X is for X Chromosome: 18 Interesting Facts About Women

Cartoon from Helentoons.com

In honor of my Baby Girl, mothers, and the “X” in the A-Z Blog Challenge, we’re equating the X chromosome with females today. Let’s celebrate some Girl Power! All of you males with moms, wives and sisters can celebrate along with us.

Here’s 18 varied and interesting facts about women**:

General

  • The word “woman” is believed to have derived from the Middle English term wyfman, broken down simply as the wife (wyf) of man. In Old English, women were described simply as wyf, while the term man was used to describe a human person, regardless of gender.
  • The English word “girl” was initially used to describe a young person of either sex. It was not until the beginning of the sixteenth century that the term was used specifically to describe a female child. (Fascinating stuff!)
  • The biological sign for the female sex, a circle placed on top of a small cross, is also the symbol for the planet Venus.
  • The English language originally delineated between women in different stages of life with the terms “maiden,” “mother,” and “crone.” A maiden referred to a young girl who was unmarried, a mother referred to a woman in her child-bearing years, and a crone described a post-menopausal woman. (I sooooo love the word, “crone!”)

Biological

  • The average height of a woman in the U.S. is approximately 5 feet 4 inches, and the average weight is about 163 pounds. (I find this sad considering that the “ideal” for most women is to be 30-40 pounds less than that.)
  • There are roughly four million more women than men in the U.S. (This completely explains some of the dating issues we’ve discussed here at More Cowbell.)
  • The most common cause of death for American women is heart disease, which causes just over 27% of all mortalities in females. Cancer ranks just below, causing 22% of female deaths.
  • The probability of a woman giving birth to a baby girl instead of a baby boy increases significantly the nearer the mother lives to the equator. While the cause of this gender selection is unknown, scientists believe the constant sunlight hours and abundant food supply in tropical regions may favor female births.

Historical

  • The first Mother’s Day was held on May 10, 1908, and was organized by Anna Jarvis in West Virginia and Philadelphia. Congress designated the second Sunday in May as a national day of recognition for mothers in 1914.
  • International Women’s Day is held each year on March 8. The annual event was first observed worldwide in 1909.
  • Approximately 14% of active members in the U.S. armed forces today are women. (Thank you, Ladies!!) In 1950, women comprised less than 2% of the U.S. military.
  • The first female governor of a U.S. state was Wyoming governor Nellie Tayloe Ross, elected in 1924. Wyoming was also the first state to give women the right to vote, enacting women’s suffrage in 1869.
  • The first country to grant women the right to vote in the modern era was New Zealand in 1893.
  • According to an ancient Sumerian legend, the universe was created by a female, the goddess Tiamat. This role of a female creator is not unique, as the Australian Aboriginal creation myth also credits the creation of life to a woman.

Sexual

  • The record for the most female orgasms is 134 in one hour. (That’s what I’m talkin’ about!)
  • Because there is an increase in blood circulation around the genitals during a woman’s period, she may experience more powerful orgasms during this time. Click here to see the incredible post August McLaughlin did about the other benefits of the female cycle.
  • The word “clitoris” is Greek for “divine and goddess like.” The clitoris is present only in female mammals. It is actually approximately 4 inches long, with 3/4 of the clitoris extending inside a female’s body.
  • Women are capable of having different types of orgasms, depending on the stimulation. The clitoral orgasm is the most commonly known, often the most powerful, and the most often achieved. The second type is a vaginal orgasm. The third kind is a blended orgasm, or when a woman’s vagina and clitoris are simultaneously stimulated. Some women can also have an orgasm through kissing, nipple stimulation, or simply pressing their legs together.

**These facts came from Random Facts (I love that place!).

What else do you know about women? I’ll take all of it – be it interesting, funny, unique or sad (I left most of the sad facts out of this post). Are there things about women that have surprised or inspired you? Enquiring minds always  want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

Jenny

Double Announcement! I had a blond week moment and forgot to give out the Cowbell bumper sticker last weekend, so today I’ll award both weeks. Last week’s winner was Juli Page Morgan. This week’s winner is Renée Shuls-Jacobson.

Y’all send me your address in a direct message in Twitter and I’ll pop it into the mail when I get back from DFWCon.🙂

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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39 Responses to X is for X Chromosome: 18 Interesting Facts About Women

  1. Love this post Jenny. No idea where to start with questions and Can’t think that I know any more facts. I didn’t know most of that and not sure I needed to be reminded of the term crone😉
    Thanks for leaving out the sad ones, at this stage in AtoZ we need to stay happy!

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  2. Awesome stuff! It’s good to know women out number men. We can take over😀 muahahahaha

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  3. Whaaaaat? I won something? Shazzam! Now I’ve completely forgotten what I was going to say in my comment, I’m all jazzed up. I’ll send you my snail mail addy. And thank you.

    I think I was going to say something to the affect that, with all our GIRL POWER, we STILL don’t have an Equal Rights Amendment in our Constitution.

    The ERA, affirming the equal application of the Constitution to all persons regardless of their sex, was written in 1923 by Alice Paul, suffragist leader and founder of the National Woman’s Party. After women’s right to vote was guaranteed by the 19th Amendment in 1920, she proposed the ERA as the next necessary step in confirming “equal justice under law” for ALL citizens.

    The ERA was introduced into every Congress between 1923 and 1972, when it was passed and sent to the states for ratification. The original seven-year time limit in the ERA’s proposing clause was extended by Congress to June 30, 1982, but at that deadline, the ERA fell three states short of the 38 required to put it into the Constitution. It has been introduced into every Congress since that time. It has never passed.

    It’s been NINETY YEARS!

    We aren’t there yet, ladies.

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    • WOWZA, Renee! It’s been so long since I heard news media chatter about the ERA, I forgot we didn’t yet have it. And, no, it has nothing to do with [ick!] that Crone word.

