reason).

This past year, however, I noticed that petunias seemed to be planted in more and more flower beds around campus and, interestingly, often in ways that remind me of diagrams of the uterus that use color coding to illustrate the endometrium (the lining of a woman’s uterus). The endometrium thickens in response to hormones and when a woman does not become pregnant, the lining sheds and releases as part of her menstrual period. The lining also acts as a “pillow” (as a 5th grader once put it to me) for a fertilized egg to “rest its head” (so the 5th grader said) – or at least to implant and grow into a baby.

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About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at