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Dutchess12's avatar

Would you ever instruct your little girl not to use the word "vagina"--because it's "not ladylike"? Have you ever known anyone who was so ignorant it made you shudder that they had influence over kids?

Asked by Dutchess12 (1575points) April 19th, 2009

I was floored! My granddaughter was here today—my daughter and the father aren’t married, so Brande spends about half the time with her Dad. Well, she tells me, “Yesterday I was really muddy! I got mud on my face, and in my hair and on my….um….” and is pointing at her vagina region.
I said, “On your vagina?”
She said, “Oh! Daddy said I can’t say that word any more because it’s not lady like!”
I was dumbfounded! I said, “Well, uh…that’s what it is! Like your fingers or ears…what ARE you going to call it?”
She says, “I don’t know….um, I don’t remember.” She ponders for a second then looks at me kind of defiantly and states, “I need to wash my vagina!”
I said, “Almighty then! In the tub with you!”
(As a funny aside….I handed her a small, worn down bar of white soap to wash with. As she gets out she says, “My mom doesn’t have vagina soap.”
I laughed and said, “Nobody has vagina soap! You just use regular soap!”
She says, “Well, what’s that!” and points to this little bar of, apparently, vagina soap! I just cracked up! So did my daughter….after she shook her head over Dad’s…whatever.)

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74 Answers

Facade's avatar

I have vagina soap

And yea, it is ridiculous not to use the correct words for anatomy.

essieness's avatar

I don’t know… I tend to use nicknames for stuff like that just because I’ve always been a little embarassed to say the anatomical words, but that’s just me. What I do think is ridiculous is telling her that the word vagina isn’t “ladylike”. Is he some kind of weird woman hater?

Likeradar's avatar

@Facade I totally agree. What is she supposed to call it? Her schmoonie? Pee-wee?

It’s called a vagina…

Zen's avatar

I have some penis soap.

Facade's avatar

@Likeradar They will probably have her say “private area.”

ragingloli's avatar

Yeah, using correct anatomical terms is not lady like. shakes head
What is also not ladylike is showing dissent with men or being emanzipated. I just hope her parents don’t teach her that as well.
It is certainly better than c*nt, tw*t, or any variation thereof.

Zen's avatar

I was taught to say deficate and urinate when I started talking. But that was just my mom showing off.

Facade's avatar

@Zen I heard a child tell his mom he “had to urinate” and i didn’t know how to feel about it lol

chyna's avatar

Va jaa jaa

Zen's avatar

@facade—Now you know.—

essieness's avatar

@ragingloli Emanzipated? I’m sorry, I’ve never heard that word and am having trouble finding a definition…

Darwin's avatar

We always prefer the correct anatomical terms, but we have taught our kids what the acceptable alternatives are in case they are around someone like @essieness who gets a bit embarrassed by the anatomical terms.

I have taught my daughter how to be acceptably ladylike, but more importantly, when to be ladylike (at a formal dance, yes; on the soccer field, not necessarily). We are still working on my son and his concepts of being a gentleman.

essieness's avatar

@Darwin It’s weird, I’m not embarrassed to hear them, but I just can’t make myself use the word vagina in a normal conversation. I’m more likely to use some funny nickname like vaj or hoohoo or something like that. Now that I think about it, it’s a little weird huh? Now, if I were talking to my doctor or some other more formal conversation, I would definitely use the correct words. Like you said, there is a time and place for everything; learning when to use certain words at the appropriate times is key.

eupatorium's avatar

I have to agree with her father. I was brought up not using those words in public. To say the words in regular conversation is a bit rude. At the dinner table “I need to wash my vagina,” is quite explicit. It’s about politeness. There’s nothing wrong with knowledge of the words or use of them in context of anatomy, medicine, etc, but to tell a child it’s okay to use them regularly is practically begging them to scream “PENIS!!” in the middle of the playground.

Snoopy's avatar

I suppose it depends on the age of the kid in question (you just said “little girl”)....

I teach my kids correct anatomical terms, but it is a bit odd to hear a 2 or 3 year old say defecate or vagina.

I guess the counter-question would be….for toddlers and preschoolers is there a problem if they do use alternative words such as hoo-hoo (for vagina) or pee (for urine) or whatever? I just don’t think it is a big deal.

My kids have a book that is all about body functions and probably know more about how their bodies work than some adults do….

I suspect that many adults do not routinely use correct anatomical terms for bodily functions and/or body parts.

