North East Connected

Breaking the taboo on your bits and bobs


An evening in which science laid bare parts of the human body we rarely discuss has been hailed a success.

More than 100 visitors attended ‘Bits and Bobs: The Anatomy of Sex’ event held at Fire Station in Sunderland City Centre as part of a global celebration of anatomy.

The event offered a unique opportunity to learn about the structure, function, development, history and significance of our genitourinary and pelvic anatomy, ‘Bits and Bobs’ is part of a series of events taking place in the build-up to World Anatomy Day on October 15.

Visitors were able to learn about the anatomy from experts based at the University of Sunderland and Newcastle University in a fun, relaxed and inclusive environment.

There was a range of exciting and interactive stations and activities to take part in which included:  ‘X and Y: Sex and Why?’, ‘Hips Don’t Lie’, ‘Menstruation Station’, Neurobiology: Sex on the Brain’ and ‘Talking Terminology’.

Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of University of Sunderland gave an opening address and welcomed visitors to the event.

World Anatomy Day honours the work of Andreas Vesalius the father of anatomy and marks the anniversary of his death on October 15, 1564. The anniversary is an occasion to celebrate the discipline of anatomy and to make countries around the world aware of its important role in training health science professionals.

Professor of Anatomy at the University of Sunderland School of Medicine, Debs Patten, who helped deliver sessions at the event, said: “It was fantastic to host this event at the Fire Station and to see so many people enjoying the evening. Understanding your own anatomy helps you to understand and manage your own health and that was our mission here really. This is especially important for those areas of the body that can be difficult or embarrassing to talk about! There were a whole range of activities from clay modelling, virtual reality activities to guest speakers and there was a great buzz of activity all evening. We are looking forward to our next big event at the Fire Station which is a family day”.

Also attending the event from Newcastle University is Emily Green, Lecturer in Anatomy. She said: “Sunderland’s hosting of ‘Bits and Bobs: The Anatomy of Sex’ was a wonderful evening of relaxed, enjoyable and creative learning all about pelvic and genitourinary anatomy.

“It was fantastic to see the event come to life for the second-year running. Attendees from many different backgrounds came along, and everyone seemed to learn something new!

“There was a lovely atmosphere of inclusivity; I particularly appreciated the involvement of experts able to facilitate discussions around gender and gender terminology. The evening certainly fulfilled its aims and was really successful in tackling traditionally taboo topics in a fun and informative way.”

The World Anatomy event on Sunday, October 15, is open to families of all ages, and explores the fascinating structure of the human body.

The University of Sunderland in partnership with Newcastle and Teesside Universities, hosts this fun-filled anatomy event at The Fire Station.

The event features stands with plenty of hands-on activities to take part in. There will also be a variety of stage shows, with demonstrations by the region’s leading experts in the fields of science, education and health, showcasing how anatomy works.

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