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Simplifying the language[edit]

CFCF, per this discussion at WP:Med and your Wikipedia:Making medical articles understandable essay, I know that you've been aiming to simply language in medical articles. Actually, before that, I knew that you have been aiming to do that. But, as seen at Talk:Vagina/Archive 5#Genital vs. urogenital, my concern is us dumbing down the language too much. Like I mentioned in that discussion, this is not the Simple English Wikipedia; nor should it be. So regarding this and this edit you made to the lead, why were those edits needed (I mean, besides cutting a few instances of unnecessarily wordy language)? How was that content difficult for lay readers to understand? With that second edit, you stated, "We need to sacrifice precision for readability." I disagree because I don't see what was a WP:Technical violation, or non-readable, about that lead. Editors had worked on it to simply it (meaning before your latest edits). I also think that you simplified a few things too much. For example, "The vagina plays a significant role in human female sexuality and sexual pleasure." sentence and the "Because of the risk of STIs, health authorities and health care providers, recommend safe sex practices." sentence. Regarding that first sentence, you pipelinked "human female sexuality" as "female sexuality," but that line is specifically about humans; so it is sort of a WP:EGG link at the moment. Female sexuality redirects to the Human female sexuality article. If we want that line to refer to both humans and non-human animals, then I think it needs rewording, given the human female sexuality link and that scholars don't know as much about vaginal sexuality with regard to non-human animals as they do with regard to humans. And as for the other sentence, changing it to "Because of the risk of STIs safe sex practices are recommended." begs the question of "who recommends the practices?"... Yes, I have no doubt that some editor would tag that line with Template:Who...despite the fact that it's common sense that medical authorities and the general public recommend the practices, and despite the fact that it is sourced lower in the article. Flyer22 (talk) 05:23, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

I made minor tweaks to your changes. Flyer22 (talk) 05:39, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Followup note here. Flyer22 (talk) 05:43, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

This article is (even after my edits) ranked as one of the least readable articles we have on the medical Wikipedia according to . As for Simple English WP its unequivocally a failure. There is no readership and barely anyone edits it. We need to make sure the ledes of our articles are navigable even for readers with low comprehension. That is why it is imperative that we make the ledes as simple as we can. Further details can go in the body of the article.
We also have to take into account who our readers are and what they are interested in. Granted most readers will be looking for information on human sexuality I think we can omit adding human to every other sentence.
As for the "who recommends" we generally skip this when it doesn't add anything to the discussion, especially in the lede. -- CFCF ๐ŸŒ (email) 05:50, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Our medical articles are always going to be somewhat difficult for readers to understand, since medical topics are usually outside of the understanding of the general public (though the general public might be familiar with some aspects). The same goes for a lot of Wikipedia science and math articles. Is there any Wikipedia medical article that is completely understandable to our non-medical readers...other than some of our WP:Stub or sort of WP:Stub articles? That stated, I do think you did okay with the lead of the Vagina article. Some of that content, as I mentioned above, was indeed unnecessarily wordy. Flyer22 (talk) 06:02, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
The difference is that our medical articles are read by the general public, while math articles are unlikely to reach the same audience. To give you an idea of what I find is a good example you can see this WebMD entry: I find that it employs a number of good practices: using short sentences, using the active tense, and avoiding subclauses. These are all good practices when writing for the general public. I find the CDC's to be a very useful guide. It isn't entirely suited for an encyclopaedia, but it's a start until we have our own materials. -- CFCF ๐ŸŒ (email) 08:24, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Since our math and science articles are also read by the general public, as has been reported in WP:Reliable sources, including with regard to teachers telling their students not to read (and/or copy from) Wikipedia, I think what you mean is that our medical articles are more likely to be sought out by the general public than our math or science articles will be. WP:Technical is not simply or primarily about our medical articles, after all. However we go about simplifying these articles, there is a such thing as oversimplification. And it's oversimplification that, as essentially noted above, I am worried about when it comes to simplifying a medical article and some other types of articles (whether the lead or the entire article). It might be worth it that an editor type up an essay about oversimplification with regard to writing -- about not dumbing things down too much and instead trusting our readers to understand certain things, especially if we are wording those things clearly and linking to further detail. My main points are: Math, science and medical articles are going to have technical language in them; they are supposed to. I'd rather use a technical word in a clear way than an imprecise word to try to get across the same point. If less technical wording conveys a matter accurately, I am fine with that as long as we don't lose the necessary details and/or try to remove all the technical language. Flyer22 (talk) 09:04, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

โ”Œโ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”˜ Since these recent edits, to my reading there are now a few actual errors in the lead here.