Really, now. Can you see a guy saying he had (whatever) problem w/ his testicles or penis? He is going to say balls, dick, etc. Same w/ urinate. “I gotta take a piss, hit the head, take a leak, etc.”

Jeruba's avatar

Well, and there’s also the fact that “vagina” actually refers only to the opening or passage that goes from the labia to the uterus and is not the external pubic area. She probably did not get mud in her vagina and probably is not going to wash her vagina. She probably is going to wash her pubic or genital area, don’t you think?

KatawaGrey's avatar

I think everyone should know the correct anatomical term, little kids included. I can understand where problems would arise because of that one parent who thinks like your granddaughter’s daddy. I might tell my kids that they shouldn’t use the words “vagina” or “penis” too much because other people don’t like them, but declaring something to be unladylike is preposterous.

What I would tell my children for any word (that was not a slur of some kind) that some people don’t like to hear them so they should be careful about saying them around certain people and in certain situations.

@eupatorium: So you wouldn’t be offended if someone declared at the dinner table, “I have to wash my genital region?” I think it’s rude to talk about personal hygiene at dinner no matter the body part in question.

Ivan's avatar

@eupatorium

“It’s about politeness.”

Why, exactly, is it impolite to say the word “vagina?”

Jeruba's avatar

Penises and vaginas and genitals are very personal, intimate matters. Personal, intimate matters are generally not considered appropriate dinnertable conversation. I would not welcome conversation about the exquisite details of a couple’s love life, on the one hand, nor the particulars of their sinus surgery or toenail fungus, on the other. Those are not subjects of polite social conversation.

augustlan's avatar

Saying it’s unladylike is ridiculous. That said, my kids used the more vague ‘privates’ for conversation even though they knew the correct terminology. I don’t see anything wrong with it either way.

elijah's avatar

My daughter learned all the correct names for her body parts. She was also taught it is not polite to talk about your private parts in front of people. If she had a problem or a question she could have a private discussion with mommy or daddy or grandma. I do not think it’s cute when a child is allowed to use words just to get attention. Kids love the reaction. I once heard a little boy in the grocery store saying “I have a penis. Penis penis penis.” over and over. The mother just let him. I don’t think a child’s age should be an excuse for bad behavior.
I think you shouldn’t contradict her father, but explain that daddy probably means it’s impolite to bring it up in public.
Also, soap does not belong in a vagina.

hearkat's avatar

@elijahsuicide: That is true, I use the the product I use (see link), because it is not soap. I just called it that because of the phrasing in the question.

elijah's avatar

@hearkat I didn’t mean your link, I mean letting a child put bar soap near her vagina.

mrswho's avatar

I agree with Jeruba. Vagina is not always appropriate and she probably did not get mud on her vagina. It is kind of crass and a personal matter. The statements “my leg itches” and “my testicles itch” are different. Saying that you got mud on your vagina when you did not isn’t lady like and shouldn’t be encouraged. It isn’t the word that is unlady like but talking about your private parts publicly is.

Dutchess12's avatar

@eupatorium No, this wasn’t an issue of “public” speaking, at the dining table or anywhere else. It apparently is an issue of not using “that word”.....why, I have no idea!

@katawaGrey exactly. I mean, you wouldn’t announce at the dining table, or at the mall, “It hurts when I pee!” but it is something you’d want to tell your parents about at some point…and can you imagine if you weren’t allowed to use the word “pee”? Geez!

@jeruba Again, we’re not talking about casual conversation or dinner table conversation, or casual social conversation. Apparently it is the use of the word “vagina” at any time that the dad considers….offensive. For some reason. Actually, this “issue” came to light several months ago when my granddaughter somehow ended up with a scrape of some kind on her vagina. My daughter called Dad and asked “How did she injure herself on her vagina?” and Dad kind of freaked out. “Don’t call it THAT!!!” Corrie says, “What? What would you call it?” Dad says, “I don’t know…a hoo hoo or something! Just not…THAT!” You see the problem now? It’s stupid.(BTW—you’re right…it is more properly the “pubic area” but I’m betting Dad would have a problem with that too! But…thank you. That is more properly the right description.)

@elijahsuicide I’m just wondering how this discussion turned into the assumption that it was a “public” announcement. It was privately, between her and me. In the laundry room to be exact! Um…what exactly is wrong with putting a bar of soap “near her vagina”?

@Ivan Thank you! Exactly…how is it impolite to use the word “vagina” in reference to one’s vagina? Is it impolite to use the word “ear” in reference to one’s ear? Doy!

