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OK, dumb question but here goes....

OK, so, there are many people who say that they explain that girls have a vagina and boys have a penis. Using those words. So here is my question, isn't that just wrong, I mean literally. When a child is asking about the part they pee out of (considering they don't comprehend sex) and you tell them that girls have a vagina, well aren't you ending up confusing them? All of a sudden the girl thinks she pees out of her vagina, which she doesn't. Technically, all she has to pee out of is a urethra that ends much sooner than a boys. A boys goes out to the end of his penis, a girls ends at her genitals. But to make it sound like a girls vagina is the same thing she pees out of is misinforming them. Isn't that just as bad, if not worse, than having cutsie names for their parts??


Asked by Petie at 12:30 PM on Aug. 28, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 7 (170 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • Also, teaching them the words penis & vagina is usually because you are setting them up for further sex education. It SHOULD start at those ages. They need to know that boys and girls are different. And they need to understand even at those ages that those parts are private. My kids are 2 & 3, they know the parts and what grown up touches are. Sex education is something that should start in very early childhood. And by teaching them the real names of these things is setting them up for a much healthier and easier sex education later in life...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 2:48 PM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • No, its not wrong to tell them girls pee out of a vagina. Why should you be more graphic than that? I know I just keep things simple. If my child asked about sex, I would not use terms like oral, cum, or orgasm. I would keep it age appropriate.

    Answer by VintageWife at 12:36 PM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • It's not wrong. Girls do have a vagina. Boys do have a penis. Boys do not have a vagina. There is nothing wrong with saying that girls have a vagina.

    A girl may not pee out of her vagina....but she still has a vagina.

    As for "cutsie" names...none of them are cute, they are just stupid sounding.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:39 PM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • Nope, not at all. We've always tried to use clinical terms for our children.

    Answer by Zakysmommy at 12:44 PM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • The proper name vagina is not telling the girl where she pees from, it is just giving her the proper name of the body part. Now if you want to go in detail and tell her where her other parts are that are inside the vaginal area, nothing wrong with that. You would not believe the number of girls and women that think they do pee out of the vagina, and it has nothing to do with mom telling her she has a vagina, its called misinformation, lack of understanding/intrest or education. The vagina has so many individual parts its unreal, most women dont know what all the parts are called and that is pefectly fine, a child will not care what each part is called, they just want to know what it is. Not giving it the proper name is worse, because then people, children think the real term is a bad thing to say, or a dirty word. Sorry but pussy, the C word, dick, pecker etc, is so much worse than vagina and penis.

    Answer by midnightmoma at 12:47 PM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • midnight momma, I understand the concept, I just don't agree. I grew up with it just being privates and I have no issue with using the proper terms when called for. I also don't like the idea of dd thinking she pees out of a place the baby comes out, because she DOES know the baby comes out the vagina. DS actually asked me if the baby came out of where the pee does so I had to break it down for him and of course, where he is, she is. They have always used just "pee pee" to describe their genitals and it doesn't seem to bother them that there are other names for those parts.

    So, maybe we are all just thinking too much into this. Maybe it really isn't a big deal either way you go.

    Answer by Petie at 12:56 PM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • The clinical term is the urethra, but I highly doubt many parents are explaining the difference between the reproductive system and the urinary tract. Do what you feel comfortable doing, because at a certain age, it's just a word. There is no clinical comprehension. Like above momma said, many adults don't understand it, so I wouldn't expect a toddler to do so.

    Answer by lvpenguino at 1:04 PM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • Well first of all, the name of her vagina is just that, it's not called a urethra. And when we are discussing body parts that's what it's called. If you want to get really technical she pees out of her clitoris. The urethra is not an external part, just the part that brings the pee to where it comes out... Same with boys. the Clitoris is part of the vagina. But it's very simple. A 3 yo isn't going to understand all that, why expect them to. What's confusing is calling it something that there is no reason to call it... VaJayJay or something like that... It's not even close. To call it a vagina is correct. And as she gets older she will learn all the parts of her vagina, including the clitoris and urethra. But for now, it's like teaching her the word face. Does she sneeze out of her face? No, technically it's her nose that she uses, but that doesn't mean it's wrong to teach her it's her face.


    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 2:45 PM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • If your daughter thinks she pees out of her vagina, then you've allowed her to think that. The vagina (which all girls DO have) is not the name of the entire genital area.

    But to say girls have a vagina and boys have a penis is correct.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:49 PM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • Sabrina, as you said, as they get older they learn the specific names, which is the same as if you give them "cute" names. My son knows his penis is just that, a penis, but until he was older it was his pee pee. My daughter knows that she has a vagina, but to her she still calls it her pee pee. I don't see how it is any different than tootsies for toes or belly button for navel or any of the many other cute names we give to body parts.
    I also don't buy that sex ed has to start with knowing the proper terms. My kids know that baby's come from mommy and that mommy has a special place for them to come out called a vagina. Every question they asked gets answered clearly. But at an age appropriate level.
    Honestly, I really do believe this is a personal decision. I am curious as to why parents feel the need to be so specific, yet not really accurate. I don't see it as any different than coming up with other words.

    Answer by Petie at 4:43 PM on Aug. 28, 2009