To think PSHE shouldn't be teaching yr 3 the words vagina and clitoris?

(72 Posts)
littleducks Sat 07-Jun-14 09:55:39

We went on to see materials.

The children have to label a girl and a boy. Whole body, outline picture standing upright facing forward. They have to label fingers etc. And then penis, vagina and clitoris.

I think they should label a 'vulva' and be done with it. They don't teach that term at all. You cannot see a vagina or clitoris as the girl is standing upright.

They made a big fuss about needing to teach the correct scientific language. But it isn't.

I mentioned this and the teacher said they should draw arrows indicating the region.

(Body parts is the extent of the topic this year so they don't conver the act of sex or anything that would clarify the bits being between a woman's legs)

WyrdByrd Sat 07-Jun-14 10:07:51

I was going to say YABU but I can see where you're coming from.

They're being biologically inaccurate which surely defeats the purpose of what they're trying to teach anyway.

Is it something the school usually does or have you got a teacher that's trying to be 'right on' and getting it a bit skewed perhaps?

Needaninsight Sat 07-Jun-14 10:10:01

I wouldn't teach this. No need for it at Year 3.

SuburbanRhonda Sat 07-Jun-14 10:13:45

In view of what the Sex Education Forum is saying in the news today about the poor quality of sex education in schools, I was also going to say YABU.

But I agree with you, OP. Unless you can actually see the vagina and clitoris, it will be very confusing for a Year 3 child to know where those body parts actually are from your description of the diagram. They could end up thinking the clitoris is on the outside.

I agree "vulva" is much more accurate and I would be suggesting that to the teacher (in a constructive way, of course!).

nibbers Sat 07-Jun-14 10:23:58

I too was going to say yabu as I feel very strongly that they should know they have a clitoris and vagina plus where they are. To do so though they need to be specific about what bits they are. To point inthe general area and say Willy is fine, but agree vulva would be more accurate if doing the same for a girl (have relearntwhich bit is which from another thread).

I have seen the view that learning they have a clitoris is not necessary at primary before on mumsnet. Am curious why and at what age people would be ok with it.

LiegeAndLief Sat 07-Jun-14 10:28:43

I have a boy in Y3 who already knows what a vagina is (clitoris has not come up in general conversation!) and I would have no objection to him labelling an anatomically correct diagram. I agree though that it is confusing and plain wrong to be labelling the general vulva as a vagina and clitoris.

Was all set to say YABU but under the circumstances I don't think you are!

PrincessTheresaofLiechtenstein Sat 07-Jun-14 10:31:39

Yes, correct language should be used but it sounds like this task is misleading.

Subtext Sat 07-Jun-14 10:33:31

But how would you explain what a clitoris is to a year three kid?

I could confidently explain the function of a vagina and a penis. But the clitoris doesn't have a function really does it? Other than it 'feels nice'?!

nibbers Sat 07-Jun-14 10:40:04

Easy for me to say as I haven't been asked that question yet.

I guess for me it comes down to wether or not girls are 'allowed' to take pleasure from sex, masturbation or whatever. If they are, then knowing they have a clitoris is a really important part and excluding it from the start just feels wrong. At the moment ee talk about sex and relationships as questions come up and (probably naively) am hoping to reduce embarrassment etc by not hiding things or waiting until 'they are old enough'.

PrincessBabyCat Sat 07-Jun-14 10:56:47

On the other hand, do we really need another generation of men that don't know how to find the clitoris? grin

NynaevesSister Sat 07-Jun-14 11:02:56

This made me think. Is the vulva the whole area including the clitoris? Off to re acquaint myself with basic biology.

MrsWinnibago Sat 07-Jun-14 11:09:21

nibbers is right. Yes they probably need better diagrams but at least the word is IN there.

museumum Sat 07-Jun-14 11:09:57

I'd be worried that the kids are going to think their labia are their clitoris. It's confusing. You need an image of inside the labia to label vagina and clitoris. Hmmmm.....

Little kids using vagina for the area they wipe after using the toilet boths me. It's trying so hard to be correct but actually being wrong!

MrsWinnibago Sat 07-Jun-14 11:10:26

subtext You tell them that the clitoris is there for when adults have sex. No need to go into details in year 3.

littleducks Sat 07-Jun-14 11:17:32

Thing is they aren't actually teaching about or mentioning sex.

It seems to be body parts yr 3
Menstruation yr 4
Sex yr 5

So I think vulva would do for now as it is just an arrow to between the legs. Then a detailed diagram including vagina in yr 4 which would make more sense when explaining menstruation.

Most of the topic is about life cycles and personal safety (including cyber bullying and stuff)

mommy2ash Sat 07-Jun-14 11:25:54

I think vulva would be best. I don't think small kid's need to be told about a clitoris. to me it's on par with the g spot why not tell them about that then ? if they are not going into sex education but just labelling parts of the body it's not necessary especially if it isn't actually being shown but they will be simply labelling a general area.

I have no issues with labelling a clitoris, it's a body part, it exists. I would explain it as being the part that would have grown into a penis in the womb if they were a boy.

I agree that vulva and vagina should be used correctly.

nibbers Sat 07-Jun-14 11:29:01

But why not mention clitoral? Unless you feel it should be hidden?

I was asked by my 6 year old questions such as why do grown ups have sex, hy don't you have a baby everytime etc but not questions on the basic mechanics ie what goes where.

I think some of the first things they should know are about choice and consent but also why people have sex - for babies, for pleasure, for closeness in a relationship. Telling them there is a clitoris and where it is isn't the same as telling them to masturbate. If my boys are anything to go by they don't need telling to do that.

fredfredgeorgejnr Sat 07-Jun-14 11:29:21

But surely children are likely to have heard the term and would then wonder where it was - you have similar anatomy like pictures with brain, heart, lungs etc. even younger you can't see those either, but they're useful to label, so I don't think not being able to see it is actually confusing.

Hakluyt Sat 07-Jun-14 11:32:19

Presumably any discussion of penises includes the fact that some things you can do with them feel nice?

Why would you not send the same message to girls about their genitals?

littleducks Sat 07-Jun-14 11:36:40

Hayluyt We were told the extent of the lesson was boys have a penis whereas girls have a vagina and clitoris. No mention of function more comparison between the genders.

RevoltingPeasant Sat 07-Jun-14 11:37:58

Young girls often do "use" their clitoris, though. I distinctly remember my youngest sister as a toddler firmly rubbing her teddy bear between her legs before going to sleep. I remember as a primary schooler really enjoying sliding down the fireman's pole in the playground. This is not dirty or wrong, it is an age-appropriate development of sexual feelings. Why should little girls only know about this part of their body in relation to having sex with men as adults?

Viviennemary Sat 07-Jun-14 11:51:06

I think it's a bit of a pointless excercise teaching them these terms. Why should a year 3 know this unless they are also learning other medical terms for other parts of the body such as oesophagus which they aren't.

IwinIwin Sat 07-Jun-14 12:02:21

YANBU OP, too much information too early. Vulva is the best thing to teach and then to make it clear as they age and progress they'll lean more about the vulva and how it works. I do think kids should be taught about masturbation when they reach the end of primary/start of secondary- not a how to, but that it's normal and everyone does it. I think parents should explain more when they think their child is ready and not ignore it like it's something 'dirty'- as my friend was told throughout her life.

Hakluyt Sat 07-Jun-14 12:03:22

There is no such thing as "too much information"

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