*PENIS and VAGINA* - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 120 Old 06-22-2006, 03:43 AM
 
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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 am guilty of this. When it first came up with ds1, I taught him "testicles." I honellty had just never thought about the difference between scrotum and testicles. As soon as dh heard it, he explained the difference to me, and I tried to correct ds, but he was stuck on testicles. So I figured we'd just save it for later.

Yet another example of how poorly we educate ourselves about the human body.
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#92 of 120 Old 06-22-2006, 07:26 AM
 
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We use the words penis and testes. We've never had a problem with anybody raising eyebrows (and believe me, my kids have said some loud things about their precious possessions in public).
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#93 of 120 Old 06-22-2006, 09:25 AM
 
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We use the correct terms for these things also. But one time, in the very beginning, when DD #1 was the only one, she was asking questions about what parts boys have and I (because I couldn't remember the proper name said) "boys have a penis and....uh....a sack" DH said - If you are going to say the right names for everything else then you should call it a scrotum.

That being said, we do call them penis, scrotum, vulva etc in our house. In fact, I just got my first PPAF and so there have been LOTS of questions about where the tampon goes and how come it doesn't fall out. I am sure that being open with them now, will help them be comfortable with their bodies later and (I believe) less likely to take risks with their sexual behavior later in order to figure it out. And I believe it is important to not make our bodies into something secret and shameful, that just causes more problems in the long run.

ETA: One day DS was singing a song (DH wasn't home yet so it was just him and DDs and me) "all of these people have vaginas, all of these people have vaginas and I have a penis." I love how honest they are!!!!

SAHM to four beautiful babes :
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#94 of 120 Old 06-22-2006, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by FrozenMommy
As a kindergarden teacher I was always amused by how many parents were *afraid* for their kids to know the real words to their OWN body parts...! Kudos to you for teaching your son the actual name. I never understood why it's wrong to call a penis a penis?? That's what it is!!
I think (like so many other things) it can be traced back to America's horror of being up front about sex and anything vaguely related to sex.
your last line pretty much hit the nail on the head.

i myself wouldnt mind saying it to the kids such as dont forget to wash your vulva, so that it doesnt hurt later, or dont forget to wipe your penis etc.

but since i myself am a nanny and even tho im close to the kids unlees they themselves say it alot, and get conformation from the parents i usually go for words like pee pee(girls ) wee wee (boys) just to be on the safe side and not get parents the wrong idea, since it is said that most child abusers etc. give words to kids that they ddint know about before. which is SOOO sad how these sick creatins do this.

yeah i know i know im a yutz


yet i also percice that in one of my cultrues(south asian, im also alittle bit of others as well but primarily that) it is percived that children should be "children" ie innocent, sweet etc. your typical sterotypes, yet further that they dont know nothing :eyeroll even at 10 :eyeroll

that when they say those words that is a OMG OMG EEEEEEVVVIIIILL!!!

:eyeroll.


if anyone here can also help me, on how to tell my five year old charge that she needs to clean her vulva(vagina) when she takes a bath or after she goes to the bathroom because other wise she might get an infection and it might hurt, in a non OMG type way id REALLY appreciate it.
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#95 of 120 Old 06-22-2006, 03:19 PM
 
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SK - Have you asked the parents what terms they use? Maybe that would help for consistency. Heck at age 5 you can ask the girl what her mother calls "that part."

So - as an aside, we drove through Kansas City last week and passed a billboard for the Testicle Festival! Apparently this has something to do with cattle or pigs or livestock; it flew by too quickly and that was all I had time to shout to DH.

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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#96 of 120 Old 06-22-2006, 07:48 PM
 
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I suppose people here would feel sorry for my kids since I have not yet told them the proper names for their genitals. :

We aren't using cutesy names -- in fact, I think it's silly to use them -- but just use the generic term "girl parts". My DH and I do intend on teaching our girls the proper names, but most likely at age 4 or so (they are 2 & 3 now). We don't intend for them to go throughout life thinking their vulvas are wee-wees or winkies, or whatever the heck folks call them.
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#97 of 120 Old 06-22-2006, 07:58 PM
 
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I don't really want to teach "vagina" as the generic word for "stuff between a girl's legs," but y'know, given that most people who do use "correct" words use vagina and not vulva and frankly might not even know what vulva *is*...