@mrswho AGAIN, this has nothing whatsoever to do with “publicly speaking” about your personal body parts. Amazing how rumors get started!!!

mrswho's avatar

@Dutchess12 I know, I’m just saying that perhaps her father was trying to discourage that kind of thing and wanted to make a blanket rule rather than try to teach the little girl to differentiate when kids are notoriously precocious. Given what you said to Jeruba that is ridiculous when actually talking about the vagina and to family. I would tell my kid to not talk about private parts in public but that wasn’t the issue. I misunderstood the context under which the grandkid was instructed.

hearkat's avatar

@Dutchess12: Soap destroys the natural flora and can contribute to vaginal yeast infections (not to mention possible sensitivities to fragrances) – that’s why they don’t recommend bubble bath for girls anymore.

knitfroggy's avatar

When I was a kid my mom would ask “did you wash your puddy and butt?” when I got out of the bathtub. I think when I got to be about 8 it would mortify me when she would say that. I would tell her she was so embarrassing and to quit calling it a “puddy”-so then she’d ask if I washed my vagina and my anus. That wasn’t nearly as embarrassing to me. I think the weirdest part about it is my mother is a Registered Nurse and couldn’t bring herself to say vagina to her kid!

elijah's avatar

@Dutchess12 I didn’t mean to imply your conversation was in public. My example was a boy in a grocery store. Public place. Obviously his mom taught him proper body parts but not manners and tact.
Maybe her father told her not to announce the word in normal conversation. Maybe she was over using the word in front of him. Who knows.
You don’t put soap in your vagina. It’s self cleaning. Soap interferes with the bacteria that needs to be there. It’s unnecessary to use bar soap there. A quick once over with a wet washcloth is sufficient. Bubble bath also can cause problems.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@knitfroggy: My roommate is a nursing student and she freaked out when she found out about the America’s Next Top Model contestant who was a pre-op transexual. I just think that’s weird because she very well could aid in someone’s sexual alteration surgery.

chyna's avatar

I think I would be more concerned as to why she had a scrape on her vagina than what the heck anyone is calling it.

Dutchess12's avatar

@mrswho I’m glad the rumor is cleared up…but I still disagree with the idea that there is any reason to discourage “that kind of thing”. What kind of thing? I agree…you don’t announce in public that…you’re constipated or whatever, but it’s not something that you’d tell your child, “We don’t discuss that kind of thing.” ?

@chyna Oh sorry! Yes, there was an explanation….they’d gone to the lake and the life jacket had a strap that ran between her legs and they took the kids slow-tubing…it was basically something like a “rope burn” or something. But gosh…really, how is the child able to tell the parents that she has an owie on a particular part of her body if she’s not allowed to describe that part of her body!!

knitfroggy's avatar

@KatawaGrey That is strange-I think in that profession you have to try real hard to be non judgemental.

Dutchess12's avatar

@elijahsuicide Per the boy in the store…my guess is that someone overreacted to the fact that he used the word at some point, so when it became OK to say it he…acted out. I guess it wouldn’t have bothered me to hear it…..

Dutchess12's avatar

@hearkat Oh geez. Maybe that’s why I quit having periods ten years ago, with ne’re a sign of menopause then or since! :)

elijah's avatar

@Dutchess12 I saw it more as a situation where a parent is afraid to be a parent and a child is running the show. The word penis doesn’t bother me in appropriate situations. The grocery store is not the place for it.

Jack79's avatar

yeah. I tell her to use the word “cunt” instead :P

(depends on age and context, but I don’t think “vagina” can be a “bad word” under any circumstances)

mattbrowne's avatar

My answer is: no. There’s nothing wrong with the word.

MissAusten's avatar

My kids know the correct words for their body parts. We’ve only ever used words like penis and vagina (although since one of my boys started school this year, he’s learned new words, like “wiener”). The boys in particular think words for their privates, or anything having to do with going to the bathroom, is hysterical. I just stress to them that words for their private parts are for private conversations. In other words, “potty talk” is for the bathroom. Those two will talk about their penises all day long, with only a break here and there to discuss butts. In order to prevent a public incident, I have stressed to them that speaking that way in public is not acceptable. They’re old enough now (4 and 5) to get it.

My daughter is ten, and I don’t think she’s ever used the word vagina in public. I do remember her as a toddler saying loudly to my husband, “Daddy, you don’t have a penis!” when they were in line at a deli. He was mortified! She was too little to know why that was unacceptable.

