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It's a penis, no?

(198 Posts)
MamyPoko Sun 15-Sep-13 19:43:20

So, I'm drying my son (nearly 2) after his bath. He grabs his penis, and I say (helpfully) "that's your penis." DH, nearby, counters "that's your pipi, DS." I say, "it's his pipi, but it's also his penis." DH tells me, "people don't like it if you use the proper word"

I look blank. He uses the word penis in relation to his own equipment, so I'm assuming he means people don't like you using the proper terms in relation to small children. I ask for clarification, as to what people, when. He doesn't know, but is adamant (and, apparently, "vagina" is worse). He invokes the BBC guidelines, and claims you wouldn't say penis or vagina on daytime TV unless it was "editorially relevant". Naming a penis a penis is relevant, no?

(I think by "people", he might mean his mother)

Now, I've done sex education with young people with disabilities, and it's really important they learn to use anatomically correct words. It gives them an adult vocabulary which is important for keeping safe, for starting sexual relationships, and for accessing healthcare. It's not right to infantalise them.

DH says it is right to infantalise DS, because he's an infant. He then said, "Go on, ask your Mumsnet"

MY Mumsnet.

AgentProvocateur Sun 15-Sep-13 19:46:55

I'm with you. I've also done sex ed with disabled young people, and it's really important to use the right names so that if there's ever abuse, there's no doubt in court what part if the body is being referred to.

StuntGirl Sun 15-Sep-13 19:47:09

Children should be taught the correct terms.

You will get a lot of people on here telling you its perfectly fine to use ridiculous made up words though.

Morgause Sun 15-Sep-13 19:48:01

Correct words at all times.

Dawndonnaagain Sun 15-Sep-13 19:48:13

It's a penis and your dh is being prissy!

Bunnygotwhacked Sun 15-Sep-13 19:49:31

mine have all known the correct terms since they started taking an interest in them course my dd did have speech delay so it turned out boys have peanuts and girls have giants but I knew what she meant

RobotHamster Sun 15-Sep-13 19:49:48

Despite my best efforts DS insists on calling it a 'wangle' hmm

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Sun 15-Sep-13 19:49:48

Ds once told me,

'That's not my penis, that's my bobbin.'

Bobbin? Fecking BOBBIN??


That's what nursery told him. Not penis, bobbin.



It's a penis.

DustyBinAteMyCat Sun 15-Sep-13 19:49:49

Well technically it's a willy but i prefer penis to pipi!

meditrina Sun 15-Sep-13 19:49:52

Children need to kow oth the correct terms, and the normal day to day term (bit like abdomen/tummy, arm/ brachial appendage, belly button/navel/umbilicus etc).

So I think children need to know penis/willy (or local variant). Trickier for girls as there is not term as universal in UK as "willy"?

grin at the idea of "infantilising" a 2 year old being an issue! I should imagine that quite a lot of things other than body parts have pet names at that age.

Alanna1 Sun 15-Sep-13 19:51:23

Correct words. Or basically correct words - my 2 year old says "daddy has a willy" and "mummy has nipples". Mainly she has learnt these words because those are the bits on is both she grabs for in the bath. But I've been telling her penis too.

OPeaches Sun 15-Sep-13 19:51:59

DS says girls have baginas.

I think using 'penis' for a penis is ok. I think pipi, willy, etc are ok too.

LittleWhiteWolf Sun 15-Sep-13 19:52:13

We use the correct terms, although DD does refer to her bits and mine as her "bagina". I read that it can be helpful in terms of red flags for grooming or abuse, because potential abusers are more likely to use cutesy, "fun" names.
My mum finds it really weird (we had bottom and front bottom hmm), which TBH tells me we've made the right choice as to what to refer to our body parts as.

edlyu Sun 15-Sep-13 19:52:30

Nothing wrong at all with correct terms.

You have already said to DS that it is called a Pipi and a Penis.

You continue to use penis and DH can call it a pipi .See who looks silliest

alwaysneedaholiday Sun 15-Sep-13 19:53:04

My DCs know the correct words, but I do get a few horrified looks when they use them especially when walking along the beach randomly shouting 'vagina'

I think people find it a lot more pleasant to hear children using childish terms.

filee777 Sun 15-Sep-13 19:53:20

It is nspcc guildlines to use unambiguous and correct terminology for private parts.

Not only does it remove the element of 'naughty to talk about' it also means that (god forbid) if a child were abused there would be a much quicker way of establishing what abuse had occurred. If people are talking about 'pipi's' or 'pennies' then it takes the police/ss lots longer to establish what they actually mean, which is stressful for the child above anything.

It's fanny and willy here

BackforGood Sun 15-Sep-13 19:53:44

What meditrina said.
Personally my dc used words like 'willy', tummy, and belly button, and have always fitted right in. It's not stopped them learning the medical terminology in sex ed in Yr6, or knowing which word to use in different situations in their teens.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Sun 15-Sep-13 19:54:14

I think it's important for children to know the correct anatomical names for their body parts but I don't particularly object to my sons calling their genitals "willy" or my daughter calling hers "front bum".

Being prissy over the proper names implies that they're taboo, feeds into this idea that the naked human form in itself is a sexual thing. It's not. It's just the human body; nothing gross or sexual about it until someone imposes that idea onto it.

littlewhitebag Sun 15-Sep-13 19:54:47

Correct terms every time. I work in child protection and i meet many young people who are mortified by using the correct names for their anatomy. It is also very confusing when there are a million different family names for genitals.

OHforDUCKScake Sun 15-Sep-13 19:55:52

The English (in comparison to Americans) hate using the word penis and vagina.

Im english and cringe and both.

Even when I see the doctor about and issue its an issue 'down there' not my vagina.

In fact when I went for a smear once, I had a lovely nurse (who used to me a MW no less) who referred to my bits as my 'fanny' which, being only 18 at the time really relaxed the scary atmosphere for me. Had she started talking vaginas and spatulars or whatever the frick they are called I think I would have curled up and died.

Chrissy178 Sun 15-Sep-13 19:56:07

Agree with using the correct term, that's what it's called after all. :D

My nearly 3 year old DS uses the word penis and it's never been an issue.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Sun 15-Sep-13 19:56:29

DD1 is 2 1/2. We currently use 'foof', 'willy'/'penis' and 'boob'/'boobie'. I'll start to use 'vagina' when she's able to say it.

Doesnotdrinkalcohol Sun 15-Sep-13 19:56:58

I will be teaching my DD the correct terms when she starts talking. I was taught vagina/willy by my mum.

CreatureRetorts Sun 15-Sep-13 19:56:59

It's a PENIS FFS. Your DH is being a prude.

I use willy but have told ds he has a penis.

AND, shock horror, dd has a VULVA. Yep, it is a vulva people.

<enjoys winding up the DH>

OHforDUCKScake Sun 15-Sep-13 19:57:19

littlewhitebad why is it confusing when there are several names?

As a family growing up we had our own made up names for both sets of genitalia but confused was definitely not something I felt. I knew always that everyone had their own name for their bits.

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