Thursday, January 19, 2012

An Ongoing Dialogue is Needed, Not Just "The Talk"

Our friend Mórrígan at Life As a Reader has another great entry, “Sex Education: These Are Things You Should Know.” Anyone responsible for children or thinking about becoming parents should read it.

Keeping children in the dark about anatomy, gender identity, sexuality, and relationships as well as molestation, sexual assault, or harassment, or leading them to be ashamed or afraid of their body, sexuality, identity, or feelings is a prescription for disaster. Because of Genetic Sexual Attraction, this is especially true of children who are adopted, resulted from a sperm, egg or embryo donation, or are otherwise likely to have genetic siblings with whom they are not growing up.

Many of the influences that the children will experience will, overtly or subtly, tell them that the ideal or only right relationship is a closed, monogamous, heterosexual marriage with someone close in age and of the same race who does not have a common ancestor for at least several generations. That is an extremely narrow and limiting view of human sexuality and relationships, and causes no small amount of pain. There are people who are happy fitting into that mold, but it is by no means the only existing, right, or functional relationship model and will not work for everyone.

It is also a good idea to inform children about the bigotries and prejudices that exist, some backed by unjust laws in some places, against people of certain sexual orientations or against some consensual relationships, and how to deal with and respond to such problems.

As far as two of my favorite topics, polyamory and consanguinamory, someone might, in addition to generally being uncomfortable with the fact that their teenager is a sexual being, be horrified at the idea of their teen being polyamorous or consanguinamorous. But from a parental perspective, when thought through logically:

1. Isn't it preferable to have a teen who is ethically polyamorous and open and honest about that with their family and their potential partners than to have a teen who is secretly hooking up with many different peers?

2. Isn't it preferable to have a teen who is satisfying their urges and curiosities with a sibling or cousin with mutual love and affection in the discreet privacy of their own home, as opposed to being known around town for hooking up with strangers or classmates at parties who don’t care about them?

Yes, I know most parents want their teens to be heterosexual and virgin monogamists, but most people are not going to be in all of those categories by the time they reach their twenties. It is better to be realistic, proactive, informative, and supportive than to make things even more difficult for your own child.
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1 comment:

  1. I completely agree with this. Thank you for posting it.


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