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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » What do you think about this article on children and their sexual expression?

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Author Topic: What do you think about this article on children and their sexual expression?
Allie R
Member # 102566

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Click here for the article. I'm interested to hear other's takes on this situation.

I personally agree with the conclusion of the article- I'm afraid the reactions that this situation have drawn are far worse than what has transpired in the first place.

[ 02-16-2013, 04:06 PM: Message edited by: Robin Lee ]


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I agree that shaming the kids involved isn't going to produce positive results, but I'm not sure I'd react much (if at all) differently than a lot of these parents seem to be. I'm not sure I would know how to say "This was not a good thing and you need to tell me if it ever happens again" if such a bombshell was dropped on me by my preschooler or an administration. At the very least, I would have a hard time keeping my head with emotions running high. It's what we as a society are taught to do: freak out when kids display perceived-as-sexual behaviors because it's dirty/immoral/any number of things. I'm not saying I believe those reasons, but I'd still be questioning my ability to parent if I found that my preschool-aged child was initiating encounters like this with other preschoolers.

All that said, I think this quote nails it dead-on: "Some adults chastise young children for playing doctor, masturbating, or occasionally exposing themselves to their peers. But most of us know that kids will be kids and a “that isn’t appropriate in public” talk will nip problematic behaviors in the bud."

I am definitely curious about how the little girls supposedly at the center of all this came into the idea that this was something they should do. While little ones aren't known for their ability to judge the appropriateness of a situation, I knew that my genitals were private by the time I was three or four. I didn't know why exactly, but I knew, and I didn't want anything to do with anyone else's.

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I dunno, I wanted to kiss a boy my age's penis (I think I might have actually) when we were both 5, we both wanted to do it, so I don't see any harm in it, I'd be really concerned if these kids were trying to have intercourse, but if nothing else, setting aside debates about oral sex, it's certainly not a sign of something wrong for kids to want to play doctor, just because you didn't want anything to do with other people's genitals at that age doesn't mean all the other kids felt that way too. I look back on my consensual doctor playing with other children as one of the few times in my childhood where I felt like there wasn't a power imbalance or someone having a hidden agenda.

Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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Believe me, I know that my experiences are not universal, or there would be no point in this discussion. I was just saying that the way I, personally, was raised, genitals were private things and nobody got to touch mine without my say-so, nor was I to touch anyone else's, and I followed that. I'm sorry if that came across as thinking my way is superior--that was not my intention, and that's not how I feel. I just get where the parents in this article are coming from because of that, is all.

Though, I don't think that kids playing doctor will scar them for life. I think that's been made fairly apparent over the years. In this case, the first thing I thought of was a health issue--just that little kids aren't the best at cleaning themselves, and so it's possible that could cause problems.

Again, I think shaming these kids for what happened will cause more problems down the road. (If this whole thing blowing up in a media scandal hasn't already taken care of that...)

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I definitely think the parents are wayy overreacting. In my opinion, the two major problems with all of this are a) As you said, shaming the kids could definitely negatively impact their lives down the road, and b) If it is true that the girl learned about blow jobs from being molested by someone much older, this is obvious of serious concern.
Otherwise, as someone who when she was 5 also had sex with boys her age (not oral, but rubbing genitals together or whatever it was) and have never felt remotely traumatized by it, I just don't think it's a big deal as long as it's consensual. Of course, I haven't studied child psychology in the slightest (nor anything about STIs in young children - I'm sure it's a possibility), so there could be physical and emotional ramifications to these actions, for some kids. I just wish adults could chill out about their kids having a sexuality - whatever the age (cuz let's get real, there are parents of 20-year-olds who react this way too). I would much rather have a 5-year-old kid be sexual with another kid than be violent or maliscious towards them. And, as I currently work with a classroom of 4-6-year-olds, I already see too much fighting and not enough cuddles! (Though they're definitely cuddly as well, fortunately [Smile] )

[ 05-05-2013, 10:06 PM: Message edited by: Lilerse ]

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