  1. Where the vagina previously was defined as a "tubular sex organ that is part of the female genital tract," we now say that it is a "sex organ and part of female genitalia." Unless we are falling into the colloquial error described in the last part of the lead right from the start, I don't think that the vagina is strictly part of the 'genitalia'. Genitalia are usually defined as external sex organs, and only the final opening of the vagina can be described as external, and that depends upon the position of the rest of the body.
  2. We say that males "usually have the urethral opening as the only opening to the urinary tract, females usually have two external openings." I don't think that we should describe the vagina as an opening to the urinary tract. We used to say that "females usually have two external orifices, the urethral orifice for the urological tract and the vaginal orifice for the genital tract": Two openings, two tracts.

I'm not sure why we have to banish the word orifice entirely from the lead. It seems that doing that has led to the simplification of some sentences beyond what is easily readable, in order to eliminate duplication of opening. "In amphibians, birds, reptiles and monotremes, the cloaca is the single external opening" does not scan as easily as "In amphibians, birds, reptiles and monotremes, an opening called the cloaca functions as a single external orifice". As a science teacher, I found that eliminating technical terms entirely from discussions did not help students to become familiar with their correct meaning and use. --Nigelj (talk) 17:16, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

You have a good point about the term genitalia, as made clear in the Sex organ article that it redirects to. As for the "females usually have two external openings" wording, CFCF did clarify after that "They are the urethral and the vaginal openings." But your point seems to be that we should clarify that the female urethral opening is for the urological tract, and that the vaginal opening is for the genital tract. Considering that people commonly think that girls/women urinate out of the vagina, which I addressed on this talk page before (in the aforementioned "Genital vs. urogenital" discussion) and added material on in the Vagina article, I get your point about clarity in this regard. As for the "amphibians" line, it states "In amphibians, birds, reptiles and monotremes, the cloaca is the single external opening for the gastrointestinal tract and the urinary and reproductive tracts." That's not too different than what it used to state, which is that "In amphibians, birds, reptiles and monotremes, an opening called the cloaca functions as a single external orifice for the gastrointestinal tract, urological tract, and reproductive tract." So I see no need to change that back to how it was before. And I think consistently using "opening" instead of "orifice" for the lead is fine. If we want to use both and make it clear that "opening" and "orifice" are the same thing in the case of this topic, we can have the first appearance of "orifice" in the lead state "orifice (opening)" or the first appearance of "opening" in the lead state "opening (orifice)." I thought about doing that because of what you stated above. I did make changes because of your other concerns, though. Flyer22 (talk) 22:10, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Update: With this, this and this, I also tweaked the urogenital, urination text. This aspect should have been clearer even before CFCF's changes to that wording. Flyer22 (talk) 00:23, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

Also this bit. Flyer22 (talk) 00:55, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

Regarding this and this, one can see that I ended up dropping "two external openings" because I don't think it's needed even though "two" stresses the point. Common sense should prevail for the vast majority of readers when reading that text -- that we mean "two distinct openings/tracts" and that the vaginal tract is not for urination. Flyer22 (talk) 01:18, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

Latest changes made to the article[edit]

I reverted these latest changes by OnBeyondZebrax for a number of reasons. To begin with, I don't see why "Lesbians and women who have sex with women may engage in oral stimulation of the vagina and surrounding areas and engage in fingering (manual stimulation) of the vagina." belongs in the lead. I don't see why "including the use of condoms or dental dams are recommended." is needed there either. Dental dams are rarely used for prevention of sexually transmitted infections, even among the main demographic in that regard -- lesbians. I don't think that "A variety of vulgar slang terms are used for the vagina, many of which are considered derogatory towards women." is needed in the lead either, since the cultural perceptions matter is already summed up there, but I don't object to including that material there.

Moving past the lead, we have the following sentence: "Some heterosexual sex positions such as the missionary position or the spoons sex position are associated with more intense vaginal stimulation." But those positions are not solely heterosexual, and "more intense" is vague. Then there is this sentence: "Both heterosexual couples and lesbians/women who have sex with women stimulate the vagina by fingering and oral sex (cunnilingus)." But that sounds too final, as if heterosexual couples and lesbian couples automatically or almost always do these things. Yes, fingering and cunnilingus are very common among lesbian couples, but heterosexual couples are far more focused on penile-vaginal penetration, and cunnilingus is not nearly as common among heterosexual couples as it is among lesbian couples, as various reliable sources attest to. And as for " In lesbian sexual practices, participants seeking deeper vaginal penetration may use a dildo, strap-on dildo or other sex toys.", why do we need that, especially given that, as noted with reliable sources at the Lesbian sexual practices article, use of dildos among lesbians/women who have sex with women is rare? That stated, I'm not opposed to it being added. OnBeyondZebrax's wording has placed an emphasis on what heterosexual couples do vs. what lesbian couples do, when I'd kept the material general. It sort of seems that OnBeyondZebrax is trying to copy the style I went with for the Clitoris article. If that's the case, then let's format this material better than the first attempt.