I've taught her the right words (she's almost 3) but we use "pudenda" to refer to all external genitalia.

I thought it just meant "dangly bits" in Latin, but after I'd already used it a few times and she'd started using 'Denda herself... I looked it up and it actually means "dirty bits." So - I"m using a medieval monk euphamism rather than a modern american one

But yeah, I've taught her that her vagina is *part* of the stuff down there. Her brother learned penis from a very early age and more recently learned "testicles." ("Hey, what's this? THere's like a little ball in there! It moves when I squish it! If you cut the skin, would it roll out and bounce away? Cool!")

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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#98 of 120 Old 06-22-2006, 08:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lady Madonna
We use the proper words, for the most part.

I do have a question: when DD asks where her pee comes from, what do you tell her? Do you say "your urethra" or "your vulva"? My DD knows pee comes from a boy's penis, but saying that pee comes from her vulva doesn't seem quite technically ... right. But I'm a little worried about confusing her with yet another body part that she can't really see! Any advice?

We explained that she is a three-hole person: she has a urethra (a pee hole), a vagina (a baby hole) and an anus (a butthole). I don't use "vulva," but I do get specific about separate areas of the vulva: labia, vagina, etc.
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#99 of 120 Old 06-22-2006, 08:38 PM
 
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We use penis and vagina also. My sister taught her sons to call there penis a peebug. I laughed when I heard them call it that.
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#100 of 120 Old 06-22-2006, 09:01 PM
 
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I am glad I stumbled accross this thread because my neighbor and I just recently had a discussion about this. She insists on calling her 3 years old daughters vulva her KITTY which I find completely offensive. Our kids bathe together sometimes and My son knows proper terms and when he pointed out that she had a vulva, her mom got a little irked...

I had a hard time understanding why it was more offensive than calling her toddlers parts a baby version of p*ssy. she also refers to BF as GETTIN' TITTY...something else that I find a bit offensive. Maybe I am just over-sensitive to those things.


It is funny when my son gets penis and anus mixed up. I was buzzing his hair and he asked if I was going to shave his anus like daddy does...
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#101 of 120 Old 06-23-2006, 02:40 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?
The thing is, there aren't any "lay terms" (as a PP pointed out) that don't have layers of meaning applied, either positively or negatively, forming sexual innuendo. It's really hard when what you want is a word like "arm" for "penis" or "vulva", which are clinical (and therefore ugly sounding) words. I mean, we could spend all day naming our patella (knee cap), umbilicus, tibia and fibula, but shin bone and calf bone are more understood generally.

So we're stuck with clinical words because any casual words I can think are too euphemistic or too negative.
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#102 of 120 Old 06-23-2006, 03:01 PM
 
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#103 of 120 Old 06-23-2006, 03:39 PM
 
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My parents never told me ANY names for genitals. The only words I learned were slang from other kids. I did not learn the correct terms until I was an adult. Very embarrasing, in my experience, not to know the terms for parts of your own body. I once heard my mom refer to a penis as "his thing". That is very sad.

My mission is to teach my dd correct/understandable names for body parts/functions and that there is nothing dirty or shameful about the words or parts. If she later chooses to use slang that is up to her. Usually talk about genitals, reminders to wipe, etc are handled fairly privately though because it just isn't really polite, IMO, to blurt it out with others present.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#104 of 120 Old 06-23-2006, 04:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ellien C
So - as an aside, we drove through Kansas City last week and passed a billboard for the Testicle Festival! Apparently this has something to do with cattle or pigs or livestock; it flew by too quickly and that was all I had time to shout to DH.
Testicle Festivals or Rocky Mountain Oyster Festivals - where they batter and fry the testes of calves after brandings. Just in case you're ever offered Rocky Mountain Oysters. :Puke (I grew up around them but never mustered the courage to try them)

We are using the actual terms in our house. For the standard reasons -- first, it's their bodies and I don't see any reason to make up words for normal body parts (don't want to teach them that their genitalia are somehow dirty or something to be embarrassed about); also my sister works for her diocese as a child molestation prevention program and really emphasizes that proper terms are good for helping prevent child molestation (so the child can describe what is happening or being proposed etc. and I'd imagine, also the child is less likely to think that they have to "hide" what the molester has proposed, and will instead tell parents?).

