How would you react if you bought a doll for your daughter and discovered that it has an anatomically correct penis? Perhaps you might be surprised because dolls never have genitals, but then pretty quickly think it’s really no big deal. Or perhaps you would have a bit of a freak out and take to the Internet to air your shock and judgment.
Donna Wood Burgmann, a New Jersey mom, did the latter. After she bought the You & Me Mommy Change My Diaper Doll, which doesn’t specify on its box anything about being anatomically correct, Burgmann shared her shock on Facebook, along with a photo of the doll.
“I took my daughter to buy a new baby at toys r us. And she was so excited to find a baby boy doll because it was dressed in blue. But when she went to change his diaper, this was the surprise. Why?? These r little girls that don’t need to know the anatomy,” she wrote, according to News 96.5.com, a Florida-based radio station (the original Facebook page is no longer available).
Some parents sided with Burgmann. “O WoW!!!,” wrote Betty Grooms Huff in reply to the post. “Packaging should be more specific so parents can make the choice whether or not it’s appropriate for their child. It’s kinda late to take it back now that she’s already been exposed to seeing that. I mean the damage is done and it left you having to explain things sooner than you wanted to.”
Another seemed even more shocked than Burgmann. “This is nuts! Figuratively & literally!” wrote Candida DeMasse Krupa.
Others, however, not only shrugged it off as no big deal, but said the doll is a valuable tool to educate kids.
“Why shouldn’t kids of any age be knowledgeable about body parts? I would prefer a doll like this to open up discussion for my girls who have no brothers and would otherwise not comprehend the difference between girls and boys. Studies show kids who are informed about their bodies and functions are less likely to become victims of sexual abuse than those who aren’t,” wrote Patty Lafferty-Hanna.
On the website Sheknows.com, Monica Beyer said it is “concerning” that any parent would be this “uncomfortable” over having to talk to their children about body parts.
“How on earth is it inappropriate for a child to see a naked baby? What about a baby makes a penis or a vulva dirty or sexual? Because that’s what it sounds like when people say that it’s wrong for little girls to see it. The truth is, when a child points out the body part that she doesn’t have, all a parent is required to do is call it by its name,” she writes.