Are you SURE that's a vagina?

Random - posted on 04/16/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )




For those of you who are teaching your kids the generic "girls have a vagina" lesson, you ARE teaching them that the proper term for the entire outer package is vulva and not vagina, right? I mean, you know that the words are not synonymous, don't you?

Just in case, let me give you a quick anatomy lesson.

Vagina and vulva are not the same thing. They are not interchangeable physiological terms.

The vagina is part of the inner workings, not the outer.

I asked this question on a social networking forum and got a variety of responses including this one:

"My child is too young to know the technical terms for her body parts." (Ignore the fact that the pet name we have created for her genitalia is four syllables long and she's already made up a song about it.)

And this one:

"Vulva is just a gross word." (Vulva is not a gross word. "MOIST" is a gross word.)

And also this one: "It all means the same thing."

(To say that it's all the same thing is as inaccurate as saying that your hand is a finger and your finger is a hand and that's just plain silly.)

Yes, there is a difference and the difference is huge. Vulva = clitoris, labia (2 sets) urethra, vaginal opening. Vagina = the canal that leads from the vaginal opening to the cervix.

So if you choose to shave your vulva, that's cool. Get creative. Have fun with it. However, if you choose to shave your vagina, it's not going to end well. Don't use the good towels.

Now, I know there will be someone who will get all worked up about this. Calm down. You can teach your kids whatever you want. Don't sweat it because some stranger on the internet told you that it's the wrong word. You're not breaking any law of child rearing. No member of the Vulva Brigade will show up and ticket you for referring to your lady bits as your bajingo and hand you some reading material about the inaccurately named Vagina Monologues. I'm not going to take away your euphemisms. Hell, euphemisms are fun! Tell them it's a Harvey Wallbanger or a FlufferNutter if you like.

I'm just saying that technically, it's incorrect.

To recap:

The vulva is the correct term for the outside parts as a collective whole.

The vagina is the correct term for the "collective hole".

What's your favorite euphemism for the VULVA?

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Random - posted on 04/19/2012




@ Shawn Lively

You're welcome! My kids know what all of their parts are and yes we still have fun with euphemisms.

It's just amazing to me that some people actually DON'T know the names for their genitalia.

I'm sorry you found my post to be irksome. I hope you have a happier day.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/19/2012




Ok, thanks so much for the anatomy lesson.

I'm so tired of people arguing about what's "vulgar" and what's not.

Anatomy is anatomy. Like it or lump it, we've all got similar anatomy.

So...What did YOU actually teach YOUR kids? I notice you want us all to tell you, but you didn't say a thing about YOUR kids.

And why do you consider "moist" to be vulgar? Just curious.

To be different, I taught my boys that their anatomy was their male reproductive organs, whilst a female has female reproductive organs. How's that? ;-)

Dove - posted on 04/19/2012




We just use vagina. In 35 years it's the only word I've NEEDED to use (even though I know the others). My daughter was 10 the first time she heard the word vulva and right away knew what it was. Vagina works for us until they are getting the puberty and sex books/talks and have the labeled diagrams.

Johnny - posted on 04/19/2012




Sometimes we use crotch. Although that IS a word that sounds gross. But it's so general that it's useful when I want her to wipe properly. My 3 1/2 year old is aware that her pee comes out of her urethra from her bladder and that her poop comes out her bum. I didn't teach her the word anus because it's too easy to yell out in a grocery store, unlike urethra. We've spoken of the vagina, but at this point I can't think of a great way of explaining what it does, because for her at this time, it's not all that relevant. All she knows is that is where babies come out. I didn't want her thinking that we poop babies. We don't really have pet names for body parts, I think that is a bit creepy for kids. The only pet name I have is for my husband's power tool ;-)

Anna - posted on 04/19/2012




with my daughter i say "kruis" which i guess means 'crotch'...we live in Holland so we speak dutch and my dutch is not 100%, there may be more apropriate 'private part' words that i just havnt learnt yet lol. though i do know the word vagina and have chosen not to use it. i dont know why...
i grew up in New Zealand and we said "fanny" when i was little...we thought it was hillarious when we found out that in America 'fanny' was used for 'bottom'!! :D

[deleted account]

Well, I have a boy, so we've only gotten as far as penis. He's never questioned my body except to ask where my penis is and I simply told him that girls don't have them.

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