back to article NHS frets over Brits' genitalia

UK health portal NHS Choices has got itself into a bit of a tiz over whether or not to show unexpurgated genitalia in a forthcoming update of its interactive Body Map - an issue apparently so sensitive it has decided to put the matter to a public vote. The blurb explains: NHS Choices will soon be updating its body map with …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Think toys....

    They should ask themselves: how do toy manufacturers deal with this issue?

    Barbie is anatomically incorrect, but Action Man wears pants.

    Censoring anatomy is silly, but if you have to do it, well, I'm in the Action Man camp personally. Modesty shouldn't need to be incorrect.

  2. Michael Fletcher


    Don't go pissing off Americans, or they'll bring you democracy.

  3. Pete mcQuail

    How long

    before someone sees the togerless version of themselves, decides they are therefore deformed and undertakes DIY surgery to correct the problem?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What's the difference......

    Is it just me or do both the female pictures look the same?

    Will Paris pose for the female pic?

  5. Paul

    I just hope...

    That when counting the votes the NHS remove all no UK votes, as US prudes may well mess up the stats.

  6. TeeCee Gold badge

    "People have to accept this is the 21st century"

    Bloody hell. I had goolies in the 20th century as well. I'm upset to find out that I'm a freak and everyone else got theirs on the 1st of January 2000.

  7. Cameron Colley

    I don't see the problem here.

    It's only a computer per per...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    *coat already got*

    Like Fred Durst and his Limp Bizkit... did they do it for the nuki?

  9. Phantom Wibbler
    Paris Hilton

    Quote of the Year

    Surely the quote of the year -

    "I'm all for the genitalia" <said the vicar to the tart>

    And there's the Paris Hilton Angle!

  10. Mark

    Blurry bits?

    My vote is for the anatomically correct pics - like here:

  11. JohnG

    As the Yanks don't contribute to the NHS....

    ...they don't have to look at a potentially offensive website for free healthcare advice.

    If the NHS hopes to reduce under age pregnancy rates, maybe they should look across the Channel rather than across the Atlantic. Attitudes to nudity on the Continent are quite relaxed compared to the UK and yet they have lower teenage pregancy rates.

  12. Pete James

    Good to see this site is always first with the nudes........

    It's good to see that the NHS has got the balls to ask the public but I have a feeling they may get shafted.

    I feel a ban coming my way.........

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Puritanical bullshite

    This actually has to go to a vote? FFS. I want, nae, I demand to see cock and gash on a medically inclined website. I would like to see far more of the latter on a lot of websites, and indeed, the EeePC "chick on beach" pic that El Reg print at ever available opportunity would be far more engaging with a bit of well-kempt beaver.

  14. G Roberts


    Glad I read the bootnote, and managed to restrain myself from making the "Nuki" joke, just in the nick of time.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I more concerned about the musculature on the bloke; if my girlfriend sees that she'll put the kibosh on Christmas.

  16. Keith T
    Paris Hilton

    more spend

    Ah, nothing new here then.

    NHS spending dosh on a consultation that is just a load of bollocks.

    I'd prefer the question to be extended --

    cut or uncut?

    shaved or hairy?

    average sized knob or proportioned to make men feel better or worse.

    left handed or right handed?

    The fate of the NHS website is in our hands!

  17. Cynical Observer

    Cock Up?

    .... No Doubt, this will get blown out of all proportion.

    I'll get my scarf and gloves as well.........

  18. Les Matthew

    What a load of

    bollocks, or not as the case may be.

  19. DavCrav

    Mandatory title

    So this is the 'gonads or no nads' question?

    Personally, I think this is silly, unless we are only trying to educate people about where the heart and lungs are. How can you use an anatomically incorrect model for studying anatomy?

  20. Richard


    They should go for a model that is more in line with the population at large ie with monster love handles providing self censorship. And manboobs. And cankles.

    Gone for the penguin as at least it's a more realistic shape

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    another great plan to waste money on consultation.

