It doesn’t take very long before a young boy realizes that he has a penis and that girls don’t have one. It is always cute, and a little surprising, when they ask you why girls are different. A classic question is, “How do they pee if they don’t have a penis?”
Fortunately, at this young age their questions are pretty basic. They just want to know how the pee comes out of a girl.
Often we teach that boys have a penis and girls have a vagina, but actually pee does not come out the vagina. There is a separate little opening for pee to come out called the urethral opening. It is located in the vulva.
What is the vulva? Just as a boy’s genitals (private parts) include the penis and testicles, a girl’s genitals (private parts) are called the vulva. Inside the vulva is the opening for the urethra and the opening for the vagina. I am hopeful that as time goes on, we can change the description of the girl’s genitals from vagina to vulva as we teach our children more accurate terms.
Your young son probably does not need all of that information. It is a perfectly age-appropriate answer to say that boys have a penis and girls just have a small opening in their vulva.
If he wants to know what a vulva is you can explain that as the penis and testicles are a boy’s genitals, or private parts, located between his legs, the vulva is the girl’s genitals, or private parts, which is located between her legs.