Sexualization of childhood

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Wyldgusechaz, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. Wyldgusechaz

    Wyldgusechaz New Member

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    A friend and I were talking and we both felt kids today get too much sex talk and stuff too young. I remember a radio show with Danny Bonaduce and Jamie White laughing at how many little boys and girls were coming to their Halloween door dressed as pimps and ho's. They thought it was funny.I coined a term *the sexualization of childhood* to categorize what I have seen.

    Is it a good thing, a bad thing? At what age would you think sex should start invading childhood? I was basically asexual for a long time and I am so glad I was now. Except in situations where sexuality was forced on you thru abuse and I an not prying at all for that we have touched that topic earlier, let it rest, how did you naturally become sexualized? When did you start thinking of yourelf as sexual?
     
  2. naughty

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    Wyld,

    I am so glad you brought this up. As you can see we had many members here who were initiated into things that they probably might not have wanted at too early an age. It is unfortunate. and we are paying a heavy toll. Younger and younger unwed pregnancy, fodder for predators, young men and women ruining their minds, lives and bodies before they even have a chance to live... it really is tragic. I am so thankful that my parents we vigilant about what I was exposed to as a child. I do not regret anything I was not exposed to even now as an adult...
     
  3. Lex

    Lex
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    The sexual hang-ups that we have are inherent to our adult aversions to sexuality and centuries of repression. I think that once we as adults get over things like nudity, our children will be much better socialized. I am a firm believer that our repression is what leads to many children being exposed and abused.

    I am not saying that children should be randomly exposed to any and all adult content. What I AM saying, is that children should be raised to understand that sexuality if a part of being a human and that there arfe responsibilities and boudaries that come with the entire concept of being a global citizen.
     
  4. IntoxicatingToxin

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    Wow, Lex... I agree with you wholeheartedly. I'm trying to teach my son that, he's 5 years old. It's tough though, when your friends don't agree. My son has no issue changing clothes in front of other people... Like when we're at the pool or whatever... but my friends get all weird and uncomfortable and take their kids out of the room. I'm like... "What's the problem? It's just his body!"
     
  5. Wyldgusechaz

    Wyldgusechaz New Member

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    One of the most depressing stats of all. Epidemic. I will use a recent tragedy in my area as an example. A 24 pro football player was killed in a drive by shooting recently. He was a great player with a bright future. He was the product of an unwed pregnancy. He had 2 children both products of unwed pregnancy. A repetitive vicious cycle. If you accept that children are better off with 2 loving involved parents, of any sort, how are we gonna develop better young adults if 50% of kids are raised in a single parent home? But I disgress.
     
  6. naughty

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    Meg,

    Tell me if I am wrong. It seems you want your son to feel good about his body and not ashamed of it? Well I applaud you in that. I do sometimes feel concern that when a child is very open he or she can be fodder for other predatory children or adults. I wish there were a way to help little children continue to keep the innocence about their bodies while also training a degree of modesty that will protect them against harm...









     
  7. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    You coined that? :rolleyes:

    Personally, I think parents often do too much to protect children from sexuality. I also think certain groups and organizations also do too much, as their often misguided efforts I believe do more harm than good. I think that it is wholly unnatural for parents to still think of and treat their offspring as if they were children long after they have sexually matured, often through their late teens or early twenties.

    Kids are going to want to know certain things, particularly when their bodies start changing and the hormones start flowing, and they will seek out and find things whether you want them to or not. Even before the onset of puberty, which in most cases is far earlier than most American parents are willing to accept their children as sexual beings, kids are still often sexually curious. Yet the way that sex is swept under the rug, so to speak, and not referred to at all because of some naive delusion that kids must not know or understand anything, leaves our children without any good way to get the information they want. By the time that most parents are willing to talk to their children about sex- typically in their mid teens, if it ever happens at all- it's usually too late. The topic has already been established as something taboo and awkward that can't be discussed with your parents at that point. Futhermore, they were probably already curious LOOONG before, and sought out and had their questions answered from other sources. Friends, magazines, the internet, sexual experimentation... whatever.

    Then you have individuals and organizations out there, mostly religious, who are so terrified of sex that they will do whatever they can to demonize and villify the act in the minds of children. In this way we end up with people who are just completely fucked in the head when it comes to sex. Because we don't trust kids to be intelligent or responsible, we fill their heads with lies and misinformation. We end up with sexual education courses in schools and churches that teach all sorts of innacurate things to try and push abstinence on kids. When these children grow up often they have so many neuroses about sex they can't function in a healthy adult relationship. They end up with guilt issues, body-image issues, etc. Or they fear sex because, after all, they really don't know much about it. Sometimes you end up with the kids who are overprotected all their lives and then go to college and self-destruct because their parents never once trusted them with any personal responsibility and now all of a sudden they have a huge pile of it thrust upon them.

