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#181 of 239 Old 03-27-2009, 06:09 PM
 
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I taught my daughter both, and she seemed to understand, but she still says "vagina" for everything. Though she earlier was saying "butt" for everything, which is even less accurate. So I guess there's been an improvement. But once she told me her vagina hurt, and I freaked because I couldn't imagine what could have happened that would hurt her up in there. But I asked her specifically what was going on, and it became apparent that her vulva was uncomfortable due to a lack of wiping after she peed. She knew both words so when she said "vagina" I thought that's what she meant.

Threads about this issue are like "do you force your child to let you brush his/her teeth" threads. No good can come of them! LOL.
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#182 of 239 Old 03-27-2009, 06:10 PM
 
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I don't think I have ever even used the word vulva. Doesn't vulva just describe everything outside the vagina? The external female parts?

I guess when I was very young it was my pee pee, cause that's all I knew it did at the time.

Later, I could refer specifically to urethra or pee hole or labia or lips and so forth but I've never referred to all of it as vulva.

Am I in trouble now?

And yah, I get what some are saying about being judgemental. I mean, why get so upset over words? Ina May calls it a puss in her midwifery books. She also uses terms like pee hole and button for clitoris. What's the big deal?


Oh you know what, I'm laughing cause I remember telling DH once my vaggy was itching and he asked if I meant the actual vagina or just outside. So, I think most of us know the difference but most of us don't care to be so pedantic all the time about the terminology.
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#183 of 239 Old 03-27-2009, 08:39 PM
 
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Ina May calls it a puss in her midwifery books. She also uses terms like pee hole and button for clitoris. What's the big deal?
See I doubt I would take advice from a book if the author didn't use the proper terms. The same way I wouldn't trust a doctor who didn't use the proper terms.

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#184 of 239 Old 03-27-2009, 08:49 PM
 
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Yep. That is one reason why I can't stand Ina May, and cannot recommend her books to anyone I know because it is so ridiculous and unprofessional.

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#185 of 239 Old 03-27-2009, 08:53 PM
 
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Yep. That is one reason why I can't stand Ina May, and cannot recommend her books to anyone I know because it is so ridiculous and unprofessional.
Ditto. I thought that I was the only one.
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#186 of 239 Old 03-27-2009, 09:13 PM
 
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We just use vulva. I would use vagina as well, but dd doesn't really know she has one yet. Butt is butt, though (or sometimes bottom, if I'm in polite company)--"buttocks" just doesn't sound natural to me.

When dd was smaller, she called dh's penis his "tail," and we had to correct her.

But my favorite story is this. Background: dd has lots of food allergies, and we've explained to her that she'll get tested every year, and she may be able to eat certain food when she gets older.

Dd: Do I have a penis?
Me: No you have a vulva. Boys have a penis.
Dd: But maybe when I get older I can have one.
Me: Um, probably not. (Though, in retrospect, I guess the technology exists if she wants one...)
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#187 of 239 Old 03-27-2009, 10:15 PM
 
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Another question to those that learned about the vulva/vagina differences when they were adults. Did it piss you off that you had not learned this stuff sooner?
Not really. I always appreciated that my mom was honest and gave me correct info (insofar as she had it), because I knew a lot of people who didn't get that. The fact that she never taught me the word vulva didn't bother me. As I said, it had occurred to me as some point that I, and everyone else I knew, used "vagina" to describe the whole area, but I just assumed it was correct usage (one of those "double duty" situations words end up in). Plus...if there's a word that includes a man's penis and his scrotum, I've never heard it, either.

It did piss me off that our "your body" book in school didn't include a clitoris. Even at a very early age, it seemed really strange that something that caused such intense sensations just didn't exist in the picture...and I kind of wondered if something was wrong with my body.

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#188 of 239 Old 03-27-2009, 10:59 PM
 
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Plus...if there's a word that includes a man's penis and his scrotum, I've never heard it, either.
I was wondering the same thing. Is there such a word, besides just "genitals" (which would work for both sexes)? I wonder why there is for women but not men -- were there just so many female parts that it got too cumbersome and they felt a need to come up with a collective term?