  22. MishyMoshy

    Load of old cock

    The anatomically incorrect point is: why, in the words of Vic & Bob, have the figures adopted the stance of Sandi Toksvig?

  23. Tom Silver badge

    Genitals of mass distraction

    I look forward to trainee doctors seeing the opposite sex's genitalia for the first time and running screaming from the wards and being unable to treat patients with genitalia and perhaps suing them for obscenity.

    Ignore the US - they have trouble with reality full stop, trying not to offend them is a sisyphean task.

  24. The Other Steve
    Paris Hilton

    Oh FFS

    Someone at the NHS should be shot for even allowing this to go to become a serious issue, never mind putting it to a reality TV style 'public vote'.

    You can't teach anatomy or sexual health without showing pictures of todgers and the like.

    If there really are people who would be offended by this, then tough shit, they deserve to be offended. In fact they deserve to be pilloried and ridiculed, pointed and laughed at in the street, and followed around by naked dwarf smurf impersonators until they are cured of their hallucinations of a Victorian morality that never existed in the first place.


    (Paris, because she knows the score on this issue)

  25. Spleen

    Why stop there?

    If we're going to censor the naughty bits we may as well put the woman in a burqa. Either you pander to all sensitivities about the human body, including the minority who believe that the entire female form is sinful, or you don't pander to them at all.

  26. john mann
    Paris Hilton

    Get yer kit orf....

    Well really. With just about every TV programme adding to the UK w@nkfest with the obligatory and grauitous sex scene, what's a few dummies in the buff?

  27. Rob Aley

    I've place my vote

    It's almost beyond belief that the NHS should even contemplate censoring educational material, but I've just voted anyway. I included the comments :

    I support a fully detailed body map

    It's an educational resource. By censoring the images you are implying that there is something wrong or shameful about genitals, which clearly isn't true. You will loose credibility as an impartial reliable source of accurate information, people will wonder what else isn't accurate on the website.

  28. Pete James
    Dead Vulture

    Typical NHS, behind the times again.

    Second Life has had anatomically correct models for ages. What's more, they can move and do all sorts of things. With each other if you want.

    And the females have hair.

  29. Lee
    Thumb Up

    wedding tackle?

    My vote goes to Full Monty.

    Is there any difference on the woman, i couldn't tell.

    if it was good enough for Michelangelo then it HAS to be good enough for the NHS.

  30. robert

    Another case of PC gone mad...

    Gosh, people really do need to get a grip (so to speak) - it's a human body, and in this context it most certainly isn't pornographic, so what's the problem?? And don't get me started on those bloody US neo-conservative prudes that believe the world is only 6000 years old...

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Show it all

    A medical resource should only be allowed to show reality.

    No pixellating or hiding bits which may offend a few people.

    Just for fun they should include full footage of surgical procedures as well.

    The Paris angle? I used to look like the guy on the left, now I look like Paris.

  32. Anonymous Coward


    Its a medical reference, it should be as realistic, physically correct as can be!!!

    FFS what are these people on?

  33. Ishkandar

    @Rob Aley

    This is exactly what Big Brotherism is about. By censoring the educational material, they can control the deliberately unthinking peasants !!

    BTW, is that Prof. Gray in any way related to the author of that most famous of all anatomy books - Gray's Anatomy !!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I love the public sector, it lets me feel so superior

    The spineless management are asking the public for advice.....

    On whether on not to make "anatomically correct" a rendered polygon mesh, idealised representation of a human?

    Surely warning signs need adding too; "Do not touch the exhibits."

    Have you noticed how provocative the Queen's head is on a 5p piece ? Truly shocking !

  35. Anthony Chambers
    Thumb Down

    His & Hers

    Personally, if they're giving the dude a body that most women expect in a man then the least they can do is give her some good boobs. Jesus!

  36. Justin Case

    QUOTE: "Strong Internal Advocates"

    Shurly it's the Weak External bits!

    <coat donned, door already flapping>

  37. Michael

    Will Gordon promise us a referendum on this issue?

    I think that we deserve to be told.

