I just ran across this jaw-dropping thread on Reddit, where medical personnel talk about the most uneducated thing they’d heard from patients. The whole thread is horrifying, but one story struck me as particularly relevant to modern politics. It’s about teaching children what to call their genitals.
I used to teach genito-urinary exams.
Med student asks this hillbilly guy to lift his penis out of the way so she can examine his testes.
“Your genitalia,” she says. “Your penis.”
At this point I intervene. I point to his crotch. “What do you call that thing there?”
“Well, get Thomas outta the way, would ya?”
EDIT: Since people are asking.
- To do a testicular exam right really does take two hands. Also, we ask the patient to lift it out of the way himself because it gives him a sense of control over what can be a very embarrassing procedure. There’s a lot of the steps in GU and DR (digito-rectal) exams that are mostly just there to establish patient comfort, not to give meaningful information.
- This is not the only time I’ve asked someone what they called their genitals because they did not recognize the proper names. Most people are only taught euphemisms for their genitals growing up. Once upon a time, it was not discussed in school for reasons of propriety. It remains an anatomical grey zone for a lot of people – they know their thumb is their thumb because their momma called it a thumb, but their momma never told em what to call the thing between their legs.
- Which, BTW, time for a PSA: teach your children the proper names for their genitals early on and make sure they are comfortable discussing their genitals frankly. Which sounds weird. But when their crotch stays a gray zone, associated with embarrassment, then they are (1) less likely to examine it for irregularities, (2) less likely to tell someone in a timely manner if they find irregularities, (3) less able to communicate exactly what’s wrong, and (4) less likely/able to communicate it if an adult touches them inappropriately.
You know what a Republican would call that? Grooming.
Here’s another response.
ref: #3. This. Source: I am a detective in Crimes Against Children. When a child is interviewed and they use the non proper name for their penis or vagina it means the interviewer then has to spend time clarifying this with this children and making the child more uncomfortable having to discuss it. Also, if children understand that these are normal body parts they will be more willing to learn about body safety and won’t view it as simply a “bad part”. This makes your child safer.
Preschool Teacher here: If you tell your kids it’s a bad spot, they’ll think they’re bad if something happens, and think they’ll be the ones in trouble. Seriously, don’t fuck your kids up because you’re too embarrassed to say penis and vagina, you dips.
Oh my god, a pre-school teacher talking to students about their genitals? GROOOOOMER!.
Jesus, I hate this timeline.