Ivan's avatar

This thread has pretty well convinced me that that the only thing that’s ever inappropriate is the use of the word “inappropriate.”

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

They have vagina soap? I must go shopping later.

My daughter calls it her “tootoo”, but she knows the correct terminology. Whoever above said they felt a little embarassed saying “vagina” is not alone in that. I don’t think it’s unladylike by any means, nor do I think it shouldn’t be called that if you so choose. But for some reason, I can’t bring myself to say vagina very often. It sounds very personal and private, haha. I typically refer to it as my hoohah or vajayjay.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate: I think the word just sounds so funny and I have a hard time saying it without bursting into laughter. The same is true for “penis.” Whatever they refer to, they are funny words to say.

robmandu's avatar

I think ladybug is a nice substitute word.

I mean, think about it, people. You’ve got an unexpected guest at the door, like the creepy next door neighbor you don’t like. Your daughter walks in and announces, “I got mud on my vagina!”

Great. She knows the correct word. Good for you. Have a lollipop. At the same time though, she just broadcast a private matter that you probably wished she hadn’t shared with a stranger.

Her dad and mom are the ones who get to choose what terminology she uses. Not you. Get over it.

And yah, the reason he gave – not being ladylike – is lame. But what is she? Four? Five? Maybe he hasn’t decided to explain to her all of the social nuances that you and I take for granted yet. He chose a simple, succinct reason that he hoped would incent her to follow his suggestion. It’s not evil or ignorant. It’s just pragmatic.

CAVEAT: at some certain age, the kid should definitely be instructed in the social conventions. She should become increasingly aware of what’s private conversation and what’s suitable for public. I didn’t pick up the kid’s age in the discussion… but from what I wrote above, you can see I’m targeting kids of pre-school age.

robmandu's avatar

BTW, I highly suggest you find a way to get along with your granddaughter’s father… especially if she’s spending half her time with dad.

This attitude that he’s “so ignorant it made you shudder that [he] had influence over kids” is one I doubt you can mask well.

Your job as grandmother is to spoil the kid with love… not be judgmental over every little thing that the kid tosses out without knowledge of what parental consideration went into a certain convention.

By giving into these feelings that the father is inadequate to your standard, you risk tainting your relationship with the child. Plus, who knows… but if the father doesn’t like you (i.e. picks up on this attitude you have) and sometime later in life your granddaughter ends up spending more time with him, then that’ll mean she’s spending less time with you.

I tell you what makes me shudder: snap judgment by an older adult and parent who should frickin’ know better.

In case anyone’s wondering, I get along great with my mother-in-law. =)

MissAusten's avatar

Something else to keep in mind, is that children often interpret things in a way not intended by adults. Maybe she used the word vagina in a crowded restaurant, and he told her it was unladylike. Taking a young child’s version of events literally isn’t always a good idea.

As an example, my kindergarten son does a school activity every Monday called Weekend News. Each child says one thing he or she did over the weekend, draws a picture of it, and practices writing it. We go to my in-laws for lunch or dinner every weekend, and my son was always saying “I went to Nonni and Papa’s house.” The teacher wanted him to be more specific and would ask, “What did you do there?” She said something to him along the lines of, “You can’t just say you went to Nonni and Papa’s. Tell me what you did while you were there.”

Well, the next time we were headed to my in-law’s for lunch, my son got upset and said, “My teacher said I can’t go to Nonni and Papa’s anymore!” He thought he would get into trouble at school for having lunch with his grandparents! Of couse this was not what the teacher meant for my son to take out of that conversation.

It’s entirely possible that a child will take something that isn’t meant to be a blanket statement and turn it into that. Maybe talk to your granddaughter’s mom and dad and ask what their views are on using words for private body parts. I know my parents and my in-laws don’t always agree with parenting choices we make, but my husband and I truly appreciate how they make every effort to do things the way we would do them when they are with our children.

Ivan's avatar

@robmandu

“she just broadcast a private matter that you probably wished she hadn’t shared with a stranger.”

Would it be better if she used a euphemism? We are talking about the word itself, not its use in public. As Dutchess has stated, this was not a public conversation.

jca's avatar

Ivan: this was not a public conversation, but as MissAustin said, it might have been that the father admonished the child because she used the word in front of others, and maybe it was not a good time (we can only guess at what happened there). that said, i have no problem with the word vagina, but i don’t use it often. if i got mud on my pants, (say the mud did hit my vagina) i would say “I got mud on my pants” or “i got mud all over my lap.” the word vagina would not be necessary.

kids have trouble differentiating the instructions for what may be not good to say in public may be ok in private.

