Why We Should Teach Children Proper Names for Private Body Parts
Genitals, like other body parts, are healthy, good, and essential to our physical well-being. We name them “private parts” because they are generally off-limits to others. We keep them covered. However, these body parts are not so private that we can’t speak about them respectfully, with their proper names.
One of our society’s deepest-set norms is that we don’t mention the anatomically correct names of our private body parts. Some parents use slang words and silly names when referring to them. In fact, many families don’t use any names at all. They are too embarrassed to even acknowledge those parts exist.
We should use plain and accurate language when referring to private parts. In other words, use the correct medical terms to name body parts. Incorrect names send the message that genitals are shameful, naughty, wrong, bad, and that it’s rude to mention them.
What is child molestation? Signs, examples and resources
What is child molestation? People have a difficult time talking about child molestation. Other common terms include child sexual abuse and child sexual assault. There are various legal definitions and connotations behind each term. Ultimately, they all refer to any sexual activity between an adult and child or adolescent, which is abusive and illegal. Child molestation or child sexual abuse is an exploitation of power, and usually of trust. This is especially true when you consider that 90% of child molestation or child sexual abuse is committed by someone the child knows and trusts.
Children engaged in problematic sexual behaviors also sometimes sexually abuse other children. This abuse often involves a child of unequal power or development to them. In fact, recent research shows that over 70% of children or youth who report they were sexually abused, either in person or online, were abused by a peer or older child.
Nov. 18th: World Day for Child Sexual Abuse Prevention
On Saturday, Nov. 18th, we celebrated the second annual World Day for the Prevention of, and Healing from Child Sexual Abuse, Exploitation and Violence. The Enough Abuse Campaign was a founding partner of the Global Collaborative that helped establish this day, which was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2022.
We are thankful that Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey listened to the voices of survivors and advocates for children, declaring Nov. 18th Childhood Sexual Abuse Awareness Day in Massachusetts.
We are hopeful that this growing awareness will help our #PassthePreventionPackage campaign succeed to pass child sexual abuse prevention laws in our state. Our advocacy on this issue was recently featured in a Boston25 News story on educator sexual misconduct in Massachusetts.