“When it came to the male anatomical slide in the cartoon-style presentation, every part was correctly labelled, yet when the female anatomy appeared on the big screen, I noticed that the clitoris was not there,” Rachel told Mamamia.
After the presentation concluded, Rachel approached the host to ask about why there was no mention of the clitoris and what the reasons might be for its absence.
“I was genuinely curious as to why, in an otherwise very open and honest presentation that reference to a legitimate and important female body part, was missing.
“The educators reply was that in the past they did have a female genital illustration that included a clitoris but that it was deemed too ‘confronting’. I don’t know if she meant for the parents or the children, and whether there had been actual complaints; either way the slide was removed but she was hopeful of its return.”
Sharon Grocott, Head of National Services for Interrelate, confirmed that a new age-appropriate presentation, including a depiction of the clitoris, is being rolled out later this year and that there are many reasons to celebrate its return.
A firm believer in teaching children the correct words for genital anatomy from an early age, Sharon believes it is not only because it is important for kids when they go to the doctor or have a health complaint, but because research proves that kids who know the correct terms for body parts are less likely to be sexually abused.
“Empowering children to better understand their bodies means that they are actually less vulnerable to predators, according to research conducted by multiple organisations such as the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, and the New South Wales Child Protection Council," Sharon said.
A 2013 joint study by The University of Colorado and Florida University on pre-schoolers knowledge of genital body parts, also shows that children who can correctly name their genitals are able to "disclose abuse and improve adults’ responses to these disclosures, so that they can receive early intervention and protection to reduce negative consequences of sexual exploitation."