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The Case for Teaching Kids 'Vagina,' 'Penis,' and 'Vulva' - Page 3

post #41 of 59
Originally Posted by tittipeitto View Post

 

Can this discussion now evolve to, WHAT we teach about them. If we say vagina must be kept private, and don't let our kids see us naked, aren't we still sending the same message?

 

I come from Europe, and there my kids run around naked all the time, here I hear people talk how their 3 year old is STILL not aware of what is appropriate, and opens the door to guests in his underware. ...!!! I mean, aren't you sending the same damn message, that your private parts are bad even at age 3 and even if they are covered, just not covered in enough layers. 

 

I see the answering the door as a matter of drawing boundaries between public and private. That can be taught without making a child shameful. My 3yo used to answer the door naked...i didnt think it was a big deal.  

 

 

 as for letting  the children see us naked, that depends on the family, In our family we are naked or scantily dressed, and that is what my children are used to. I cant imagine having to worry about my own child seeing me naked when i step out of the shower, not to mention, there goes the possibility of having showers together...

post #42 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplerose View Post
 

I remember once my little kids playing in the sprinklers at my inlaw's, and I had no changes of clothes(it was a last-minute idea) so I just let my 18 month old play nude...everyone acted like it was very weird!

They are weird if you ask me.  I have done the same.

post #43 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

I tend to agree with the 'not getting uptight' over vagina/vulva distinction. I grew up with 'vagina'. What about 'clitoris'?  Its also visible...The fact is, female genitalia  is  more complicated that male, and therefore there are more parts to it. I dont need to go into every detail with my daughter (or son) Just a functioning word that is more or less accurate (as is vagina, even though it refers to the inside part rather than the outiside visible part) When you say 'penis' to a boy, he understands that thing he sees, that he pees with, that feels good when he touches,  that must be kept private etc.  But for a girl, you have to use so many different words, why not vagina? Vulva is also good and more accurate when describing the visible part, but not so much the part that she 'feels'.

 

Also, 'vulva' is an ugly word, 'vagina' sounds so much nicer.

 

However, having been alerted myself to the strict scientific differences between  vag and vulv, i  teach my kids the  strictly correct words.(still dont like the word 'vulva')

 

 

 

My sister, 40yrs old, pregnant with her first child, and doing lots of research on childbirth, surprised me by her ignorance of the word 'perinium'.  Do you tech your kids the word 'perinium'? I bet those who get uptight about the vulv/vag issue dont  ....

 

(Shocking the story about the cookie)

 

I agree! 'vulva', 'vagina', 'scrotum' just sound ugly to me... I don't even like to use them in a sentence, not because of what they're describing, just because of the sound that they make... I also think the words 'pregnant', 'placenta', 'uvula', etc just sound gross... I can still remember in grade school, kids freaking eachother out saying "your uvula is showing!" so it can't just be me...

 

I think it's important for kids to know proper words for things, but outside of that conversation, you can't make me use them! :) 

post #44 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escaping View Post

I agree! 'vulva', 'vagina', 'scrotum' just sound ugly to me... I don't even like to use them in a sentence, not because of what they're describing, just because of the sound that they make... I also think the words 'pregnant', 'placenta', 'uvula', etc just sound gross... I can still remember in grade school, kids freaking eachother out saying "your uvula is showing!" so it can't just be me...

I think it's important for kids to know proper words for things, but outside of that conversation, you can't make me use them! smile.gif 

See, I'm in the minority here. I think vulva and labia sound fine and used them with my children of both genders. Vagina as an all encompassing word is so WRONG. It's like saying you are wearing your innards on the outside. It gives me squicky vibes when I hear folks using the wrong language for private parts.
post #45 of 59

I think "scrotum" is a hilarious word, personally. 

post #46 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

I think "scrotum" is a hilarious word, personally. 
When I was a kid, our neighbours had a very hard to pronounce name similar to "scrotum". We just called them "the Scrotums" lol (not to their face of course).
I think 'testicles' sound kinda funny and 'ovaries' sound cute... lovely actually. They should switch 'ovary' with 'vagina' then I would have no problem referring to my vajayjay by its proper name. smile.gif
post #47 of 59

Agreed. I think the word 'ovary' is lovely. 'Scrotum', quite ugly. Vagina...well, i like Opera's suggestion 'VJJ'. 

post #48 of 59

Interesting post (I would have never suspected semantics would be of interest on a "mommy" site)...but a couple of points...

 

Most of the folks have the correct spelling for the anatomical parts and most have them generally in the correct physical location, but to be factually correct, a vagina is not visible to the casual observer nor can it be viewed by its owner unless squatting over a mirror.

 

"Vulva" is the more inclusive, but still doesn't cover all her external parts, for example her mons veneris.  Try the word "pudendum" (singular) or "pudenda" (plural, and more commonly used)...but be forewarned, many in the medical community wouldn't know, or even use, the word, finding it too imprecise.