    In the mean time I'm just popping out for my constitutional.........

  38. John


    That one word sums it up.

    Its a health site, of course the models should be intact with all their bits. I have kids and can fully imagine that the actual lack of a willy would be more puzzling and create more questions than if it was just there in the first place!

    Crivens, if they remove them off one section of the site, surely any further educational material featuring dangly bits and the like will have to be removed, give the righteous an inch and they take a mile :[

  39. Niall Campbell

    Sounds like a load of old cobblers to me!

    Coats on....

    Door's opening...

    Im gone.......

  40. archie lukas

    Its all down to the issue

    Whether to have faggots in gravy

    or in song

    same same prudish idiots

    As for the American prudes, isn;t that the home of the largest sex movie studios in the world?


  41. Colin Dines

    a balanced diet

    ... which the NHS should be advocating ... should always include meat and two veg ...

  42. Steve Sutton
    Black Helicopters

    Quick, somebody tell OFCOM the vote is rigged.....

    For those who don't know, the voting is done by email (a mailto: link in the page). Here's what happened next:-


    This is the Postfix program at host <my-mail-host>.

    I'm sorry to have to inform you that your message could not be

    be delivered to one or more recipients. It's attached below.

    For further assistance, please send mail to <postmaster>

    If you do so, please include this problem report. You can

    delete your own text from the attached returned message.

    The Postfix program

    <>: connect to[]:

    Connection timed out

  43. Steve Sutton
    Coat, hang on, don't head off to your bunker yet, I'm an idiot!

    No really, I sent my vote from my company 'internal' email account!

    Hey, c'mon, It's the last week before Christmas, I disengaged my brain some time ago.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Just make a bloody decision!

    Call me sexist but I suspect those behind the decision to consult lack a few anatomically correct bits themselves....

  45. PathFinderMMX
    Gates Horns

    don't let this "hang" around

    we americans are very modest, and genitals scare us. on the other hand, we have no problem looking at said genitals IF they have been blown up or shot off....... a vote for no pixilation is a vote for work friendly porn imo

  46. b166er

    Removing the genitals

    may affect the sensibilities of sluts and faggots.

    At least the NHS asked us first, I'm all for putting things to a public vote, true democracy in action.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    This *is* the 21st century isn't it?

    They have computers a thousand times more powerful than those that calculated the orbit of the Apollo XI spacecraft to get it safely to and from the moon. I'd have thought they should be able to do *BOTH* with and without genitalia versions without too much trouble; and make it a user preference choice when being viewed.

    Let's face it if they can do this stuff in games, GTA (hot coffee anyone?), then the NHS should be able to also. Child's play in fact.

  48. shane fitzgerald

    If you ask me?


  49. Anonymous Coward

    you guys are all nuts.

    Who cares -- it's a medical site anyway.

    Don't be calling me a yank over this.

  50. Tim Brown

    First and foremost

    it is a health site. They have a duty to use anatomically correct models.

    What if a boy wants to know more about how the penis and testicles work? What will he be shown when he zooms in to see a labelled diagram? Same goes for girls.

    Imagine the boy...

    clicks on the website

    has a closer look

    checks inside his trousers

    screams because he's got all these weird lumpy bits which the computer says he shouldn't have...

    Seriously, with all the smut already available it seems stupid to censor a scientific, medical info site. Keep it clinical, and you'll be fine.

  51. Anonymous Coward

    It's those bloody "NHS managers" again!

    Things seem to have been heading this way ever since the politicos realised they could save some money by handing control of the NHS from those highly educated medical types to a polit bureau of ignorant twats (if you'll forgive the irony). Still, looks like they'll soon have us all as ignorant as themselves, so we won't know the difference.

  52. Stewart Haywood

    To paraphrase the good book.........

    If thy genitals offend thee, lop 'em off!

  53. J

    You mean...

    "Just for fun they should include full footage of surgical procedures as well."

    You mean surgical procedures to the "controversial" areas?