I do think that some people for some reason assume that knowing the "proper" names means that a child has been exposed to inappropriate sexual things (read: molestation type stuff, porn, etc.) despite the fact that proper terms aren't typically used there (I'm assuming). And a lot of people are so uncomfortable with sex (even though it permeates so much of our culture ) that they use the cutesy terms themselves, and the cycle repeats.

Ina calls her genitalia in general her "privates" and she knows no one is supposed to touch them (except mom and dad, she's too young to clean well herself yet ) -- but she knows about "penis" and "vulva," and that when she is bigger she'll have pubic hair too. Speaking of ugly words, I've always thought PUBIC was an ugly, ugly sounding word. I suppose Ina could embarrass me some day by yelling about her vulva or labia or something in public -- but honestly, in that same context, I think a lot of people can figure out what 'hee-haws" are supposed to be, too.

She does know about nipples and breasts, but uses "nee-nees" interchangeably with that, because she called nursing that when she was little and we still use that word, too. I think she understands that "nee-nees" are above and beyond the standard body part alone though.

In terms of bathroom - we use pee-pee and poop, although we also use "bathroom" and "potty." When she's older, and not in need of potty training assistance, I hope she uses "bathrooms" instead of "potties." (FIL still calls it the "potty" which I think is funny in a 60+ year old man).

In an exercise for a class I taught on diversity (for RA candidates), we had students list off all the words they could think of for male parts and for female parts. It was amazing the differences in tone etc. for the words (and how uncomfortable many students were with the whole event). So many of the male "terms" were about size/power/strength, and so many of the female "terms" were really either considered very dirty, or else were subjugatory in tone.

Not all who wander are lost.
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#105 of 120 Old 06-23-2006, 08:49 PM
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We have always used the "proper" names for genitals but even so it can make you cringe some days. We were out at the park with our dogs a few weeks back and there was Great Dane there too. Well my son in his loudest voice says "Those are the biggest testicles I have ever seen mama! He must have a big tongue too!!" Of course everyone just stared, wide eyed. So in my most most matter of fact voice I said 'Why is that honey?" "Well to clean them" You sure would need a big tongue to ckean those testicles!" the crowd starts cracking up. and he is looking at me saying why are they laughing?? of course it probably would have been worse if he used some cutesier name....
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#106 of 120 Old 06-23-2006, 09:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Earthiemama
We have always used the "proper" names for genitals but even so it can make you cringe some days. We were out at the park with our dogs a few weeks back and there was Great Dane there too. Well my son in his loudest voice says "Those are the biggest testicles I have ever seen mama! He must have a big tongue too!!" Of course everyone just stared, wide eyed. So in my most most matter of fact voice I said 'Why is that honey?" "Well to clean them" You sure would need a big tongue to ckean those testicles!" the crowd starts cracking up. and he is looking at me saying why are they laughing?? of course it probably would have been worse if he used some cutesier name....
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#107 of 120 Old 06-24-2006, 01:19 AM
 
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This is a very informative, yet hilarious, thread! : For example, I had no idea I should be referring to my external "area" as my vulva. (My mom refused to say anything about ANY part and it really disturbs her to hear DS talk about his penis.)

In our house, we use the proper terms. However, when I'm feeling like a smart alec I will tell DS that his scrotum (another term I was misusing) is/are his nuts.