    Further complicating things, sex sells. It's widely known and widely accepted. So in the media it's all over the goddamn place. If a child can't get their parents to tell them what sexuality means, all they have to do to find out is turn on the TV, listen to the Akon CD or watch a Britney Spears video. Lacking any input from any better sources, they learn what sex is from Victoria's Secret and Girls Gone Wild. Then they can pick either from the fear and neuroses view of sex that has been crammed down their throats (along with all that other Puritanical garbage, thank you Providence and Plymouth Plantation) by the adults who never trusted them, or they can pick the oversexed material view of sex that the media has saturated their lives with in an effort to sell them something. Because nobody to this point has offered them a healthy medium.



    I was sexually aware when I was four years old, or possibly younger. I learned that sex was an inappropriate topic of discussion with my parents pretty early, of course. When discovered playing sexually charged games of truth or dare with my sister and her friends, my sister and I were grounded for months. By the time I was 16 or so and my dad decided to "have the talk" with me... I couldn't help but laugh at him. At that point I probably knew more about sex than he did, and talking to him about it was just about the last thing I would have wanted to do at that point.

    Have lots of other stories I could tell about friends and past girlfriends that reinforce all the points I made above, but I don't really want to get into it all. Everything I said has at least a dozen anecdotes attached to it.
     
  8. Wyldgusechaz

    Wyldgusechaz New Member

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    >>>You coined that?<<<

    I think I did. I called a radio station and asked them why they thought sexualizing Halloween for 5 and 6 year olds was funny? I asked "why do we have to sexualize childhood when everything else is so sexualized?"

    I don't get any royalties tho. ( a joke)
     
  9. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    Did you call the radio station in 1996? I think I've been hearing that phrase for at least that long.
     
  10. IntoxicatingToxin

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    Well, partly. But so many people see bodies as being sexual things... like my friends daughter might see my son as a sexual being if she sees his penis. I think people need to just chill on the sexuality thing. I think that the more of a 'taboo' it is, then the more kids will experiment with it. They rebel, that's their thing.
     
  11. rob_just_rob

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    Well said.

    Society likes to pretend that children don't have sexual thoughts or impulses. They do - even if they don't know what they are - and it's got to be better for the child if they can talk about those impulses when they need to, as opposed to having them swept under the carpet.
     
  12. Wyldgusechaz

    Wyldgusechaz New Member

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    Nope 2001. I never heard it before but that doesn't mean its only my thought and from your experience it isn't. No biggy.
     
  13. Chrysalis

    Chrysalis New Member

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    There are, unfortunately, no easy answers to this. My parents were both raised in very "puritanical" homes, and as a result, my mother was sexually repressed. They were 1960's peace corps volunteers before they had children, and were exposed to a lot of other cultures and ideas. Eventually, the plan they devised was that, to help their children accept their bodies, our family would make no attempts to hide our nakedness from each other. We weren't nudists -- didn't walk around naked all the time, but for example, if my dad was naked in his bedroom and needed to go elsewhere in the house to get something, he would do it without a qualm. My mother was often naked and would leave the door open to her bedroom while changing, etc., and my brother and I came and went as we pleased.

    I never saw my father's erect penis, but I saw my father's uncut flaccid penis more times than I can possibly count. My brother and I saw each other naked quite frequently until puberty.

    I was always a curious child, and my father was a somewhat distant, workaholic genius. But he did love to explain things to me. So, if the question was "Daddy, how do my eyes work," he'd devote his full attention to it -- even draw an anatomical diagram and explain the optics..(his degree was in physics).

    When I was about five, I was pondering where babies came from. The best answer I had gotten out of my parents up to that point was, "The daddy's seed fertilizes the mommy's egg." But I couldn't puzzle this out. Did the seed fly through the air? How did it know which woman's egg to fertilize? Did a man's "seeds" somehow change when he got married, and start floating toward a particular woman?

    Naturally, I asked my father and mother this question, they gave each other a pointed look, and my father proceeded to sit me down and draw diagrams. That day, I learned the mechanics (semen comes from testes, penis goes in vagina, eggs come from ovaries, sperm fertilizes egg). Oh, and by the way, do NOT tell your friends about this.

    I didn't know about orgasms, or periods, or anything like that, though. Just the rough mechanics.

    When I started to develop breasts, I set a boundary with my father, on my own initiative. I remember, once, after having a talk with him about knocking before opening the door to my bedroom, that he opened the door, realized he had forgotten to knock, and was, in addition to that, naked. He jokingly said, "Oh! Sorry! I'm naked!" rolled his eyes as if to dismiss my uptightness, and strolled off to his bedroom.

    My mother and father never touched my brother or me in a sexual way. My brother and I never touched each other in a sexual way.

