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What name do you use for private parts?

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

This is a question that came up recently in discussion with friends. Lots of people seem to avoid the straightforward terms and go for something silly or cute like wee wee. I also learned that  "fanny" is offensive in the UK. It also seems that many people seem embarrassed to use terms like vagina and penis. So, my question is what do you use? 

post #2 of 38
We used terms like vulva, penis, vagina to name those parts when DD was learning the correct names for boys and girls parts. Now we typically use slang but she also knows the actual names.
post #3 of 38
Similar to what one_girl said. I will use the correct terms educationally and if there's something specific that needs to be addressed, but otherwise I have been very general, as in "don't touch your bottom in public" or "wipe your bottom" where "bottom" could refer to any part of the privates.
post #4 of 38
Vulva, labia, penis and scrotum were fine for us. Yes, it leads to odd looks in the supermarket when your kid blurts out something but oh well, that's life with kids.


BTW, vagina is inaccurate in its use for raising children. One needs to talk about a vagina in terms of sex or childbearing... not in diapering or changing clothes. It upsets me when moms think they are teaching their kids "correct" terms when they in fact are teaching their kids incorrectly.
post #5 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

BTW, vagina is inaccurate in its use for raising children. One needs to talk about a vagina in terms of sex or childbearing... not in diapering or changing clothes. It upsets me when moms think they are teaching their kids "correct" terms when they in fact are teaching their kids incorrectly.

 

Very true. Vagina is commonly and inaccurately used as a general word referring to the female private parts.  nod.gif It doesn't upset me but I see your point. 

post #6 of 38
I totally agree with you about the misuse of "vagina", Philomom. It grates on my nerves and upsets me. I have a two year old so I'm still working on what I'll go with but it certainly won't be "vagina".
post #7 of 38

We use the correct names for genitals here, but DS seems mostly uninterested. The only one he uses is penis.

post #8 of 38

I use crotch, which I know isn't the most lovely word, but it's general and gender neutral, so I feel like it works well in most everyday situations (i.e. "Wipe your crotch!")  My DD (3) knows that boys and girls crotches are different, that she has a vulva and boys have a penis.  I think I've throws "urethra" out there at some point when she's asked where the pee comes out.  I'm sure she doesn't remember that one, though.  I haven't found a reason to mention "vagina" yet.  I mean, it just doesn't come up.  I'm guessing I should just call her attention to it and teach it to her at some point.  Sigh.  Private part names are so annoying to me. Why don't we have appropriate, correct common names for them instead of having to use Latin or whatever?  Personal rant over. 

post #9 of 38
Newmamalizzy I like crotch. It may well end up being my go to word. I wish there was a less abrasive synonym though too
post #10 of 38

I use "labia" for external female genitalia. Penis for boys, unless we're talking about some other part. I've used crotch as a general term.

post #11 of 38

Penis

Vagina

Vulva etc

post #12 of 38
I haven't taught my kids the proper words but it's because I dislike the terms listed, they're too technical to me. Out of all of them, I absolutely hate saying vulva. I think it's how the Vs feel coming out of my mouth. I'd much rather call it the mons. It's like having a child say abdominus recti instead of simply stomach or belly. So yeah crotch might be good for me.

ETA: sorry Newmamalizzy, just reread the thread and saw you already mentioned the whole Latin thing. What's that saying about great minds?
post #13 of 38

Penis, vulva.  My son, 5.5 years, also knows many of his other "parts", foreskin, glans, urethra, scrotum, testes, and anus.  My daughter, 3.5, knows vulva, urethra, vagina, and sometimes clitoris.

post #14 of 38
Penis and vulva here. She hasn't asked but, when she does we will use vagina, scrotum etc.

I also use bottom as a collective term for day to day things ie "wipe your bottom"

DH and I are both nurses though so she knows lots of body parts and calls the crook of her elbow her cubital fossa so we are a bit nerdy in this area.