Darwin's avatar

I must admit that when I hear someone refer to their “vajayjay” or their “hoohoo” I have an incredible and almost unsuppressable urge to giggle.

Vagina or even cunt (a truly ancient word) is much more acceptable.

jca's avatar

i remember a long time ago my grandfather had a tenant who had a daughter who was about two, and the tenant was showing me how the daughter knew words. she pointed to the body parts on the daughter, and the daughter would say what it was (ear, eye, etc). so she pointed to the daughter’s vagina, and the daughter said “pussy” which the mom thought was hilarious, and i laughed along with her, but meanwhile i was horrified that she taught the baby that was called a pussy.

Dutchess12's avatar

@robmandu Well, the dude literally believed, at the age of 27, that babies grew in two halves and eventually fused together! And BTW, when this discussion first came up about 3 months ago, he and my daughter were discussing it…he didn’t know WHAT he wanted it called….“Maybe ‘hoo hoo’?” He said! LOL! It’s like…he’s SCARED of it or something!
You sure jump to a lot of conclusions…how do you know I don’t “get along” with him? We get along fine. I think he’s a selfish, immature fool, and often a serious asshole to my daughter, but that’s an opinion I’ve developed over the 6 years I’ve known him. But we’ve all hung out at the lake together, I’ve attended his concerts, and I don’t talk bad about him to my granddaughter, just like I never talked bad about the kid’s dad to them after we split up. I still stand by my opinion though, that it is totally ridiculous to totally outlaw the proper use of a word to describe a body part! I guess you could come up with all kinds of complicated, detailed scenerios where a stranger or whomever was at the door and the kid might maybe blurt out something inappropriate!
And yes, I do agree with everyone that there are a lot of things that are inappropriate for public discussion, such bowl movements, urination, sex, etc. But…it’d be the same thing as outlawing the words “Urination” or “Pee” because the kid might “blurt it out!” It’s ridiculous.

@elijahsuicide I hear you! Sounds like the kid was running the show too. It reminds me of one time I was at a Dr.s office and this little kid was just running rampant…crawling under everyone’s chairs and stuff, and Mom just kept repeating, over and over, “That is not appropriate behavior, Joey!” For 10 minutes she was saying that! I wanted to yell, “Wack ‘em!!”

@MissAustin She did NOT use the word in a crowded restaurant. I know the circumstances. It was in the family home, no guests were there, and she was concerned that she hadn’t gotten all the mud off of her…maybe they’re afraid to wash here there! Who knows!

@jca I agree…words like “pussy” and “c——t” are totally linked specifically to sex…graphic sex.

galileogirl's avatar

@Jeruba has nailed it. The kid didn’t use the word correctly. There might be something else going on here. My first thought was the parents are not together and the girl may be playing on that. It is very common when parents are not on the same page the child “reports” back and forth. If you don’t present a united front at four (dismissing what the other parent says) then God help you when she’s 14! And no, I’m not overreacting. BTW using clinical terms is just the most recent parenting fad. I remember the period of never “lying” to your child when some self-righteous parents decided their 4 yos should know the truth about Santa lol and by extension the truth was blabbed to every kid in the neighborhood.

Do you expect your child to use your real name when they are talking to you?

KatawaGrey's avatar

@galileogirl: I hear that. I knew this camp counselor who was a militant feminist to the point where people dismissed nearly everything she said. Once, I saw a little girl ask her if she was a boy or a girl (the girl was six) and this woman replied, “why does it matter?” The way I see it, when it comes to young children, there’s a difference between lying and withholding truths they are too young to understand.

Val123's avatar

@Facade You said, “They will probably have her say “private area.” I wish! You know what he wants her to call it?! Her “Hoo hoo!”

Val123's avatar

@galileogirl It was never a fad for me. My oldest is 30 and grew up using the proper terms. So did I for that matter because my parents used the proper words.