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#189 of 239 Old 03-27-2009, 11:17 PM
 
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We're a medical family so DH wouldn't tolerate calling them anything other than penis and vulva. Although DD did briefly call it her "privacy" after our discussion about her vulva being her private thing for no one to touch but her, preferably in private.

That mortified my parents a bit but what really gets them is when they pass gas and DS yells, "Granddad, your digestive system is working away in there!"

And last week, my laugh for the day came from DD saying to her brother, "Look! All the testicles have melted from the roof!"
this made me laugh.

my dd asks about a million questions, she knows she has a vulva, and that there is a clitoris, urinary meatus, vagina and labia. lol

im a science/anatomy minded gal, so she gets the truth.

but whenever a boy says, "i have a penis" she says, "i have a vagina" and if you correct her, she says "yeah, but my vagina is in there too, for babies to come through"

because she just had a sibling be born.

so for all those that are so "annoyed" and are "laughing" at us uneducated silly mamas, get over it.

i think that unless you know the mom doesnt teach the proper terms, its quite judgmental to get so uppity.

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#190 of 239 Old 03-28-2009, 12:25 AM
 
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I just read this whole post, entertaining and elightening.

Two separate thoughts-
First-Growing up female privates were always called "Pretties". I have no clue where that came from, but I always loved that I had a pretty, and the fact that it was pretty made me very proud of my sex. It was a nice way to think about it. One of the more self-affirming uneducated names for it I think.

Second-In our house, we teach penis and scrotum and vagina and vulva and breasts, but we don't usually call them that. Honestly we just call it the private parts/place or genitals. That usually works just fine in our house. I know if my son went to his teacher and says someone touched me on my privates/genitals, they would know what he was talking about.


One more quick point-not really relevant, but humorous, my mother always referred the penis as a "peter pan", which is what my brother (around 3 at the time) decide to name it. As in "stop playing with your peter pan!"
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#191 of 239 Old 03-28-2009, 01:18 AM
 
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When we found out the sex of our son at the 20 week u/s, the technician kept saying "boy parts". I finally told her she had my permission to say "penis", and she looked horribly embarrassed. Of course, my sister's u/s tech called her daughter's vulva a "taco", which is a lot worse IMO!

I always say "penis", but DH seems weirdly averse to using that word. DS spends a lot of time tugging on his penis during diaper changes, and DH gets really flustered by it, LOL.
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#192 of 239 Old 03-28-2009, 08:19 AM
 
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In theory, I approve of the technical names. In practice, we refer to the baby's 'underparts'.

My sister, who's autistic and comes up with interesting words sometimes, was talking with my mother before DD was born about the birth. Mum asked her if she knew where/how babies were born and she looked rather pained and said "Through the... you know... water feature".

She also referred once to my 'breasty things' (in context of BFing) because she didn't like to say 'breast'. I don't have a problem with 'breasts' either, but again, in practice we go cutesy and say The Milks, and I have even been known to tell DD 'you have tiny milks!' Bah, when she gets older and can actually talk I'll mend my wicked ways. When I think about it, DH and I have cutesy words for anything from cockroaches to potatoes - how did we ever think we'd give body parts their correct names??

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#193 of 239 Old 03-28-2009, 10:04 AM
 
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I can't believe people get all bent out of shape of vagina (esp people who are all mad b/c we don't call it a vulva). Seriously?

Penis and vagina are the names for the "parts" ...maybe not the outside on the female, but as others posted penis is also not the ENTIRE part of the male either. Who freaking cares?

To not recommend Ina May over something so silly is just sad. You are missing out on a lot. I would not have had my natural birth if not for reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. How sad to miss out on that b/c someone is so into being "proper."
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#194 of 239 Old 03-28-2009, 10:06 AM
 
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I am not missing out on anything, thanks. I've read her books. Besides the unprofessional terms, I did not enjoy the books. The people I've recommended her books to in the past cannot get into them because of that. That is a valid criticism and concern.

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#195 of 239 Old 03-28-2009, 11:05 AM
 
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Years ago my mom was shocked when friend's of the family were teaching their son to use the word "penis". Shocked. But I think she's changed her view over the years, which is good because there is no way I am using cutesy nicknames when I have children of my own, and I expect my parents to use the proper terms with my children as well.

