*PENIS and VAGINA* - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-20-2006, 08:11 PM
 
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Hm... IMO, attaching a stigma to the most basic words for our genitalia etc is really unfortunate. But using alternative words is not inherently applying a stigma. Having multiple words with basically similar but differently nuanced meanings is one of the things that makes our language so rich. (Of course, the issue of basic terms helping to prevent child abuse is a good reason to emphasize those.)

Still, calling the penis "little {child's name}"... future therapy bills anyone? Or unhappy son's girlfriends/boyfriends? Talk about a way to reinforce one of the more problematic aspects of masculine identity! That is one nuance I could do without, personally.
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:23 PM
 
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I've also hated the word vulva, so started using Yoni (I've heard that the word has it's origins meaning "sacred hole") and we use penis. Since my oldest is now 6 (and VERY curious), we've talked about the names of all sorts of parts so he does know that the tube inside his penis is the urethra (though he probably doesn't remember the name) and that boys and girls have one. We haven't ever really had occasion until last night (reading a book about digestion) to use the word anus, we just always refer to the entire area as "butt", "bum" or "tush", we have lots of words for that area We haven't had any reason to talk about the actual hole.

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Old 06-20-2006, 10:57 PM
 
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We have always used the correct terms for body parts in our house. My husband was raised to feel uncomfortable using those terms, so I made it a point to teach our son the correct words and to be comfortable using them. However, when we are out in public, we call my son's penis "Mr. Businessman". And he calls his testicles "Associates".
That is his choice of words, not ours. He would rather we say, "please leave Mr. Businessman alone" than "please quit playing with your penis". Most people have no idea what we are talking about.
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Old 06-20-2006, 11:11 PM
 
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We used the word "goose" growing up, which screwed me up for life when I need to use the word goose.
I hear ya! I had the hardest time when Canada brought out the $2 coin....
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Old 06-20-2006, 11:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am so glad that other mothers are honest with their kids about the correct terms for their body parts. I was hopeing that i wouldn't come across as perverted because i am open about sexuality with my DC. I grew up in a household that was very ashamed of sex and all that went with it. So i was clueless until HS health class! It made me feel bad about my body(maybe thats why i had an eating disorder?). So i am always going to be willing to talk to my kids about sex and body parts so that they know their bodies are wonderful. Plus,"little jimmy" *is* very creepy!
thanks

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Old 06-20-2006, 11:54 PM
 
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little jimmy

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Old 06-21-2006, 12:24 AM
 
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lol, DH calls his "little Louie" but in a totally joking manner. Of course, he calls the vagina/vulva the "yum-yum", but I think it's more just for laughs, he's a goofy guy. I knew the proper terms when I was little, and my kids will too, i don't see a problem with it. If I WAS going to use a nickname, I'd use something that would still be recognizeable that that was what they were talking about, just to avoid the whole "he was touching my purse" situation.

Oh yeah, and there's this funny flash file about this stick figure guy in sex ed and the teacher asks "Does anyone know what a vulva is?" and he raises his hand and says "A sweedish automobile?"

that word does sound funny. I don't like it much reguardless of what it refers to, but I'll still use it, because that's what it's called.

I also hate the word "rural" but I'll use it when I have to. Mainly because "provincial" has a kindof bad connotation.

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Old 06-21-2006, 01:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BeBe123
ok. so i have this friend who has a son the same age as my ds(4). we were on a playdate and my ds had to go to the bathroom. I said to my ds "don't forget to wipe your penis(he's not the best shaker)". Well my friend was totally horrified that i would say "that word" to my ds. She has to her son to call his privates "little jimmy"(her son's name is jimmy). She dosent want me saying penis in front of her ds because she thinks that a bad word for children??
OK I'm sorry--this made me

We've also always used the correct names.

In fact, whenever ds1 has questions about sex or anything like that, I answer all his questions honestly, and it shocked me when I found out that all parents aren't like that.

I found that out when I had to tell some of the Kindergarten parents that ds1 plays with that ds1 and I talked about sex a few months ago. I told them so that if the topic hadn't been brought up in their house, they would be ready for it, since my son and his friends talk a lot.

Well you would think I'd hit a couple of the parents with a broom. They were astonished that I would tell my son that when a mommy and a daddy want to make a baby the daddy puts his penis in the mommy's vagina and the sperm go out of it and find the egg.

(and yes, I know there are other ways to make babies, but that's the way we did it over here

Anyway, I did have to laugh when one of the moms said that when her 5 yo asked her about sex, she said, "Look--Dragon Tales is on!"

Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds

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Old 06-21-2006, 01:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sweetangelbrynlie
Every parent I know doesn't like to use the correct terms. Heck, even my childs doctor doesn't like it. He says to my son "can I check your tools?" I told my son "he wants to make sure your penis is healthy, okay?" the doc turned bright red and said "i always say tools instead"


I would have had the same reaction as you, not having a ton of experience with other parents yet. Heck yeah, teach them the proper names!
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Old 06-21-2006, 02:15 AM
 
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I have to say that "little jimmy" kind of freaks me out. We are a "penis" house over here. I haven't read the whole thread but I'm sure that someone has already pointed out that if nothing else it keeps kids safer from child molesters to use correct terms for their anatomy. If they haven't, let me know and I will elaborate.

Edited to add: I just read the post above mine: TOOLS? That is freaky. I would be horrified if my doctor said that.
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Old 06-21-2006, 02:41 AM
 
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this is a great thread, we tend to go with the proper name when we are talking seriuosly, silly words if it is silly time, dinglie-doo is ds running naked, having escaped his shorts with it bouncing about- his word. some time ago i mentioned my ds balls and got some replies, i remember in particular someone said that gonads was much nicer, which i find very funny, my ds finds balls very funny lately, he started calling them that when he realized they are not squares, but...balls! he also calls breasts booobies unless they are fake, he can tell, then they too are balls! so what does everyone call the arse, butt, can, derrierre, end, fanny, gluttie puffs, hinnie, iiiii...(used to know an i), jiggler, kreme puff, ohh well.......i am off on a tangent, sorry.blessings
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Old 06-21-2006, 03:16 AM
 
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We use the proper terms too. Starting when Ds was very small (6 months), I would refer to his "penis" during bathtime, along with all his other body parts "we are gonna wash your arms, and legs, and those cute little toes, now your penis and scrotum...) by age 18 mo. he was using the term himself. When I was pregnant with Dd I told him the baby would come out of my vagina, we watched birth videos and every once in a while he will point when we are in the tub and say "Mommy's vagina" We will do the same with Dd, probably use the word vulva at first and get more specific as she gets older.

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Old 06-21-2006, 12:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PennyRoo
We have neighbors with a little boy about a year older than my DD and they sometimes play together or I'll watch him for my neighbor - - - whom I like but think is odd and with whom I have little to nothing in common. Anyhoo - it seems EVERY time he is over, without fail the word penis or vagina comes up, and he screams and yells, EWWWWWWW THAT'S DIRTY YOU SAID PENIS, I"M GONNA TELL MOMMY.

I always take the opportunity to say matter-o'-factly, "it's not dirty; it's a part of your body."

The other day my DD had to change her clothes and was naked for a few minutes in front of him and he yelled, "EWW, that's gross!" pointing at her vulva.

My sweet, expressive, naked and indignant little DD put her hands on her hips and said, "That hurts my feelings! It's not gross! It's a part of my body, and it's a very important part of my body since a baby comes out of it!"

I often wonder about the dialogues in his home. I find it very strange and beyond that, damaging, to pass on this kind of attitude about one's genitals. I'm sure he reports to his parents that we are perverts who love to talk about penises, etc.
I just had to say "Go Girl"!! to your dd.. way to tell him.

I also think it's very important that kids know the proper words for their genitals. It bums me out to hear a kid say that the word "penis" or "vagina" is gross, they obviously learned that from their parents.

I am also confessing that I use vagina instead of vulva, even though I know vulva is the correct term. I mostly do it because it's much more understandable/acceptable to a greater number of people.

When my friend and her 5y/o came to visit me in the hospital after ds's birth, the 5 y/o asked me why I wasn't giving him a bottle. I told her that I was giving the baby milk from my breasts/boobies.
My friend was p.o'd because on the way home she would have to "explain that one". All I could is, "why is that a problem"?
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Old 06-21-2006, 12:52 PM
 
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1) I just realized I've been pronouncing yoni wrong. I've never heard anyone use it in real life. I got the temr off these boards

2) When I say we know most of the proper terms - we haven't gotten to the specifics of labia , cltoris or testicles - just yoni, vagina and penis.

3) I'm phasing out the word "potty" in favor of restroom or bathroom. We use "tinkle" for urination, but sometimes pee. We say BM or sometimes poop.

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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Old 06-21-2006, 02:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by callmeluci
We have always used the correct terms for body parts in our house. My husband was raised to feel uncomfortable using those terms, so I made it a point to teach our son the correct words and to be comfortable using them. However, when we are out in public, we call my son's penis "Mr. Businessman". And he calls his testicles "Associates".
That is his choice of words, not ours. He would rather we say, "please leave Mr. Businessman alone" than "please quit playing with your penis". Most people have no idea what we are talking about.
: :

That is the funniest thing I've heard all day.