As for the rest of what OnBeyondZebrax added, I don't mind those changes, except for the "For more information on the cultural aspects and views of FGM, see the Reasons for vaginal modification section." and "Long ago" parts, and except for a few other wording choices, and that the edits are mixing citation styles. For example, the citation style OnBeyondZebrax used for the female genital mutilation (FGM) text seems to have been taken from the Female genital mutilation article. That article uses a different citation style; it avoids citation templates. This one does not. I've been making the citation style consistent in this article. I also don't see that we need all of that extra FGM material in this article; the FGM sections are WP:Summary style sections with respect to the main article. But I'm not opposed to the extra material. Flyer22 (talk) 03:33, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Along with the edits you found concern with, a number of constructive additions were reverted. Why does this article only have a single category, "Vagina"? I proposed a number of other categories, such as "Human female reproductive system", but those were removed. The article currently has what seems to be a heteronormative viewpoint on its subject matter. The vagina is described as being penetrated by the penis and as having a texture which stimulates the penis, leading to ejaculation. That's fine. But there is not a single mention of the role of the vagina in lesbian sexual practices or activities engaged in by women who have sex with women. In the arts and culture section, referenced additions about artworks that depict the vagina were deleted. Now I will discuss the proposed changes over the next few days/weeks here on the talk page.OnBeyondZebrax โ€ข TALK 04:01, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
OnBeyondZebrax, I do not view the following content as heteronormative: "The vagina plays a significant role in human female sexuality and sexual pleasure. During sexual arousal, vaginal moisture is increased by vaginal lubrication, which reduces friction and allows for smoother penetration of the vagina during sexual activity. The texture of the vaginal walls create friction for the penis during sexual intercourse and stimulate it toward ejaculation, enabling fertilization. In addition, a variety of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other disorders can affect the vagina. Because of the risk of STIs, safe sex practices are recommended."
If I viewed it in such a way, I would have fixed it. The WP:Lead sentence states, "The vagina allows for sexual intercourse and childbirth. It channels menstrual flow, which occurs periodically as part of the menstrual cycle." The paragraph that you take issue with is simply noting the sexual reproduction aspect of the vagina. The "During sexual arousal, vaginal moisture is increased by vaginal lubrication, which reduces friction and allows for smoother penetration of the vagina during sexual activity." part of it alludes to no sexual orientation. The penis-vagina part is noted after that for obvious reasons -- sexual reproduction. I have no issue with lesbian sexual practices content being mentioned in the Sexual activity section, as long as it is formatted better than the way you had it. And I already objected to your "For more information on the cultural aspects and views of FGM, see the Reasons for vaginal modification section." sentence above, and yet you re-added it and I reverted it again. Editors can clearly see from that the table of contents that this section exists. And when re-adding a little bit of material, you re-added the inconsistent citation styles here and here. I'll fix that, but I was hoping that you wouldn't re-add the material until you used citation templates for it. Flyer22 (talk) 05:04, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Update: OnBeyondZebrax (last time WP:Pinging you on this matter because I assume that you will check back at this talk page if you want to read replies or that this article is currently on your WP:Watchlist), I added content to the lead to make it clear that the vaginal sexual activity content there is not solely about heterosexual couples, and I added content to the Sexual activity section that specifically mentions heterosexual and lesbian couples. The "Besides penile penetration, there are a variety of ways that pleasure can be received from vaginal stimulation" part that was already in the article, though, was meant to address heterosexual and lesbian couples. It simply did that without directly mentioning the matter. What I don't like about my change to the lead, however, is that vaginal sexual activity is not only about humans; this article (though mostly about humans because the vagina has not been studied as well among non-human animals) is not only about humans. So the "vaginal lubrication, which reduces friction and allows for smoother penetration of the vagina during sexual activity" and "the texture of the vaginal walls create friction for the penis during sexual intercourse and stimulate it toward ejaculation, enabling fertilization" parts were about humans and non-human animals. Because of the emphasis on heterosexual and lesbian sexuality currently in the lead, and the fact that non-human animals are not usually referred to as heterosexual or lesbian (which is why I considered wording it as "opposite-sex and same-sex pairings"), the paragraph now seems to be solely about humans. So I'm going to tweak that. I understand that editors could think it's solely about humans anyway, since it begins with "The vagina plays a significant role in human female sexuality and sexual pleasure.", but it's not. Flyer22 (talk) 07:51, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