    And just to make everything completely fucked up, we were Southern Baptists!!!! We went to church, and were told to abstain, that sex before marriage was wrong, etc. etc. etc... I remember wanting to go to the movies alone with a boy when I was 13 and my father saying "no." When I explained that I was a good Christian and there was no possibility of me doing anything improper if left with a boy, my father told me of a "Good Christian" neighbor girl who had snuck into his bedroom at night wearing nothing but a baby-doll nightgown. Apparently, he thought that there were no "good girls," and that we just can't be trusted to make our own decisions about our own bodies.

    Unfortunately, his words became a self-fulfilling prophecy. My 33-year-old brother and I are two of the most oversexed people I have ever encountered. We both had sexual thoughts and urges from early childhood. We were both promiscuous as teenagers. We've both had difficulty with monogamy. And we don't know if we just got a weird set of "horny" genes, or if our parents really shouldn't have been quite so open with us...

    Should they have told me about the "birds and bees" when I was five, or shouldn't they have? (BTW I did get the scoop on periods and orgasms from my mom by the time I was ten, but at that point I'd already had orgasms in my sleep).

    I'll never really know, so I don't blame anyone for the way I am. There's definitely no changing it now. But I suspect that my parents' behavior may have had something do with it. Parents can err in either direction, I think, despite their best intentions.
     
  14. Wyldgusechaz

    Wyldgusechaz New Member

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    I think its better that we be a good local citizen, specifically to your own child, and be there 24/7 for any child we bring on the earth. Anyone who isn't is a dogshit *global citizen*.
     
  15. danerain

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    I was thinking the same thing. That phrase has been around for a while. :tongue:
     
  16. rob_just_rob

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    The expression you are looking for is "independently derived". :smile:
     
  17. getnbiggrTO

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    There's been a lot of good stuff written here already, but I think it's important to reiterate that there's a real difference between the "natural" sexual curiosity of kids -- I'm sure that "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" has been played down through the centuries -- and the potentially exploitative sexualization of childen in everything from Little Miss Sunshine pageants and Bratz dolls...

    Many historians of sexuality have argued that the idea of a child who is completely asexual and innocent of sexual curiosity is a relatively recent phenomenon. According to these folks, kids a few hundred years ago were often casually exposed to sex by seeing the animals on the farm mating, or by innocuous play between children. But in the 19th century as folks moved into the cities, started sending their kids to school for structured learning and Victorian sexual repression starts to become a mainstream social force, kids got reimagined as these innocents: and things like masturbation or even plain ol' sexual curiosity became activities that parents needed to prevent.

    So, I'd venture to say that the problem with the current situation isn't necessarily that kids are being widely accepted as sexual beings - cause I'm not sure that that's the case. The thing that creeps me out about seeing an 8 year old girl dressed up like a ho for Hallowe'en is that it somehow seems to based on a really exploitative model of sexuality. And that somehow it doesn't seem to be working for young boys in quite the same way it does for young girls.

    Anyway, for those interested in some other thoughts on this, there was just an interesting piece in the NYTimes about this exact question by a father watching his daughter go through it.

    Middle School Girls Gone Wild - New York Times



    - J.
     
  18. SammyQ

    SammyQ New Member

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    I'm not sure how i feel about this. I mean, i grew up in an all male household where it was just my brothers, me and my dad. My dad is very young to be a parent (considering im 18) and he was very open about bringing woman home and sex. My brothers were as well. I've been exposed to sex my whole life and i've never really thought anything of it. I think its fine to be having sex in high school and for some even middle school. If a kid is curious, i think you should let him be and not hide him/her from something natural.

    And yea, theres a line when kids are really young and are exploited like mentioned above in pagaents. That can be weird becuase of the people that watch. But thats really the parents decision and if they are weird like that then let them. I think its all up to the parent and then the kid to know/see as much sexuality as they want to.
     
  19. snoozan

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    I see a huge difference between nudity, natural sexuality, and some of the crap kids are exposed to today.

    i have no problem with my kids being nude, asking questions about sex (and giving honest answers) but i do have a problem seeing a 7 year old girl dressed like britney spears. it's the objectification that i can't deal with, not the sexuality.

    sex is just another marketing tool and it's reaching younger and younger consumers. i don't want my children growing up where being paris hilton is their ultimate goal.

    i don't want my kids to have children as teenagers. period. i want them to be able to pursue an education and a life without being hindered by children and/or complicated sexual relationships and hang ups.

    are those things puritanical? maybe. but it's the way i feel, and the way i'll raise my kids, at least for now.
     
  20. Chrysalis

    Chrysalis New Member

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    I think your approach sounds balanced and wise. What probably screwed me up the most were the mixed messages..."your sexuality is okay" and "your sexuality is not okay" at the same time. It sounds like you're sending your kids a consistent message:

    "Your sexuality is okay, but it's a part of life; it doesn't need to rule your life."
     
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