My son's only 14 months old, so there's not really been any reason to talk about girl parts. I do refer to his penis and scrotum/testicles collectively as his "boy parts", but when he's having a bath or we're changing diapers, I'll also talk about his penis and scrotum. I don't see any reason to have a stigma about a part of his body. It's not like we go around saying, "Okay, now let's wash your bendy bits" and clean off his elbows.

When the subject comes up, we'll probably refer to girl parts as a vagina. I realize it's not technically correct, but it's the term that I'm most familiar and comfortable with. I also really don't like the sound of vulva. I just think it's an ugly word. Personal hangup, I suppose. Besides which, it's going to be a long time before my son is personally acquainted with those parts (if ever), so the distinction, to my mind, isn't necessary. When we start to talk about sex and reproduction, he'll be old enough to understand the distinction. I'm not talking about a BIG SEX TALK, as I think that it's something that should be addressed early and often. I refer to when the discussions first start.
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Old 06-21-2006, 05:37 PM
 
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I use the proper names with my boys too... an elbow is an elbow, a knee is a knee, a penis is a penis...

A teacher friend was telling me about a little girl that kept on talking about her uncle playing with her "dolly" my friend brought it up with the parents were horrified and found out that that that was the word they used instead of vulva...

I really think that it is important for kids to know the real names of their body parts....

 
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Old 06-21-2006, 06:15 PM
 
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we use penis, vulva, testicles / scrotum. dh sometimes jokingly refers to ds's testicles as 'balls', but dd corrects him!

i am very proud of myself. initially, it was hard for me to say 'vulva', but now i don't even blink. my mother didn't use any terms at all!

we say 'pee' for urinate, though we do use 'urine' as well.
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Old 06-21-2006, 06:39 PM
 
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My extended family has always been uncomfortable with it. My cousins call their penises "birds." I don't know why. My mom keeps calling DS's penis a "willy" and I always correct her. DS has a penis, a scrotum, and a foreskin, and there's nothing wrong with that!

I had a teacher in college who told us a story about his son coming home from a friend's house and he'd learned the word penis. They always called it a "peanut." He totally flipped out on the other kid's parents.

I always get irked and correct people when they refer to testicles. I guarantee not one of them has ever seen a testicle. What they've seen is a scrotum. Rarely do you hear the words scrotum and vulva. You hear testicles and vagina.

I have a question for those who use the word yoni - what is the negative connotation with vagina? I'm not familiar with the etimology of it or why it would be preferrable to use yoni.

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Old 06-21-2006, 06:40 PM
 
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Question: How exactly does one pronounce "yoni" - like pony but with a "y" or like johnny?

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Old 06-21-2006, 06:44 PM
 
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Now scrotum is another word that I think is another bad sounding word. Are scrotum and testicles interchangeable? If so, testicles is a MUCH better sounding word, scrotum is just so harsh.

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Old 06-21-2006, 07:02 PM
 
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No they aren't technically interchangeable. The scrotum is the skin pouch that holds the testicles. It's what you see from the outside. You can see the testicles too usually, they look like balls inside the scrotum - hence the euphemisms "balls" and "ballsack."

Yoni is pronounced like pony with a Y.

I don't like the word Vagina for 2 reasons. First, I just have a personal objection to the word. Like someone else mentioned they don't like the sound of scrotum, I think the word vagina is harsh and vulgar. It's just a personal preference probably rooted somewhere in my childhood (and yes we used technical terms for all body parts in my family growing up).

The second is because the etymology of it offends me. Literally it means sheath. And is called that in reference to being a sheath for the penis. I'd rather think of my female genitalia as important as a beautiful part of my body and part of my mother status which is very important to my definition of self rather than as an aside to the the male sexual appetite. KWIM?

ETA: and yes I know that motherhood is intrinsically linked with sex. However I feel that the word vagina springs from a male dominated subjugation standpoint rather than from a respect for the female form.

Laura

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Old 06-21-2006, 09:57 PM
 
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We use the correct terms in this house but recently a friend pointed out that we probably dont say "navel" instead of belly button or "clavicle" instead of collar bone..not sure how to respond to that?

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Old 06-21-2006, 10:11 PM
 
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I don't like "yoni" because many people are not going to have a clue what your DD is talking about if she uses it with them. (Picture your child telling the average school nurse that her yoni hurts or that someone touched her yoni.)

I don't mean to get all Deep and Feminist on you here, but I do find it interesting that so many posters have no problem teaching the word "penis" but can't stand "vulva" or "vagina" and shrink away from them. What's up with that? I mean, I don't think one can REALLY argue that "vagina" is a sillier/weirder word that "penis," can one? I suspect it is because we still find female sexuality somehow unspeakable/uncomfortable/unnameable.

