Edited by SweetSilver - 5/29/11 at 7:06pm
the urethra exits in the same relative spot on a girl's anatomy as it does on a boy's. The "sticky outey thing" on the front part of her genitalia--vulva in our house--basically includes clitoris and urethra. we have not yet taken mirror or diagram to point out the precise location of every part. My DD's question was about peeing, not masturbation, and peeing is what concerns her every day. When the time comes to pull out a diagram, I'm sure that we can break it all down into parts. In our house that has not come up.
I didn't feel it was necessary to mention, but not including this confused some of you, and I see that, so here goes:
We use the term "vulva" in our house. (I am not arguing with mamas who have other names. We are comfortable using that term, that is why.) My post was merely referring to the area in question "that stickey-outey thing" or "that knobby bit". We have discussed labia and the vagina, esp. when learning why we wipe front to back. The subject also comes up when we discuss my period (girls are 6 and 4, and I don't battle over bathroom privacy.) In and out of the shower I am naked and comfortable and they have asked about pubic hair and body hair and breasts and nipples and I have responded frankly (have any mamas of little ones achieved shower privacy yet?)
My own mother threw a box of tampons at me and stomped away red-faced.
My girls are not learning embarrassment or shame about their bodies, and I think ALL the mamas chiming in here have the same wish. (I am most definitely mentioning "Power Bundle" to them when they are a bit older!)
All that said, I have not had the need to discuss more than the subject of pee.... masturbation, oddly enough, has not come up as a topic or question yet. So I give them the word for that part of the front of the vulva as urethra.
Here's the poser. Many mamas are comparing penis/ clitoris and the perceived consensus is that they are basically the same at a primal level, esp. before sex differentiates in the womb and is merely encoded in DNA. The penis has a urethra. The urethra in a penis is for peeing and ejaculating. Therefore, the penis is for peeing. What I am hearing now from some of you is that the clitoris is NOT for peeing, that the urethra is separate (haven't checked the diagram link. Thanks, I will get to that.)
Therefore, it seems that it is NOT agreed by everyone that the clitoris is exactly analogous to a penis.
PHEW! Guess what? My girls don't know yet that is a thumb is not a finger but properly a "digit", nor that what they innocently call the "ankle" actually refers to a complex arrangement of many, many bones each with their own name. We'll learn the names of all those one day, too, when the subject arises.
Whoops. Screwy computer. Correct post above. Post#81 was a piece of the post I was planning on, but somehow lost, couldn't find, and apparently got posted only in part even though i didn't click on "submit". Posted above was a few minutes later, and after i assembled my thoughts while making dinner.
eh I don't see the difference. clitoris tissue and penis tissue are the same. I see your point that they are both initially a clitoris - one stops there and another keeps going. But I don't see that it's wrong to say that It's equally true that penises are big clitorises and clitorises are little penises. Is there any clarification you can offer to help me understand why both can't be true?
Both CAN be true, for you. In terms of biology the clitoris is what is there initially, originally. It might or might not develop into a penis, depending on genetic sex and other factors (a genetically male baby whose body does not respond to male hormones, for example, will develop into a female with testes in the location where ovaries would be). To me that's significant. To you it might not be. Likewise the fact that penises are for urination, reproduction and eliciting orgasm whereas a clitoris is only for eliciting orgasm is significant to me. To you it might not be. But i think it is, and i want my daughters to know that.
Perhaps there is more variation in anatomy than I thought? Because my urethra is very definitely not part of the "sticky-outy bit" at the front of the vulva. It's in the middle, about halfway between the clitoris and the vagina, and feels like a spongy area.
I would lastly like to add that what we call a "little girl vulva" is different in size than a "mama vulva" (how we differentiate between mine with pubic hair and their's not). Quite a bit different! And their experience of how close things are in relation to what is quite different. Locations and sizes and placement feels different with fingers than what you see in the mirror when you look.
Honestly, the last time I looked in the mirror was post-partum checking on some hot-feeling stitches. AAAAH! The mirror was shining light UP my vagina and I have honestly been scared to look again! So I judge my own anatomy by touch, and what I wrote reflects my experience. I'm sure sometime soon it will be time to pull out a diagram (one not drawn by me, and that indeed includes the clitoris). And we'll all learn a thing or two, we three girls.
And what about that book for the younger set? Still looking for the right one...
As a woman who uses labia and vagina and clitoris all correctly....
When I was preggo with DS I swore that my vagina hurt....not labia, vagina. Went to my MW to find that it was actually my left labia hurting (thanks to a mega varacose vein). So, even when one goes to the doctor complaining of '____' hurting and they know their anatomy, they can still be wrong.
As a mama to a son I must say....I'd like to strangle the person that started calling testicles 'balls'. Arg!!!! Hate it!!
As for as book recomendations....I''d go with a drawing or a handheld mirror and just have mama tell kiddo each part they touched/pointed to.