Hey, hey, hey, it’s Chanté, back this week to continue the convo about sexuality and intersectionality. This week, I want to revisit a little basic terminology I brought up last time.
Bonnie Rough echoes many comprehensive sex educators in her assertion that it is often adult discomfort with the idea of children being sexual beings, or an inability to see things like nudity in a non-sexual light, that drives the way they interact with children’s sexuality. She’s honest about the ways in which she, and many other well-meaning parents, can be so focused on how they can prevent negative outcomes of sex that they inadvertently reinforce harmful, sex-negative messages. She poses an alternate question for parents to ponder in place of merely thinking about how to prevent negative outcomes: what are my hopes and dreams for my children in their sexual lives?
Young people don’t arrive at their conclusions about appropriate romantic behavior in a vacuum; they’re influenced by a myriad of messages, including input from the adults in their lives. Sometimes that input includes ideas that end up exacerbating issues around rejection and dating. One of the ways we can work towards a world in which acts like this no longer happen, a world in which people, and women in particular, aren’t afraid their “no” will make them a target of violence, is to make a concerted effort to help the young people in our lives learn to deal with rejection in healthy ways. With that in mind, we’ve put together recommendations to assist adults in doing exactly that.