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Old 06-21-2006, 10:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jokerama
We use the correct terms in this house but recently a friend pointed out that we probably dont say "navel" instead of belly button or "clavicle" instead of collar bone..not sure how to respond to that?
collar bone amd belly button are not euphemisms, they are just lay terms, as opposed to medical terminology. they were not designed to hide anything.
and they are pretty much uniformerly used -- we do not have 50 different variations of each.
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Old 06-21-2006, 10:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loraxc

I don't mean to get all Deep and Feminist on you here, but I do find it interesting that so many posters have no problem teaching the word "penis" but can't stand "vulva" or "vagina" and shrink away from them. What's up with that? I mean, I don't think one can REALLY argue that "vagina" is a sillier/weirder word that "penis," can one? I suspect it is because we still find female sexuality somehow unspeakable/uncomfortable/unnameable.
very interesting. another thing which is interesting to me (and i am not criticising anyone, just thinking out loud) is that many are so adamant that vulva are vagina are harsh sounding and / or have negative connotations, that they are simply refusing to use them. this just perpetuates that we let others dictate how these words are used or have been used.

i've never learned the word 'vulva' until i was a teenager. i never said it out loud. i was not raised to say penis or vagina or vulva. so when i started using 'vulva' with dd, it did feel awkward to me. but guess what. now i can say vulva all i want, any time anywhere

it is all a matter of habit, and reclaiming the words as absolutely normal.
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Old 06-21-2006, 10:51 PM
 
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We use vagina and penis. I have never used a cutsey term. Had I known about yoni when my almost 19 yr old was little, I might have used that.

My 8 yr old son told the Principal at his school that "vagina isnt a bad word". he went on to say that she (the principal) had one, his mom and sister did too.

A mom took me to breakfast/coffee to discuss this and Santa issues. She used Filipino terms for penis and vagina and was upset that my son (who sat next to her son and was good friends with) called them penis and vagina, and that her son was "confused" *sigh* She went on to say she wasnt ready to "go there" with either Santa or anatomical terms, and asked if I would have my boy tell her boy that Santa was real, amongst other things. Uh, I dont think so.

Anyhoo, my point is, to the OP, keep on doing what your doing and do not tell your boy not to say penis. Because it is a penis!
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Old 06-21-2006, 10:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annabanana
but guess what. now i can say vulva all i want, any time anywhere
I love that word!
When my daughter was 3, she used to jump off the diving board into the pool and yell "VAGINA".
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:11 AM
 
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She used Filipino terms for penis and vagina
We use Filipino words, too! My mom's from the Philippines, and it's what she used when I was little, so it feels natural to use them with my 3 year old DD. But we also teach her the English words like penis and vagina.
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Old 06-22-2006, 01:59 AM
 
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I was so excited to see this thread b/c I just had a run-in with my dad over this very issue over the weekend.

DS (who is not quite 2 yet) was running around my parent's house buck naked. He was just talking aloud and saying "My penis, my penis, MY PENIS, my penis", on and on like that. My dad turns off the tv and says, "No, that's not a penis, that's your dinky." I was just stunned - I said to my dad, "No, actually it *is* his penis." To which my dad told DS again, "That's your dinky." Argh! I just was aghast - then my dad looks at me and says "Don't you know how embarassing it is when little kids run around saying those kind of words?"

It's funny b/c DH and I had just talked about this very subject last week too - DH brought it up. He said something about how glad he was that we were using the correct terms for our genetalia with DS (although I use the word vagina b/c that's where the baby is going to come from, so for now, it's the best word for us) and that he hated all those stupid cutesy names.

So, I just was wanting to air my frustration. My mom, the next day, asked me if I was mad at my dad and I said that no, I wasn't, I just didn't appreciate him overriding me like that and I didn't care if he was embarassed or not, we were going to use those words. He'd just have to deal with it. To which she said something about how hard it must be to have such old fashioned parents...

Anyway, back on topic - I don't mind either penis or vagina and would prefer to use yoni, but I agree w/ someone else that it's just too goddessey/new agey for me. I completely understand and actually agree w/ the reasoning behind using it, I just don't feel comfortable with it myself. So, if I'm uncomfortable, some of that comes through, YK? I think scrotum is also underused, but already DS has seen testicles - not human ones, but of the bovine variety, so in our house, that word is fair game too.

I was glad to read all the different responses - great thread!

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Old 06-22-2006, 02:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minkajane
I always get irked and correct people when they refer to testicles. I guarantee not one of them has ever seen a testicle. What they've seen is a scrotum.
I try to use both words properly. But really, to a guy who has just slammed into a bicycle bar, even if he hasn't SEEN a testicle, it's those that he's worried about, not just the skin that holds them.
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