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Children's ability to identify and describe child abuse

19 replies

hi6789 · 30/07/2017 19:04

AIBU To worry that if we confuse the terms used to describe male and female sex organs then we take away our children's ability to describe sexual abuse?
I have read about people worried about using the correct terms for female anatomy in case they are called transphobic. In America it is reported that women have 'front holes' and the word “vagina” is exclusionary In media there seems to be little debating about the new gender laws and it's impact on children (the most vulnerable in society). What does everyone else think?

OP posts:

PurpleDaisies · 30/07/2017 19:07

There are plenty of things to worry about but I don't think this is one of them. Children don't always use proper terminology for genitals but still manage to get across whatever awful thing has happened to them.


mctat · 30/07/2017 19:10

Imo there is no valid reason not to use the proper terms for body parts.


GeillisTheWitch · 30/07/2017 19:16

Surely a "front hole" would be a urethra anyway, or do TRAs not know that real women have 3 holes?


PurpleDaisies · 30/07/2017 19:18

To be clear, I totally agree calling a vagina a "front hole" is ridiculous and unnecessary.

I just don't think opposing it for the reason described in the op makes sense.


hi6789 · 30/07/2017 19:20

Yes I agree mctat but if we are worried about offending people by using the correct language then our children will grow up censoring their language too. There seems to be a little more debate now in the mainstream media but hardly any on Mumsnet active threads so it makes me worry that the fear of offending people is more important than discussion on any part of the new gender laws.

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luckylucky24 · 30/07/2017 19:30

I think it is more important to educate children using the underwear rule and similar. I don't think changing the names makes it less able to spot.


mctat · 30/07/2017 19:36

I personally have no worries at all about offending anyone (or dc doing so) by using proper terms. I'd be far more offended to hear 'front hole' Confused


hi6789 · 30/07/2017 19:45

Yes the underwear rule is excellent luckylucky24, maybe it is just the feeling that some language is being censored and I was trying to work out what that would mean for children. I probably worded my starting post badly- i'm new to this.

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Moanyoldcow · 30/07/2017 19:47

I read (can't remember where) that teaching anatomical names helps to protect against CSA. I can't remember all of the details but I believe the theory was that children who are confident in naming their sexual organs correctly are offputting to potential abusers as they are body aware and able to describe contact accurately.

I'll try to find the link.

My son is 4. He uses all of the correct names for both male and female genitals and it seems very normal now.


WashingMatilda · 30/07/2017 19:49

No one is offended by the term 'vagina' OP.


Moanyoldcow · 30/07/2017 19:55


hi6789 · 30/07/2017 20:07

Good article Moanyoldcow

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streetface · 30/07/2017 20:08

I find the term 'front hole' so fucking offensive. A vagina is so much more than a fucking 'hole'. Men have been trying to label us as little more than 'fuck holes' for centuries. I'm damned if I'm going to call any part of my body a hole because men dressed as women feel offended.


hi6789 · 30/07/2017 20:25

Yes streetface I get your point but then if politicians end up being so worried about using what some think is exclusionary language then there will be no reasoned debate on the new laws and without reasoned debate then who knows what other policies may be affected, such as, the delivery of sex education in schools.

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GettingScaredNow · 30/07/2017 20:26

"Front hole" is the singular most vile thing I have said out loud today. Or this week. In fact, all year. And I just got divorced and am fighting to protect my kids from him so you can imagine my daily language.

If our vagina is our 'front hole' 🤢 then where do we wee from? Our wee hole I guess?
So now we have 3?
And why is no mans Anus described as his back hole and his penis described as his wee hole?

I have no qualms about offending anymore by using proper language and labels for anatomy. And my children at 3&5 know all the normal names.


lougle · 30/07/2017 20:41

Agencies who deal with these matters employ lots of sensitive means to elicit the relevant information and no words are necessary at all, if the child is unable to use them.

At my DD's special school they deliberately only use one term to cover all of the female sexual organs and one term for all of the male sexual organs, because they have decided that by using that very clear term, the children will remember it and be able to learn to say it if something untoward happens to them, and, crucially, there will be no doubt in a person of authority's mind that action must be taken to protect them. If there are other words brought in, they may well say nothing, for fear of not knowing which word to choose, or may not be understood clearly, etc. It's a difficult balance, and one which may change with age.


Pregnantmushroom · 30/07/2017 20:45

My child will use the terms "penis" and vagina... I don't understand how people can be so offended by using these atomically correct names for parts of the body... think about it...

A child is being sexually abused and the abuse is somehow uncovered, the case goes to court, but, the child uses a pet name for their private parts... is the jury more likely to know that a child has a firm understanding of their anatomy and what has happened if he/she calls their private parts (just a random name) ding a king/ minky

Or will they demonstrate a better coherence by being able to say "that person touched my penis/vagina" ?

Social worker friends have always been of the opinion that children need to know the correct name for their private parts and that they should not be touched in that area or have another persons/adults private parts put into or on their bodies including their bums, mouths and should not have their nipples touched or be touched in any way that makes them feel uncomfortable and to always tell an adult if something like that happens... it's basic child protection people!!!!


Whatisthisshit · 30/07/2017 20:50

I too have been wondering how this will impact on things such as the pants campaign and sex Ed in schools Sad


hi6789 · 30/07/2017 21:18

Yes Whatisthisshit when you read more about the new laws improving rights for one group you begin to see how other laws and policies would be affected so it is then about everyone and not just one group.
I found out more about the new gender laws from this thread: and

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