What follows is crude in the extreme but I think its worth repeating. I wouldn't be surprised if it still went on at present.
I was one of 3 brothers, wide age gaps between us, no sisters. Parents devout Christian, no mention EVER of such issues and because of that no knowledge either. I went to the altar a virgin and married a virgin and, although no one really believes me, I still wasn't sure that girls were 'different' than boys.
The reference to ragging has just brought out of my mind, from probably 60 years ago a phrase I heard at school. I obviously didn't know the inference then and, until now I still didn't and never even thought about it.
It was a mixed sex school (Oh what joy I missed by being ignorant) and at 'playtime' in the yard I'd hear the shouted comment "Don't go near her - she's got the jam rags up!" - it meant nothing to me - it does now, all those years later.
I said it was going to be crude. I'm less (a lot less) ignorant than I was. I don't think such a crude cruel thing should have been said then and I'd take on anyone who used a phrase like it now.
So, dear ladies of yore. I'm apologising on behalf of my schoolfellows for their insensitivity to what I recognise is an outward manifestation of womanhood which, although not always welcomed by the fair sex, is just one of the many marvels of sex and reproduction.
Before leaving this somewhat gory subject just a couple of illustrations about my parents (mainly my mother's) attitudes to such issues.
Both of our children were born at home (we had had 5 years since losing our virginity in the marriage bed to work things out). My mother, who lived nearby, said she would look after my wife after the birth. We'd agreed that I would have time off work to look after her and we said 'no thanks Mother'. Mother was distraught saying, (but not to me) 'but he won't be able to get your unmentionables (heavy duty sanitary towels)from the chemist (drug store).
Later in mother's life when she was widowed and frail she still lived nearby. Trash was disposed of in a wheeled bin kept, with others, in a communal space at the rear of the houses. There must have been a time when she discovered either sanitary towels or tampons in her bin because when she was no longer able to go outside she asked my wife, in suitably hushed tones, if she would check her bin daily to make sure no one had put 'unmentionables' in it. That would have been circa 1995 so her rigid upbringing stayed with her till 'modern' times