ETA: And like the OP said, not everyone uses the same "nickname", so what's more embarassing, saying "penis" and leaving it at that, or saying "goober" and having to explain what exactly a "goober" is because your audience is confused??? The term my parents/grandparents used when I was growing up were totally absurd and nobody outside of our family knew what the heck those words meant.

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#196 of 239 Old 03-28-2009, 11:37 AM
 
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When we found out the sex of our son at the 20 week u/s, the technician kept saying "boy parts". I finally told her she had my permission to say "penis", and she looked horribly embarrassed. Of course, my sister's u/s tech called her daughter's vulva a "taco", which is a lot worse IMO!
If a medical person referred to my genitals, or my child's, as a taco I would be really upset. That is so totally unprofessional. If a u/s tech is that uncomfortable with proper words at least call it genitals (even boy/girl parts would be OK, although I would snicker about that later) but not some slang term.

I have no problem with all of the euphemisms for genitalia, but for me, a lot of those names are saved for sexy talk with my DH. (Or raunchy talk with friends.) Then there are some that are so juvenile that I would feel like the speaker was being condescending using them in a professional context. (Again, they can be fun in talk with friends.)

I get what folks are saying about Ina May. I read her books and loved them, they were quite empowering as a newly pregnant mother (I have since changed my opinion a bit, but that is for another thread.) But I did not enjoy all of the slang names, and would never use a midwife that felt the need to use them with me. It's just way to sexy for that kind of situation for me.

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#197 of 239 Old 03-28-2009, 03:01 PM
 
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I get what folks are saying about Ina May. I read her books and loved them, they were quite empowering as a newly pregnant mother (I have since changed my opinion a bit, but that is for another thread.) But I did not enjoy all of the slang names, and would never use a midwife that felt the need to use them with me. It's just way to sexy for that kind of situation for me.
I liked her books for the most part, and was able to get past her use of puss, tits, and taint after a while (although I noticed her later-published books used more scientifically accepted terminology). But where she totally lost me was when she said that women get stretch marks during pregnancy because they're "uptight." :

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#198 of 239 Old 03-28-2009, 03:50 PM
 
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my sister's u/s tech called her daughter's vulva a "taco", which is a lot worse IMO!
TACO!!!!!!!! :

Oh, man. I have had more fun reading this thread than prob any other MDC thread. I love the cutesy names children make for themselves, I have to admit. Though there is valid concern about them knowing proper terms. As for the OP's original question, I would be outraged if someone thought it was inappropriate that my son call his penis...a penis. I would also be outraged if he were told it was a "dirty" word, and told to call it...a tally wacker or something else absurd. I mean, how confusing! And when ds needs to know about Mama/girls parts, it will be vulva, not TACO!!!!

As disturbing as I find this, I think its hysterically funny.
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#199 of 239 Old 03-28-2009, 09:24 PM
 
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To not recommend Ina May over something so silly is just sad. You are missing out on a lot. I would not have had my natural birth if not for reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. How sad to miss out on that b/c someone is so into being "proper."
When looking for information on a topic, particularly one as vital as childbirth, I judge based on professionalism and calling the vulva a "puss" and clitoris "a button" is something I would deem unprofessional. I expect a professional to be able to use professional language with me. Just like I wouldn't pick a lawyer to defend me if said lawyer called the gavel "the wooden hammer thing."

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#200 of 239 Old 03-28-2009, 11:00 PM
 
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Those of you who think the vulva/vagina distinction is very important: Do you also get upset when people say "testicles" when they mean "scrotum"? After all, testicles are just the inside part.
I don't mind people using "vagina" instead of "vulva" until they get smug about using the "proper term" and smirk about how prudish it is to say "crotch" or "girl parts." Or snicker about how superior they are that they made people get shocked when their LO says vagina.

