Healthline issued a statement on Tuesday saying, “Some people are under the impression that Healthline is now using the term ‘front hole’ instead of vagina. This is simply not true.”
Their statement comes in response to our story titled, Healthline says, using the medical term ‘vagina’ is not gender-inclusive language, uses ‘front hole’ instead.
“In no instance in this guide are we saying we want to replace the word vagina,” the statement goes on to say. “Nothing in the article indicates we’re endorsing a change in verbiage.”
Now, if you were to visit their website, at least the page we originally linked to, you might agree with them. However, since the story broke, the original article has been updated.
A notice added to the top of the section titled, ‘Why we need an LGBTQIA-inclusive safe sex guide’ reads: “We’ve updated this section to clarify how we use terms referring to genitals.”
So, what did the original article say? Did they say they were going to refer to the vagina as the ‘front hole’ instead of solely using the medical term ‘vagina’? Thanks to Internet Archive’s, Wayback Machine, you can see what the article looked like prior to the update.
Here’s the original excerpt we referred to in our story:
By using the word “parts” to talk about genitals and using medical terms for anatomy without attaching a gender to it, we become much more able to effectively discuss safe sex in a way that’s clear and inclusive.
For the purpose of this guide, we’ll refer to the vagina as the ‘front hole’ instead of solely using the medical term ‘vagina.’ This is gender-inclusive language that’s considerate of the fact that some trans people don’t identify with the labels the medical community attaches to their genitals.
For example, some trans and nonbinary-identified people assigned female at birth may enjoy being the receptor of penetrative sex, but experience gender dysphoria when that part of their body is referred to using a word that society and professional communities often associate with femaleness. An alternative that’s becoming increasingly popular in trans and queer communities is front hole.
This section has since been updated and now reads as follows:
“For the purpose of this guide, we’ve chosen to include alternative words for readers to use for their genitals. For example, some trans men choose to use the words ‘front hole’ or ‘internal genital’ instead of ‘vagina.’ Alternatively, some trans women may say ‘strapless’ or ‘girl d–k’ for penis. This usage is meant for one-on-one communication with trusted persons, such as your doctor or partner, not for broad discussion.”
“In this guide, whenever we use the medical term ‘vagina,’ we also include ‘front hole’ as clinically recommended by researchers in the BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth journal,” the article goes on to state.
Healthline say they have never, in no instance, used ‘front hole’ instead of vagina. But their own article said for the purpose of the LGBTQIA-inclusive safe sex guide, “we’ll refer to the vagina as the ‘front hole’ instead of solely using the medical term ‘vagina.’”