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Family
Naming Female Parts 17 June 2009
What words do you teach your children?

Earlier this year the government announced the introduction of compulsory sex education in primary schools. When it becomes part of the curriculum in 2011, 5 year olds will be taught about relationships and parts of the body. Children will already have a vocabulary for their genitalia by then, picked up from their parents but it seems that finding acceptable words can be a bit of a dilemma. The words “vulva” and “vagina” are anatomically correct but aren't that widely used in practice. We hear from some parents about the difficulties of choosing the right words for their daughter’s genitalia. Jenni is joined by the journalist Annalisa Barbieri and Dr Hera Cook, a lecturer in the history of sexuality at the University of Birmingham, to discuss the vocabulary and euphemisms we use for parts of the female body and their effect on our attitude to women's sexuality.
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