Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What exactly is code for "grow up"?

I think I have talked about this before. I'm not sure. I'm going to go with the theory that if I can't remember for sure, then neither can you.
Why can't grown-ups say the names for their body parts? Why? Do you know how stupid an otherwise normal adults seems when they talk about their "pee-pee"? (never mind asking why such people are walking around discussing these topics).
I took my students to the hospital yesterday to take part in the P.A.R.T.Y. program. Basically it's a great program, designed to make teens think. There are flaws, and I'm not 100% on board, but that's a rant for another day.
The facilitator managed to totally ruin her credibility with three simple words: "Va-jay-jay", "pee-pee", and "the twins". That last one really tripped us up, because when she said "And then the technician will have to palpitate the area next to the twins" one of my students blurted out "He'll feel her breasts?!" because you know, twins can mean more than one thing. Yes, she could say "palpitate", but testicles was beyond her.
I realize that I might not be normal in this area. I teach sex ed, and by nature I am a very blunt and open person. But I think we are doing our kids a real disservice by not using the correct terminology when we talk about private areas of the body. No one has a cute name for their elbow. There are no euphemisms for your ears. Nothing is more embarrassing to a student than when they reach my class in high school, and fail the first quiz on body identification. (You would not believe the number of guys who think they have ovaries). So do me, and your kids, a favour. Go practice saying "vagina", "penis", "testicles", "vulva", and any other words you cringe at.
Of course, you should probably do this practicing in private.....

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

But it brings up the topic of to much info....especially when you have a 4 year old with no inner cringe worthy compass. At Superstore the other day in the very crowd filled line up my child blurts out hey Mom my vagina is itchy is yours?! oh the joys!
I was brought up and we called a vagina a whoo whoo...it still makes my sisters and I laugh our heads off at that word!!
Buffy

fawn said...

I'm with you on this one, AM. I struggled with what word to use with my daughter when we started becoming interested in body parts. (http://fawnahareo.com/2008/03/02/a-post-about-jade-involving-many-body-parts/) We settled on "vulva" for girl-parts, but Jade does still tend to use "bum" as an all-encompassing word. Ha!

Now I wouldn't be surprised if Blogger decided this comment needed approval before being posted...

AverageMom said...

Fawn: For all my preaching, "vulva" is still a word that makes me cringe. Vagina's rule in our house! Bum, however, cannot be banned. It is simply too much fun to say!
Buffy: LOL!!! Which kid? The curly haired one?! Growing up, we called it a "susie". Then we took in a foster kid named, you guessed it, Susie.

MaryP said...

I'm totally with you, as you know. I use 'penis' and 'testicles', 'vulva' (or 'labia') and 'vagina'.

I think if I ever met an adult who gave cutesy-poo names for their parts, I'd just be embarrassed for them. To my mind, "va-jay-jay" or "pee-pee" is far more cringe-worthy than the actual, medically-accurate terms.

WackyMummy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WackyMummy said...

Hey, give us backwards moms a break! My 2 yr old calls it a "wee" that he "peeps" with. There's still time to undo the damage, right? But I still think I'm further ahead than my own mother's much more vague name: "down below".