I’m tired and I don’t have the time or energy to write a long post, but I wanted to write something before it slipped my mind.
It’s occurred to me that one of the main obstacles in this world is the unwillingness of grownups/parents to accept their child will, someday, be a sexual being, just like most of the rest of us end up being. The problem is, of course, all the more pronounced with little girls. Now before you get all ‘OMG PEDOPHILE’ on my ass, let me direct you to the article that re-sparked this thought: My Daughter Has a Hand Mirror. Basically it’s an article laughing at some conservative blogger freaking out because a book for young people on sexuality seems to endorse young girls looking at their genitals with a mirror.
It’s rather befuddling. Why would anyone be opposed to this? Honestly? I guess people believe that discovery of sexual organs leads to interest in sex? People seems to be so obsessed with this ‘violation of innocence’. Well, here’s a newsflash – your daughter figuring out where her clitoris is isn’t going to be violating any innocence. Most likely she’s going to think nothing of it and go about her little life just like normal. Why this belief that she’s suddenly (apparently) going to become some different person? Why this idea that knowing about sex puts this huge burden on someone? I mean, come on, when you found out about sex, how deeply did you fall into depression? How did you mourn the passing of your childhood? I don’t remember a time I didn’t know what sex was, and I never remember it being distressing, and certainly it didn’t make me grow up any faster. Hell, I lived in my own imaginary world for probably way too long. (I might even stretch to add here that if learning about sex is overwhelmingly distressing, whatever they’ve just been taught is probably an overall distressing version of what sex is that would even cause me distress.)
Of course sex is the realm of adults, and of course we don’t want children involved in sexual acts with other people. But unless your kid has other issues, your daughter at age 8 isn’t interested in sex, at all! Except for maybe that shy curiosity, like I had, but hey, if it was in my mom’s home medical guide, I wanted to understand it inside-out. Telling them about sex, letting them learn about their own sexual organs, even them learning how to pleasure themselves sexually (as long as it doesn’t get out of hand/become a dependency/not in public, etc) – none of this is going to ruin their innocence, or change who they are. In fact, my best bet is that it will teach them to be more comfortable with their bodies, better love the person they are, and be better prepared for sexual experiences later in life (with a strong foundation of knowing themselves as sexual being before some man-boy comes and makes them one before their own self-realization).
Bottom line is this: The only reason you are afraid of spoiling your child’s ‘innocence’ is because you yourself are uncomfortable with the idea, and it makes you all squirmy. Well, get over yourself. Your kid is a person, and will someday be a sexual person, whether you like it or not, so don’t try and hide (‘shield’) it from them – let them learn to love their whole selves.
However, if you have some proof that 9-year-olds looking at their vaginas causes them to become street-walking whores or depressed suicidal maniacs, please let me know.
Ok, well, I hope that made some sense. I’m off to go sit in my internet-less apartment now.