In many school districts across the U.S., sexual education classes leave much to be desired. In conservative states, many teachers are forced into “abstinence-only” programs that have been found to be ineffective at best, with researchers discovering increased rates of unintended pregnancies, teen pregnancies, and STDs in these areas.
STDs and unwanted babies are bad enough, but even those who escape those nightmares can be left with some of the most ridiculous beliefs about basic human anatomy. Professor Julie Mannell, for example.
I thought women had their periods forever. When my first period stopped I assumed the neighbours’ dog impregnated me when I pet him. For a month I believed myself to be carrying a half human half dog baby. This story is brought to you by Ontario Catholic School Sex Ed in the 90s.
— Julie Mannell (@JulieMannell) July 13, 2018
“I thought women had their periods forever,” she wrote. “When my first period stopped I assumed the neighbours’ dog impregnated me when I pet him. For a month I believed myself to be carrying a half human half dog baby. This story is brought to you by Ontario Catholic School Sex Ed in the 90s.”
Thankfully, Mannell stopped believing this at age 10 and ended up becoming a highly educated individual who understands how menstruation and sex work. The same can’t be said for everybody.
I feel like it is worth noting that I grew up in the same town as @samoosterhoff the 20-year-old mpp who was just named parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Education. He was homeschooled & has 1/2 a semester @ Brock U. He ran on an anti sex education/pro life platform.
— Julie Mannell (@JulieMannell) July 14, 2018
There are serious consequences to a lack of proper sex education for the public, but let’s focus on the funny stories of the wacky things that women have thought were true about their own bodies. After Mannell’s tweet went viral, many others chimed in to share their own embarrassing past beliefs.
Here are 22 of our absolute favorites:
Until I got my period, I thought women used only 1 tampon or pad for the whole week, was mystified why sanitary products were sold in huge boxes. (Wouldn’t a box of 48 last you for four years? Why were there shelves and shelves of these things?) I cried when I realized the truth.
— … (@clochary) July 13, 2018
My grandma thought she was dying when she got her first period. She got so mad that no one had told her about this stuff, she went on to become a gynecologist, one of the very few lady doctors in 1959s Illinois. I’m so proud of her!
— Herr Becka (@HerrBecka) July 14, 2018
When I, a 13-yr old atheist virgin, first missed a period, I thought I had been impregnated by God and was about to give birth to the Second Coming of Christ as a punishment for not believing in Him.
— Jen Jones (@jenjonesQTRaven) July 13, 2018
I used to think that blood came out of the urethra and only when we were urinating. I didn’t even know what pads and tampons were until I actually got my period.
— purebred dumbass (@RhubarbRaptor) July 13, 2018
I heard enough mentions of periods to know that it was something you’d be scared of getting around the time you were 12, and that it could make “blood come out of you.” For years I thought it was another word for a measles booster shot.
— Erika Hammerschmidt (@earthtoerika) July 13, 2018
Another 90s Ontario Catholic school success story: I firmly believed my labia were my ovaries falling out of my body. Induced total panic, but was also too ashamed to approach anyone for help. All I recall from the education was that Tampax sponsored it and butterflies dominated.
— katie b (@iamkatiebonnar) July 14, 2018
My health teacher told us “once you get your period, it doesn’t stop until you’re 50” so when I got mine I cried to my mom bc I thought I wasn’t gonna stop bleeding until I was 50.
— Choke Sex Enthusiast (@louloubear131) July 14, 2018
When mine started I thought I was dying, & told my mom that. She said ‘now you can have babies’. Spent couple of years wondering when that would spontaneously happen. Courtesy of Philly Catholic School Sex Ed in the — well, a few years ago.
— kcvinalpena (@kcvinalpena) July 14, 2018
My Mum thought if a shadow of a man passed over her belly, that was it. Courtesy her Mum, 1955. She dodged male shadows for years.
— docrose (@wildmother2) July 13, 2018
In 2004 my friend was 16 when she gave birth to twins. When she was 23 I had to explain to her that pee does not come out of vaginas; she was worried because she didn’t have enough tampons at work for her bathroom breaks.
— Jessica Lucci, steampunk author (@Jessica__Lucci) July 14, 2018