ETA - this question gets asked about every 6 months on here and this time I'm going to try really hard not to get into an argument about vulva vs vagina.
post #15 of 38
I'm one of those annoying moms who just teaches her daughter "vagina" as a collective term. I feel this is good enough until she's older and more interested in the specific parts. This is how i was taught (i knew "vagina" and then around the time i reached puberty i became interested in the specific parts, labia majora and minora, urethra, etc). If i ever have a boy, we will teach him "penis" and "testicles" until he's older and more interested in his specific parts.
post #16 of 38

"Vulva" here, unless I am being more specific.

 

Mainly the reason I posted is because I'm reading "Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing" by Melissa Mohr, and the first chapter is all about ancient Rome.  Apparently all the words being mentioned (and many, many more) were considered obscene at that time.  It took Latin dying and eventually being used by the educated (men, usually, especially in the case of words for genitalia) for these words to be resurrected as "proper" terms without any obscene connotations.  

 

Fun book.  

post #17 of 38

Shamefully I'm a vagina user.  I know it's wrong, but it was a habit I could never break.  No worries though dd prefers "business" for all of it.  Front business and back business if she feels the need to be specific.  

post #18 of 38

I was raised to say "vulva" and "penis" and that is what I'm teaching my daughter. She just turned 2 and knows that she has a vulva and Mommy has a vulva but Daddy has a penis. She has reached a stage where she will volunteer obvious information about her own and other people's body parts ("Mommy have feet", "Baby have eyes", etc.) so I figure it's just a matter of time before she makes such a statement about genitals, but oh well. I'll probably use "private parts" once we get to the stage where she understands better that you can call the same thing by more than one term. It surprises me that some people refer to the genitals as "bottom". I never ran across that usage and really did not understand why the nurses at the hospital wanted to "check my bottom" postpartum. I think in a medical setting a more accurate term should be used. But that's kind of off-topic. 

post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamalisa View Post

Shamefully I'm a vagina user.  I know it's wrong, but it was a habit I could never break.  No worries though dd prefers "business" for all of it.  Front business and back business if she feels the need to be specific.  

It is not shameful to teach "vagina" as a collective term. Why everyone harps on that particular term, i dont know. There are lot of other terms out there that really do not help educate. Vagina is very benign when it communicate a girl's genitalia. No, it doesn't teach everything, but neither does "vulva" and i know of several mothers who only teach that term. Also, when they are very young, there is not as much of a need for them to know all of the medical terminology. Neither vulva nor vagina are everything when it comes to female genitalia and used together they still do not pinpoint all of the parts. Its like teaching someone that they have an arm and a hand, ignoring the fingers, wrist, elbow, shoulder, forearm and upper arm. So either one or both is not doing female genitalia justice. Also, kids will take an interest when they're ready. It truly is enough to teach them a basic collective term and then when they're older they will naturally take a stronger interest.
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimordialMind View Post

It is not shameful to teach "vagina" as a collective term. Why everyone harps on that particular term, i dont know. There are lot of other terms out there that really do not help educate. Vagina is very benign when it communicate a girl's genitalia. No, it doesn't teach everything, but neither does "vulva" and i know of several mothers who only teach that term. Also, when they are very young, there is not as much of a need for them to know all of the medical terminology. Neither vulva nor vagina are everything when it comes to female genitalia and used together they still do not pinpoint all of the parts. Its like teaching someone that they have an arm and a hand, ignoring the fingers, wrist, elbow, shoulder, forearm and upper arm. So either one or both is not doing female genitalia justice. Also, kids will take an interest when they're ready. It truly is enough to teach them a basic collective term and then when they're older they will naturally take a stronger interest.


I don't think its benign to teach a word in its wrong usage. Vagina is the inside part... its like saying your squishy is turned inside out. No one touches or even sees your vagina except your lover, midwife or your molester. For casual use and the part you may see while changing or diapering ... vulva or labia is the correct term! Grrr!
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