Using vagina so people know what you mean is fine, but if someone's going to get up in arms about using the right terms they'd better actually use the right terms.
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#201 of 239 Old 03-28-2009, 11:02 PM
 
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When we found out the sex of our son at the 20 week u/s, the technician kept saying "boy parts". I finally told her she had my permission to say "penis", and she looked horribly embarrassed. Of course, my sister's u/s tech called her daughter's vulva a "taco", which is a lot worse IMO!
How on earth is her dd ever going to eat at Taco Bell (or other Mexican-esque restaurants)? What on earth will she think Taco Bell IS???
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#202 of 239 Old 03-28-2009, 11:46 PM
 
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How on earth is her dd ever going to eat at Taco Bell (or other Mexican-esque restaurants)? What on earth will she think Taco Bell IS???


I didnt think of that!!!! South of the border, indeed. : Okay, I'm getting raunchy, I'll stop. Hoo boy. Just goes to show what happens when we introduce silly words for something so basic and mundane as a vagina, vulva, etc.

Not that I'm above cutesy - my breasts are "nursies" : & ds's backside are "buns", but thats better than what my ex calls ds's "male parts" - his TEAPOT! As in, when I'd clip ds into his carseat, "Watch out for his teapot"...I HATED this euphemism.
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#203 of 239 Old 03-31-2009, 01:04 AM
 
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I saw this "article" today and this thread was the first thing I thought of:

http://www.theonion.com/content/news...urce=a-section
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#204 of 239 Old 03-31-2009, 05:08 AM
 
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I saw this "article" today and this thread was the first thing I thought of:

http://www.theonion.com/content/news...urce=a-section
:

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#205 of 239 Old 03-31-2009, 10:19 AM
 
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I saw this "article" today and this thread was the first thing I thought of:

http://www.theonion.com/content/news...urce=a-section
O. M. G.

Read it out loud!
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#206 of 239 Old 03-31-2009, 11:44 AM
 
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Back on topic, I had a friend who called her son's penis a "firehouse". Now that is more embarrassing than saying penis. I don't understand the need to make the words shameful.

Well, I wanted to jump in and say that sometimes a cutesy nickname doesn't mean the parents aren't using the right word! There could be other reasons behind it. We use penis and testicles and vulva, and my kids do too. But my ds can sometimes resist using the potty when he has to go and in order to make it fun and silly I have been known to refer to his penis as his "firehose," encouraging him to hurry hurry hurry and put out the fire in the potty. He is obsessed with everything firefighter! It works!

It does bother me when people use vagina for vulva, to me it seems similar to always saying tongue when you mean mouth. Yes, you have a tongue inside your mouth but your mouth is the whole kit and kaboodle, right? Like you have a vagina inside your vulva but your vulva is the what encompasses it all. You have a clitoris inside your vulva too but you don't go around calling the whole thing a clitoris. I am lucky my mom taught me vulva growing up and am always so surprised that so many people only know and use vagina!

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#207 of 239 Old 03-31-2009, 12:23 PM
 
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I saw this "article" today and this thread was the first thing I thought of:

http://www.theonion.com/content/news...urce=a-section
OK, I admit it, at the beginning I was really kind of offended, by the end I was laughing out loud
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#208 of 239 Old 03-31-2009, 02:25 PM
 
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As for the vagina thing, for me it's more like a lesser of two evils. Females do in fact have a body part known as a vagina (seen or unseen), but no one is walking around with a "cookie" in their underpants... well not a biological one at least.

(Cookie is what a friend of mine uses to refer to her daughter's genitals ... if she worked up to vagina I'd consider it an improvement)
Cookie was also the word that a friend of mine was taught to use as a child. She said one day in the begining of kindergarten a little girl stood up at lunch and yelled "Johnny keeps trying to bite my cookie!" she was mortified until she realized that the girl had an actual cookie for dessert and the boy was trying to steal it.
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#209 of 239 Old 03-31-2009, 06:57 PM
 
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My foster daughter has a history of horrendous sexual abuse. I attend specialized therapy with her, and was astounded that the therapist uses avoidant terms, from "personal parts" to "girl or boy bits".

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#210 of 239 Old 03-31-2009, 07:04 PM
 
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I have found it MUCH easier to talk to the children using proper terms. they are more likely to ask me questions using the "terms" and I have found it easier to talk about childbirth. My mother whispered the term "bottom" for everything....and my poor brother's penis was a T-T'er. We were shamed for even uttering any proper words.
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