 

But I like it..it covers everything, just as "cookie" does for the little girl in an earlier post.

 

"Pudenda"...say the word out loud a few times.   ---and many of you found "scrotum" a screamer.

post #49 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordius View Post

 

"Vulva" is the more inclusive, but still doesn't cover all her external parts, for example her mons veneris.  Try the word "pudendum" (singular) or "pudenda" (plural, and more commonly used)...but be forewarned, many in the medical community wouldn't know, or even use, the word, finding it too imprecise.

 

After researching "pudendum" I would never use it.  Here it is from Wikipedia:

 

 

Quote:
For example, the term pudendum, which denotes the external genitalia, literally means "shameful thing".

 

Yeah.... no thanks.

post #50 of 59
I actually read the pudenda word for the first time in Wild, a book by Cheryl Strayed. I was shocked that first, she used a word I didn't know... I'm a huge word nerd.. and then upset that she choose such a word over vulva or labia or the general term "mound".
post #51 of 59

Blech.... "mound" and "pedendum" (even before I knew the definition) sound icky too... This is why I could never read those romantic "ladies" novels... every time I'd get to one of these words I'd get itchy. 

post #52 of 59

You would be amazed at how the intellect continues to function, even after pushing a baby through the vagina....  ( i believe i got that right :-))

 

Someone once said they preferred  to use the term 'birth canal'.  Not sure why.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gordius View Post

Interesting post (I would have never suspected semantics would be of interest on a "mommy" site)...but a couple of points...

 

 

post #53 of 59
This thread makes me think of "frank and beans" from There's Something About Mary.

A pp said that kids aren't taught inaccurate terms for other body parts, but that's not really true. Many kids are taught "tummy" to refer to the entire abdominal area. "My tummy (or even stomach) hurts" is often vague and could refer to stomach, intestines, or even appendix. We use other vague terms. "Mouth" may refer to lips, tongue, gums, etc. There's nothing wrong with not being super exact terminology sticklers all the time, but an educated child would be able to narrow it down when specifically asked.

I plan to teach my son the terms "testicles" and "penis" and will certainly make sure he knows their meanings, but realistically, I'm sure I'll also say peener, balls, etc. because, well, I just like the word peener :-P. No different than saying noggin, piggies, kisser, paws, or any other pet name we have for our bodies. As long as he knows the real terms, I don't find anything wrong with it.

Besides "sex talks" that do use the correct terms, I also plan to explicitly teach my son about right and wrong touch from a very early age and onward. Regular talks about sex organs in a developmentally appropriate manner is a priority for me. First step is identification of our body parts and knowing exactly what they're called - whether it's penis or lower intestine. Casually though, nicknames are okay.

I also don't believe that cookie story. That has urban legend written all over it. The point though, is that kids should learn when it's necessary to use proper terms, like around doctors and teachers. Totally get that.
post #54 of 59

My sister, who died at three...called it her "pocketbook"..."Cookie" doesn't seem that far fetched to me and being a daddy/grand-daddy (so you aren't confused as to where I am coming from), I sort of like it.  "Out of the mouth of babes..."  gk
 

post #55 of 59

I am not even going close to your word "itchy"...and I don't read "those romantic ladies novels" either.  Thanks for the input.  gk

post #56 of 59

Sorry, I didn't catch that "new mama" addendum at the bottom of your post...So what was it?  An occasion for cigars or for donuts? gk

post #57 of 59

Hi word-nerd...never heard that assonant before.  Thanks...I can use it.  One of the courses I had in Pre-Med was "Greek and Latin Medical Derivations...Proud to say I aced it.  I've got Strayed's "Wild'" in my corner heap of books, I going to...want to...read but tell me, did you enjoy It and, my goodness, where and how did she use "pudenda"? gk

post #58 of 59

OK, fair enough...but should you be interested, the word "pudendum" derives from the Latin gerund, pudere, to be ashamed.  It is word from the very prudish Victorians. One would never use the word even obliquely in polite conversation. It would be too shameful to admit that such an area even existed on the female body.  I didn't realize such squeamishness would still be extant in these Internet Times.  gk
 

post #59 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ISISandOSIRIS View Post
A pp said that kids aren't taught inaccurate terms for other body parts, but that's not really true. Many kids are taught "tummy" to refer to the entire abdominal area. "My tummy (or even stomach) hurts" is often vague and could refer to stomach, intestines, or even appendix. 

Ugh, I'm definitely avoiding this with my kid. When I was a teenager, I had a conflict with a school nurse who didn't understand kid-speak medical terminology and refused to provide me medicine for my terrible "stomach" pain. (Although if you have abdominal pain, I don't know how you're supposed to pinpoint exactly which organ it is, so why the heck would a medical professional just assume that it was definitely whichever organ you guessed? This wasn't the only time this nurse was obnoxious, but....)

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