The other day, DS and I were taking a shower. I was rinsing off when he pointed to my nipples and earnestly said, "You just rinsed off your knuckles."
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#108 of 120 Old 06-24-2006, 10:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mollyeilis
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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.
: I don't see the problem with calling what's under the penis "testicles". I mean, when I point to my abdomen, I call it my stomach, even though my stomach is really an organ on the inside that you can't see.
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#109 of 120 Old 06-24-2006, 12:58 PM
 
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I've got big hang-ups with the word penis which I am getting over for the sake of my boys. Yes I use it matter of factly with my stomach in knots! I didn't know what a vulva was until I was pg with my 1st - I had to look it up in the dictionary I totally agree with using proper names for genitals. I would like my kids to not have the hangups that I do!
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#110 of 120 Old 06-24-2006, 02:58 PM
 
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I am shocked that so many adults don't know the word vulva and the difference between vulva and vagina, or testicles and scrotum!!! My mother taught me vulva and vagina as a kid, and my son has known both since 2. Not to mention, we had to write in the names of male and female external and internal reproductive organs in 5th grade sex ed.
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#111 of 120 Old 06-24-2006, 11:16 PM
 
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penis and vulva are the names around here. a child saying to a pedophile, 'don't touch my penis/vagina' can deter them, as it is evident that those body parts aren't treated as not to be talked about. a police officer told me this and it simply solidified my belief in using the correct terms.
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#112 of 120 Old 06-30-2006, 10:12 PM
 
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Where are the alternative-healing mamas???????

So many write in that they teach the "actual" "proper" or "correct" words for their childrens' genitals; i.e., the Latin terms. For how many of you is Latin a household language? If you live in Vatican City, you are probably celibate men or Swiss guards.

The way I see it, the emphatic use of Latin only exaggerates the medical worldview and (allopathic) doctors' prestige. Like we need that!

That isn't to say, however, that these words shouldn't be taught, or even that I am embarrassed by them. It's that to me, they don't seem like the best choice for daily household use.

**********************************************
We are bi-lingual English and Czech. I did try to teach Andrej "penis" and also "pind'our," a colloquial Czech word that is used by both men and boys. He wasn't having it, though, and insisted in both languages that what he has is a "peanut." He came up with this himself, because he is not in contact with other English-speaking children other than on visits to the US. I HAVE sometimes insisted in the bath that he repeat "penis" and "testicles" after me so that he will never find himself in a situation where he can't communicate with an English-speaking doctor or a judge. (Hopefully he will not meet any who use too-esoteric euphemisms like "associates"!) However, for his own reasons (he is 3 3/4) he will not use these words himself.

So far, we have been using the Czech word Julina (YOOlina) to describe "female parts." It's actual meaning is "Little Julia," though nobody can tell me who Julia is It sounds affectionate, and is neither vulgar nor clinical. Going a little off-topic here, we've had to modify our "where do babies come from" talks, because both of my children were born by C-section. "Why do you have that boo-boo, Mama"? "That is where the doctor took you and Amadea out of my belly. Usually babies come out from their mama's Julina, but unfortunately I couldn't do it that way...."

I think when we get into more advanced topics in female anatomy with Andrej and when Amadea starts to need information, I will use the "3-hole" definition, and let her Julina also be a yoni.

********************
I remember reading somewhere that besides "sheath," vagina also has an etymology suggesting the damp, underground, vaulted passageways (which they resemble) that were the haunting/hunting grounds of Roman whores. It may have been in The Natural History of the Senses. I don't have the book here, if somebody else is interested they could follow this up.

Penis means "tail" in Latin - also a euphemism. I wonder what word Roman mamas were ashamed to say, or what their doctors referred to?
************************************************

A last thought on someone's post suggesting that "Little Jimmy's" mama should do him the "macho favor" of saying Big Jimmy - who does it sound like is in charge if the member is big and rest of the boy is therefore little?
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#113 of 120 Old 07-01-2006, 12:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by soybeansmama
I had a hard time understanding why it was more offensive than calling her toddlers parts a baby version of p*ssy. she also refers to BF as GETTIN' TITTY...something else that I find a bit offensive. Maybe I am just over-sensitive to those things.
Recently, my baby was crawling on the floor and suddenly started crying, so I picked her up and was getting ready to nurse her, when a little boy, about 4 years old, ran up and started excitedly telling me, "Give 'em titty, give 'em titty!"

I was a little shellshocked at that... not sure if it was the verbage or the parenting advice from a preschooler...

"If you only knew how many things I want to say and don't, you'd give me some credit."
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#114 of 120 Old 07-01-2006, 12:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by momileigh
Recently, my baby was crawling on the floor and suddenly started crying, so I picked her up and was getting ready to nurse her, when a little boy, about 4 years old, ran up and started excitedly telling me, "Give 'em titty, give 'em titty!"

