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Penis Anatomical Position

Penis Anatomical Position

Ok, I have never understood why we use the terms we use in reference to penile anatomy positional relationships.

This is what I mean: so the VENTRAL side of the penis is the bottom of it where your corpus spongiosum is, and the DORSAL side is the top of it where the tops of the corpus cavernosa, the dorsal vein, and the dorsal nerve are located.

Anatomical position is defined as standing upright, palms facing forward (anteriorly, wrists supinated), feet flat on the floor and parallel, head and eyes facing forward.

Ventral means towards the front of the body, dorsal means towards the back of the body.

So in the anatomical position I suppose the penis would be hanging flaccid with the glans pointed at the floor. In that instance the positional terms would be reversed as the CS is facing the back of the body and the dorsal vein is facing the front of the body. Even if the penis was erect, the dorsal vein would be on the superior side and the CS would be on the inferior side. The only position where dorsal and ventral would be used correctly is if the penis was pointing straight up at the ceiling, and this doesn’t seem like a standard anatomical position for the penis.

When we talk about animals that walk on four legs, or six legs, or eight legs, or slither on no legs, etc. we refer to the underside as ventral, but the penis is not an animal. Though it does resemble a snake… :)

Anyway, anyone with basic knowledge of anatomy please feel free to chime in on this, because I am quite confused at the moment on this one.

Roots

You’ve got it exactly. The animal world influences human anatomy on this one. Think of a shark. Dorsal fin is on the back (upper) side, the vent (where sharks pee, poop, and bone from) is on the ventral side (the bottom.) Other animals have vents too, but that’s outside of our scope here. So apparently when the great brilliant brainiacs who came up with all the anatomical descriptions were describing the penis they did so with a horizontal orientation in mind.

This type of thing is easy to get wrapped up in. Dorsal comes from Latin dorsum, meaning back. Makes sense right? But the pulse you can feel on the top of your foot is called dorsalis pedis (back of the foot.) but isn’t the top of the foot on the front of the body?

Leave it to a genius to confuse everybody.


Greetings, Starfighter! You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada.

Ya I figured it was a carry-over from animals. Although the vent (cloaca) of birds, reptiles, amphibians, some fish, and monotremes (who are the coolest animals) is only coincidentally on the ventral side. Ventral is from the Latin venter (belly) and, I had to look this part up, vent is from the old French word esventer (to blow out). My duck has a ventral vent. :)

The foot was a good example, I forgot about the dorsalis pedis artery.

Anatomists are so concerned with having a common frame of reference, but then they do something like this and decide frame of reference doesn’t matter in certain structures. Weak sauce.

Not sure what the confusion is. Just learn the conventions as it relates to human anatomy and it is consistent. But to keep it relevant here, this forum is anatomy related so medical terms are handy to know. Now class, review medial, lateral, sagittal, transverse, coronal…

Quiz next week ;)

Really integrating about the vent!


Greetings, Starfighter! You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada.

Originally Posted by Ectospasm
Not sure what the confusion is. Just learn the conventions as it relates to human anatomy and it is consistent. But to keep it relevant here, this forum is anatomy related so medical terms are handy to know. Now class, review medial, lateral, sagittal, transverse, coronal…

Quiz next week ;)

I don’t think it is consistent though. When we talk ventral/dorsal as it relates to most of anatomical position, the terms are synonymous with anterior/posterior, respectively. But when we are talking about the penis or foot in the horizontal (transverse) position, ventral/dorsal are synonymous to inferior/superior, respectively.

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