    Because if you just mean general ones, then all you need to do is watch the Discovery Health Channel here in the US. Unbelievable the stuff they show...

  54. Francis Boyle

    Is the 'hot rod' joke banned as well?

    If not I'll be right on it.

  55. Anonymous Coward

    if we don't show it ...

    ... we can't talk about it. NHS Choices is about giving the public as much information as possible so they can manage their healthcare. The bits that people know least about / are most worried about are the 'embarrassing' bit ... get those genitals on show and start talking about it

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a bigger fundemental question...

    surely in this day of racial equality they should also be offering models from different races? or has the uk suddenly become 100% white overnight?

    also whats wrong with a simple start page option to show either the natural or mutilated version?

    and finally, as breast feeding is still viewed as a sick shocking display of public vulgarity on some parts of the country shouldn't the female model be subject to a double mastectomy in the name of decency?

  57. Vi James

    Let it all hang out - please!

    As a brotherless child (I'm now in 60's) - and having looked at a simple dictionary) - I decided that a "foreskin" was the vine leaf thingy that I'd seen on pictures of classical statuary!

    It was a long time before I learned better.


  58. mX

    STD no more!

    Excellent! The NHS has found the solution to get rid of Sexually transmitted diseases... chopping it all off!!!

    How about removing genitals as soon as baby males are born? Oh I shouldn't have said that, NHS might take this idea seriously...

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What's more worrying is...

    ...that the NHS is employing people that would even need to debate this and moreover some that think a anatomically inaccurate representation is the way to go. Clearly anyone offended by that never washes either because they might scare themselves when they look between their legs.

  60. bruce hyman


    gee, mine look EXACTLY like the picture on the right!

  61. Martin Lyne

    The Americans in question..

    ..would probably find the idea of a "National Health Service" far more insulting than the genitalia which we all have (at least) one of.

    The UK Government could be spending those tax-pounds on waging war!

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shaven slaphead ?

    The bloke on the right looks as if he is in the early stages of willie disappearance brought on by not replying to certain Nigerian scam emails. And is pubic hair now anatomically incorrect ?

  63. Peter Mellor

    Wot no hair? Wot no balls?

    The models depicted have no body hair, or even head hair, at all!

    What is this supposed to mean?

    Head hair (length, style, etc.) is a cultural matter.

    Facial hair (beard, moustache, etc.) is cultural, but also genetic (e.g., native Americans and South American tribes do not grow facial hair). Chest hair and some other bits of hair vary between races.

    I *think* we (common humanity) all have armpit hair and pubic hair (apart from young ladies currently living in London, who have neither, apart from, possibly, a "Brazilian landing strip").

    If the NHS is so tortured about showing a realistic depiction of the human genitalia in what is supposed to be an anatomically correct diagram, why don't they just cover everyone's embarrassment with a merkin*?

    This is utterly pathetic and contemptible. If they really want a good representative example of the English male genitalia, contact my manager.

    (* Look it up on Google, you lazy sods! :-)

  64. Pow79

    Its the IT contractors that have the problem

    This will have nothing to do with what the NHS thinks and a lot to do with whoever the contractors are (perhaps Americans?).

    I have worked in several NHS organisations and if somebody mentioned blurring out 'offensive' bits of the human body they would be laughed out of the job. The NHS employs large numbers of people to deal with sexual health issues most of whom carry around a variety of life sized penis dummies (in a variety of skin colours) and litter the place with condoms like confetti at a wedding so I can't see anybody worrying about a few wobbly bits in a cartoon mockup of the body.

  65. This post has been deleted by its author

  66. Henry Wertz

    Why not both?

    Why not have both? Have the "full monty" link and the "other" link both. So, if people are like in some classroom where they are supposed to be learning about heart & lungs, they won't get all distracted and be all like "woohoo, look at that wang!" whereas people who want the full version can still get it.

    I live in the US, and am bothered by the prudishness of people here -- I'd say for certain the full version should be on there.. it's an anatomy site after all. So if it really is only one or the other, I'd say the full version.

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