@Jeruba Well, yes, penises, vagina and testicles are personal matters, but there are times they may need to be addressed for some reason with little kids. If they get an owie, or they’re itching, or something hurts, they need to be able to tell someone. It has nothing to do with “polite social conversation.” And it’s not the same thing as discussing an adult’s sex life.

strange1's avatar

our kids have used a medely of names from early ages, some hilarious! and yes there is indeed “vagina soap” in the bathroom for the females of the house—some people are sensitive to normal soap—any name goes except for the plain vulgar.

galileogirl's avatar

I can’t think of any social conversation where a young child should be using the word vagina. In almost 63 years, I have never felt the need to discuss my vagina or ear wax or sputum or naval lint in a social situation.

strange1's avatar

@galileogirl lucky you ! uncomplicated, do you live in a monestary/ convent? i agree it would be so much simpler if our little ones didnt come home blurting out such words and so much easier to say ” dont ever let me hear you say that again!”

Darwin's avatar

Funny, I just had to have a conversation yesterday with my son about belly button lint (aka “naval lint”). He’s 15 and somehow has never learned it existed before, nor did he know what to call it.

He is a bit immature for his age.

Val123's avatar

@galileogirl Not sure how this turned into an issue of “Social conversation.” It didn’t start out that way! I never said the child used the word at the dinner table, or anywhere but in a private comment she made to her father, which got relayed back to her mother, then to me. There are times when certain issues need to be addressed, and the only question is, would you discourage your children from using the proper names of their body parts as if it were something to be embarrassed about, and encourage them to use silly names like, “whoo hoo” and “thing” and “wiener”?

@strange1 My kids came up with funny names too, just from not saying the terms quite right! I just let it ride….

Seek's avatar

Perhaps she should have taken up the word “Yoni” – it’s a thousands-of-years old word used to describe the whole of the female genitals.

Val123's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr “Yoni” is better than “hoo hoo”!! (I can’t believe this old question of mine got resurrected!)

galileogirl's avatar

Doesn’t a private conversation that gets related to others become public?

meagan's avatar

In my family, I wasn’t allowed to say the word butt until I was at least fourteen. We especially didn’t say boobs ;P EVEN MORE ESPECIALLY – VAGINA!
I just don’t think some things sound right coming from a child’s mouth. I can’t stand listening to my cousin say “kiss my butt!” and shes literally four years old. I really couldn’t imagine my child telling someone she got mud in her vagina…

There should be a pleasantness about children. My Grandmother would die if I produced a child that said something like that to her.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@meagan: But the vagina is just another part of the body. Teaching a little girl that it is okay to say she got mud on her arm but that it is not okay to say that she got mud on her vagina makes the vagina a shameful, base thing. In our that is to say, American society, people have been taught that the sexual organs are awful nasty things and that sex itself is something that should be kept absolutely hush hush and something to be ashamed of as well. I, for one, will not teach my children to be ashamed of any parts of their bodies.

meagan's avatar

@KatawaGrey Thats totally blowing it out of proportion.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@meagan: Hm…I don’t think it is though. There’s nothing unpleasant about a kid talking about a vagina. If you tell your little girl that she can’t say the word vagina, do you think she’s just going to let it go? No way! She’s going to want to know why. And what will you tell her when she asks why she can’t say the word vagina?

Val123's avatar

@meagan…. A kid has to have a word for it though. And a boy has to have a word for his penis. What would you suggest? I totally agree that it would bother me to hear a little kid say “Kiss my butt,” or anything else like that. That’s a whole different thing, though. What KatawayGrey just said…if nothing else she’ll make up a word.

snowberry's avatar

This question has a lot of posts, so I may have missed this point if someone already made it, but a big reason for teaching kids correct terminology about body parts is so that if a doctor or pre-school teacher asks, they can tell them where they are hurt. Personally I’m in favor of “private parts”. I’d still might raise my eyebrows at hearing this in a grocery store, but I’d rather hear that than “My vagina itches.” If a child says, “My hoohoo hurts,” a doctor would have no clue what that is. On the other hand, “My private parts have an owie,” gives a doctor a clue.

Val123's avatar

@snowberry Very good point. My thoughts exactly. Except I don’t have any issue with the kids using the correct terms…

KatawaGrey's avatar

A link I thought you all might be interested in.

Carinaponcho's avatar

This is very normal. I had friends who were told not to use the word breast when they were younger. I just hope this girl doesn’t get too confused. The word vagina is referring to the hole only. The rest is called by different things. She may end up thinking her labia are her vagina. It may be confusing for her.

Carinaponcho's avatar

When I was a child, I was told to use the word pee-pee. I also know some who called it their front butt. Some parents don’t feel the need to explain anatomically what everything is. I think children should know and therefore know that their bodies aren’t shameful things. But kids have big mouths so who knows how that would work out.

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