I was a little shellshocked at that... not sure if it was the verbage or the parenting advice from a preschooler...
While that's not a term I would use it's fun to see little kids who know how babies are supposed to be fed

Laura

mom to 3 home-born children, wife to a great guy joy.gif

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#115 of 120 Old 07-01-2006, 12:53 AM
 
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I will never see the logic in that... its a penis. Call it what it is lol
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#116 of 120 Old 07-01-2006, 12:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BohoMama
A last thought on someone's post suggesting that "Little Jimmy's" mama should do him the "macho favor" of saying Big Jimmy - who does it sound like is in charge if the member is big and rest of the boy is therefore little?
The one who'll be in charge 'till Little Jimmy needs Viagra!
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#117 of 120 Old 07-01-2006, 01:40 AM
 
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We use vulva so far- just "when we go potty we wipe our vulvas". Although lately Gracie (19 months) has really gotten into find and point- mama vulva, gracie vulva, puppy vulva... penis is going to be learned probably when she does the point and says dada vuh vuh)
First time he ever heard her say it... too hilarious! He took her potty (he doesn't do that much) and forgot to give her the toilet paper after. then he came out of the bathroom to me with big eyes and a white face and said: "she's in there saying "vulva vulva!" me, as calm as can be- oh yeah, she means she needs to wipe her vulva after she potties.

His family is very up-tight and although he knows I'm teaching correct anatomy and agrees in theory... he freaks.

- side note: calf fries/rocky mountain oysters are one of her and our favorite treats!
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#118 of 120 Old 07-02-2006, 11:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Sijae
We use the word penis of course but I personally HATE the word vagina. I always have and the origins of the word offends me. Not because I think talking about that part of the body is dirty, but because I don't like the word. So in our house we use Penis and Yoni. It works for us. I can see the argument about molestation but I just can't bring myself to use that word.

Laura
: same here. When my mom told me I had a vagina when I was a kid, I always felt weird about it. I didn't like it for some reason.

I've also told my grrls that it's their "private space", and they are into this whole yoni flashing thing these days:
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#119 of 120 Old 07-03-2006, 11:41 AM
 
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I think it's kind of like proper grammar -- we may know that "for whom" or "under which" is the technically correct phrasing in certain cases, but it sounds stilted, so many of us knowingly dangle prepositions in speech. No big deal. People don't have to speak perfectly and use completely proper/technical terminology if they don't want to -- part of the beauty of language is its constant evolution, and how common usage can actually alter definitions and expand the language. A few years ago, "Google" was a noun describing the internet search engine, and now it's more commonly used as a verb (to Google someone/something), simply because people started using it that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekka
We're stuck with clinical words because any casual words I can think are too euphemistic or too negative.
I totally agree. For most other body parts, there is a step-down progression from Scientific Term >> Lay Term >> Colloquial/Euphemistic Term. For example:

Ocular organ >> eyeball >> peepers, baby-blues, etc.
Myocardium >> heart >> thumper, ticker, etc.
Oral cavity >> mouth >> kisser, smacker, piehole, etc.
Cranium >> head >> noggin, noodle, etc.
Olfactory organ >> nose >> schnoz, sniffer, etc.

However, for some body parts, including the genitalia, there is no intermediate term -- there are just scientific terms and euphemistic terms. Some people who may be perfectly comfortable with sexuality and having their children know accurate names for their anatomy just may feel stilted using technical terminology in everyday speech (like how most people don't use the scientific terms in the list above). Since there's no "accepted" lay alternative, you end up with people calling the genitals all sorts of euphemistic names instead.

In our house, we vacillate between penis and pee-pee depending on who's around, what the context is, and what mood I'm in at the time. I also will use words like tummy, kisser, and noggin from time to time -- I think it's okay for my DS to know that there are multiple names for body parts, some accurate and some silly, and he can pick which names to use when.

DH+Me 1994 heartbeat.gif DS 2004 heartbeat.gif DD 2008 heartbeat.gif DDog 2014
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#120 of 120 Old 07-03-2006, 01:12 PM
 
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limabean, I think you hit the nail on the head!
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