I changed the lead with this edit (followup edits here, here and here), per my "07:51, 2 October 2015 (UTC)" above post. I'm a little unsure about stating that the vagina plays a significant role in non-human sexuality; this is because animal sexuality topics refer to the sexual activity aspect far more than they do to the sexual and social aspects, and since the vagina and topics concerning it are not well-studied when it comes to non-human animals. But as far as sexual reproduction goes, the vagina clearly plays a significant role in non-human animal sexuality. Flyer22 (talk) 08:47, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Note:: With this edit (followup edits here, here and here), I added a link to the Lesbian sexual practices article. Flyer22 (talk) 09:46, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the recent changes, which respond to my concern about coverage of lesbian sexual practices. Sorry for not using the correct citation template. I will correct the citations. Regarding WP:Self reference, it seems to prohibit mentioning Wikipedia, or adding text such as "click here" or "edit here". I could not find any section prohibiting internal links within an article. Of course I might have missed the sentences on that topic. If so, could you please point out the section. On another matter, the section on vulgar names spends most of the paragraph on the first term, "cunt", with "twat" not discussed at all and "pussy" missing the reliably sourced point that was added yesterday, indicating that the term is derogatory towards women. I would also like to re-add the sourced few sentences on the folklore tales of "vagina dentata". In the future, I will be proposing additions to the section on depictions in art and literature section. Thank you.OnBeyondZebrax โ€ข TALK 18:42, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
You're welcome. Thanks for tweaking the references for your additions here and here. When it comes to WP:Self reference, its introduction states, "A self-reference in an article usually mentions Wikipedia directly or tells readers to take an action on Wikipedia, such as editing the article." It has the "This Wikipedia article discusses..." and "Click here to see more" examples. I don't see how those examples are too different than your "For more information [...] see the [...] section." text. Your text is a self-reference, and I think it's one we should generally avoid since it gives off a somewhat unencyclopedic vibe (in my opinion anyway). That stated, in the Clitoris article, I currently have the "(see below)" and "(see above)" self-references; these are combined with WP:Pipelinks. I added them because Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Linking#Section links is clear that doing this type of linking is fine, and because I feel that readers need help finding the other parts relating to those points that they might have overlooked in that big article. In the case of the Vagina article, while I won't heavily oppose you adding a "see below" type of self-reference with a WP:Pipelink, I don't see why it's needed in this case. I think it's very clear to readers, looking from the table of contents, that the FGM material is in two different places in the article. As for the terminology and folklore material you'd like to add back, feel free. Flyer22 (talk) 20:01, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
The WP:Self reference guideline may have various interpretations. However, one sentence states that "References that exist in a way that assumes the reader is using an encyclopedia, without reference to the specific encyclopedia (Wikipedia) or the manner of access (online), are acceptable." It also states that "Although Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia, articles should be written in a manner that facilitates transmission in other forms such as print, spoken word, and via a screen reader. So terms such as "this article" are preferable to "this webpage", and terms like "click here" should be avoided, which make no sense when using a screen reader, for instance." Of course this only pertains to whether a certain wording may be permitted. As you indicated, it may not be desirable for various reasons. In written reports, I have seen references to the report itself and its sections ("The socioeconomic factors that impact school performance are explored in the discussion section."). I will do more research on whether references to the article and its sections are considered to be good practice in encyclopedias and in Wikipedia. OnBeyondZebrax โ€ข TALK 04:18, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
I don't see what this image adds to the article, except WP:GRATUITOUS concerns. The picture is not a picture of the vagina, or necessarily any more important than the other artwork mentioned in the section. And it's best that vulva images not be used in this article unless they clearly show the vagina, especially since people (including those at The Huffington Post, it seems) commonly confuse the vulva and vagina by referring to the vulva as the vagina. A reader can simply click on the Wikipedia link to the Wikipedia article to see the image in question and learn more about that image. Flyer22 (talk) 04:26, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

Proposed acknowledgement of C-V distance and significance during penetrative sex[edit]

the distance between the clitoris tip and the vaginal canal has a significant impact on a womans ability to orgasm during penetrative sex according to Princess Marie Bonaparte's studies in the 1920's, women with shorter C-V distance (clitoris closer to the vaginal opening) are much better able to orgasm from penetrative sex alone without manually simulating the clitoris. ideally women would have small round vulvas with clitoris's right near the edge of the vaginal canal allowing both male and female to orgasm during penetrative sex

The5thForce (talk) 10:44, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

update: a more in depth discussion about C-V distance (with additional sources) and its potential implications has occured here: The5thForce (talk) 19:12, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

Is the "Edit" option for sections currently not showing up for anyone else?[edit]

It's currently not showing up for me at this article. Instead, the "Edit" option at the top of the article is still there, and I see an "[edit on Wikidata]" option in the infobox. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 00:26, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Note: The Edit option for sections reappeared for me after I made this edit (or seemingly after that edit). So everything's back to normal. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:48, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

The "[edit on Wikidata]" option wasn't working for me at the time either (an error message would show up), but it now is. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:50, 3 February 2016 (UTC)