      Way back-in-the-day, I was a secretary for an exec who managed a fleet of financial services offices. I was privy to the base salaries for all employees, and chose to do a handy spreadsheet for him on the salaries of female vs male pay levels in the management trainee ranks. I was in those numbers, btw. Totally sneaky maneuvers on my part made me the first female permitted entry into the coveted and male-only management trainee program. Anyhooooo….

      The numbers showed a huge variance in favor of males on the pay scale. The Exec took the spreadsheet and I never saw it again. I think he mumbled something about men having to support families. And, rounded it out with a comment about it being a waste of money to train women who’d likely become “housewives” one day.

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      • Even when I was hired as a teacher at a private school, a male colleague made 2K more than I did. We were both newbies. I thought it was a crock of poop. The Headmaster took away 1K from my colleague and gave it to me, telling my male colleague he had the feminists to thank for his pay cut. You can imagine what THAT did for morale!

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Fascinating, Renee! I went to the Wikipedia article and here’s what it said a little further down:

      The Republican Party included support of the ERA in its platform beginning in 1940, renewing the plank every four years until 1980.[8] The ERA was strongly opposed by the American Federation of Labor and other labor unions, who feared the amendment would invalidate protective labor legislation for women. ERA was also opposed by Eleanor Roosevelt and most New Dealers. They felt that ERA was designed for middle class women but that working class women needed government protection. They feared that ERA would undercut the male-dominated labor unions that were a core component of the New Deal coalition. The amendment was opposed by most northern Democrats, who aligned themselves with the anti-ERA labor unions but the ERA was supported by southern Democrats and almost all Republicans.[8]

      In 1944, the Democrats made the divisive step of including the ERA in their platform, but the Democratic Party did not become united in favor of the amendment until Congressional passage in 1972.[8] The main support base for the ERA until the late 1960s was among middle class Republican women. The League of Women Voters, formerly the National American Woman Suffrage Association, opposed the Equal Rights Amendment until 1972, fearing the loss of protective labor legislation. Despite this, the amendment kept in line with the views of women’s rights advocated by early feminists like Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony.

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  4. Thanks to words heard at a dinner party, I initiated a female dominated society within the walls of my WANA sell this house.

    During and since the staging process, I borrowed the line. “Honey? You don’t get a vote.”

    Control freak hubby is not happy, but he’ll survive.

    Erm. On another note — that stat about 134 orgasms in an hour? Was that in a lab? If it wasn’t, I have some letters to write to males with whom I’ve been intimate. IYKWIM. And, who was doing the counting? At a rate of two plus per minute, I suddenly have this visual of that woman shouting “one-hundred-and-one!” instead of the more traditional “Gaaaaaaah!”

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  5. It did not kill me to learn I’m a crone, but it was a hit. LOLOL! I will take the hit, though, because “crone world” is not bad. I don’t even have to go down “that” aisle in the grocery store (LOL) and I love being a grandma. I got to kiss on the babies yesterday and all I can say is bring on the crone stuff. LOLOL (As for the rest, still mulling that. Oh my. Gloria makes a great point. Who counts????)

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    • Lara says:

      My ex-husband counted for me one weekend. It came out to 44. It was really funny actually not being able to feel my knees when I tried (unsuccessfully) to walk too soon. Of course, I could have been giddy by then…

      Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Awwww, Pauline! I miss babies. Mine grew up so fast. I think it’s like this: if you’re spending time counting, you’re really not doing it right.🙂

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  6. K.B. Owen says:

    Jenny, you’re the only gal I know who can post about mother’s day and orgasms at the same time. Wowzers. Thanks for celebrating the XXers! And, sorry, I’ll never be a crone.😉

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  7. Bill Parker says:

    Wow, this is an amazing post, Jenny. Love all of it, but especially the totally-new-to-me etymological stuff.

    OMG am I a nerd. THAT’s what I found so interesting? Guess I’ve been seeing a lot of part 4 lately, getting desensitized.😉

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  8. Jane Sadek says:

    Here’s an interesting read in honor of today’s post: When God was a Woman by Merlin Stone.

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  9. Hot dog! I’m so stoked about winning a bumper sticker! I shall totally display it with pride.
    It’s interesting that all babies were called girls until the sixteenth century. Wonder who came up with the term “boy,” and why? My older brother (who wasn’t born in the fifteenth century but IS fifteen years older than I am) wore dresses when he was a baby because apparently that’s what they did to boy babies in the late 1940s. I can now tell him he’s just lucky they didn’t call him a girl!

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Yep, you were indeed my first winner.🙂

      I loved seeing those photos of the babies in their christening gowns — male AND female. It never mattered, back in the day.

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  10. amyskennedy says:

    Let’s not forget, maiden, mother, crone = Triple Godess, baby! And is used in many religions. I’m with K.B., crone is not for me, but I’ll accept the full triad!

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  11. Sisyphus47 says:

    Quietly shedding tears in his corner… is there a future for the males of the species? ;-P

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Honore, we will ALWAYS need our males. And the dudes who hang out here at More Cowbell are the kind who will change the world to celebrate women and keep them safe.🙂

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  12. tomwisk says:

    Learned a lot. Loved the post.

    Like

  13. Fascinating stuff! Thanks for sharing. And134 orgasms in one hour. Whoa. *mind is boggled*

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  14. Jess Witkins says:

    4 million to 1! Wowza! Why haven’t we taken over the world yet? Rise of the Machines, my ass! I’m talking Rise of the Women!!!

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  15. Phil says:

    Well, I just got schooled! I thought I knew a lot about woman, but now I really know. Gotta say I love the ladies! Great post!

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  16. I admire your dedication. I would have given up and called for help!

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