As part of the growing movement to prevent child sexual abuse, I strongly believe that teaching what linguists call “standard” dialect for body parts- rather than euphemisms and colloquialisms- is important.
Teaching children anatomically correct terms, age appropriately, promotes positive body image, self confidence, and parent-child communication; discourages perpetrators; and, in the event of abuse, helps children and adults navigate the disclosure and forensic
As far as I am concerned, accurate naming could also be a huge positive step in diminishing rape culture: perhaps most importantly, teaching kids to use the accurate words for their body parts teaches them that they have ownership over their body, provides a positive boost to their self-image, and increases their confidence. That could have radical implications for our current society’s pervasive rape culture, which advances the false perception that sexual assault is merely a consequence of promiscuity rather than a serious crime. If youth grow up with a deeper understanding of bodily autonomy and consent, they will be more likely to speak up when they feel that consent has been violated- and perhaps less likely to violate someone else’s consent.
To me, this is win-win-win. This is a critical tool in helping prevent sexual abuse and an essential part of being well adjusted that discourages shame. You don’t call your elbow your bo-bo, and you don’t need to call your vagina your hoo-ha. If a vagina is a vagina, then babies coming out of a vagina is a natural next question, not a box you can put a lid on. That’s all!
Use teaching opportunities to introduce the names of body parts. For example, try using the correct names while you’re bathing your child or changing his nappies or clothes. Age-appropriate books that include this subject for preschoolers, as well as anatomically correct dolls, can provide additional teachable moments.
As your child gets a little older, you can talk about how gender relates to a child’s biological sexual identity. For example, “Joseph has a penis and he is a boy. You have a vulva and you are a girl’. If your child seems interested, you can continue, ‘All boys and men have penises. All girls and women have vulvas’. You can offer more detailed information about the names of specific parts of the genitals once your child approaches school age. Boys aged 4-5 years can learn
about their scrotum- for example, “Those sacs between your legs are your scrotum. Inside them are special parts called the testicles’.Girls aged 4-5 years can be told, “The opening between your legs is called a vagina. That tiny button a little way up from this opening is your clitoris’. Both boys and girls can learn that they have buttock sand that the opening there is the anus.
Children need to learn the names for their genitals, just as they need to learn about their heads, shoulders, knees and toes.
By teaching your children that all the parts of the body are equally special, you will help them grow into adults with a healthy appreciation for their bodies.
ADEOGUN KAYODE JOSEPH
Kayode is a seasoned Motivational Speaker, a Business Consultant, a Researcher, and a Commentator on Public Affairs.
Formerly a civil servant in Ekiti state. Adeogun attended The Federal Polytechnic Ado Ekiti where he received National Diploma in Business Administration and Management
A graduate of University of Ado Ekiti (UNAD) now Ekiti State University (EKSU) where he obtained B.sc (Hons) degree in Accounting.
He bagged Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism in National Institute of Journalism. A member of Chartered Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria. He bagged a correspondence certificate course on Life and Business Coaching at School of Coaching Mastery. Hence, he is a certified life coach.
As a Motivational Speaker, he has attended and delivered papers at different seminars, workshops, summit and conferences. He has written several articles and essays which has been widely read. He has been read on radio talkshows and television programs in Lagos and Ekiti states.
A loving and devoted father. Adeogun Kayode, is a football enthusiast. He is happily married to Mrs Joyce Adeogun-Enakirehri- a graduate of Business Administration and Management from Ekiti State University. They are blessed with two children.
He markets individual, corporate and national character using client-specific strategies.
He is a Senior Correspondent to Glow Magazine. He is also a Contributing Writer for two newspapers and four magazines in Nigeria.
He loves tough calls. He loves to break new grounds. He is a Public Relation Officer. He is a versatile motivational speaker and a prolific and erudite writer.
He is the CEO of JOBA Consult an acronym coined from the first two letters of his two children- Joanna and Barnabas. JOBA Consult is established to leverage lives…
He conducts workshops and seminars and lectures on success, leadership and personal development.
He enjoys reading, swimming and singing as recreational activities.
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