The Status Quo
Traditionally in America, young girls have been taught to accept being seen as sexual beings without actually being sexual beings. She should dress a certain way as to not attract sexual attention. She should behave in a certain way as to not attract sexual attention. She’s not supposed to even think about having sex until she’s grown up and married because it devalues her. However, she is supposed to be solely responsible for policing those who see her in a sexual manner no matter how young she may be. If she falls short of this in any way, it’s because she was “old enough to know what she was doing”, she was “fast” and deserves whatever happens to her as a result of it.
On the other hand, boys are taught that objectifying women is the natural order of things and that being sexual beings will get brushed off as “boys being boys”. Even if he is under 10 years old, his dad will give him praise if he appears to take notice of a woman’s butt or breast. On the other hand, his dad will give him a speech or even admonishment about manliness if he seems completely disinterested in seeing girls in a sexual light. If he has sex at an early age, even if it’s with a much older girl or woman, it’s something to be respected and a source of pride. Hell, depending on the looks of the girl or woman, he might even be admired by his father, male family members, and peers.
It’s Time To Wake Up
Stop damaging your children this way! If the ever-growing news headlines on which of your favorite stars have been outed this month for pedophilia isn’t enough to make you realize that we have gone terribly wrong in the way that we have raised our children to view their sexuality, then you probably need your head examined. What we tell and show both our boys and girls about sexuality needs to change in order to stop your child from becoming either the next victim or the next perpetrator.
Is There A Point To The Double Standard?
One argument some cite, and find to be very clever, as to why the double standard between what we teach our girls and boys exists is that “A key that can unlock many locks is a master key, while a lock that many keys can unlock is useless.” This analogy succinctly states exactly what we have taught our children. A healthy sex drive is very much acceptable for young boys and men, while that same exact sex drive is shameful for young girls and women. We spend so much time making our girls feel ashamed of their sexuality and our boys feel pride about theirs, that we completely skip over teaching them key elements to having a healthy relationship with their sexuality. We often fail at teaching them how to identify what’s healthy and what’s unhealthy.
Why Do People Believe This??
I am unsure of exactly from where we got our current standards. However, I do believe religion and the outdated beliefs of a currently diminishing patriarchal society have both played a role. Also, because we’ve spent so many decades pouring these beliefs and the attitudes they create into our children we, as parents, have unwittingly fueled the growing sicknesses in our society spurred by such ignorance. I venture to say that we can at least begin to turn this around if we start to instill a much healthier understanding of sexuality into both our girls and our boys.
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I understand that for many people religious and other beliefs about what we currently teach our girls vs what we teach our boys is the right thing to do. However, after spending so many generations teaching these beliefs to our children, we have turned many of them into prey, some into predators, and have distorted the self-image of many others. While much of this may take you far outside of your comfort zone because of what you have become so accustomed to, if what we teach our children doesn’t change you’re very likely to continue to see an increase in the number of both victims and perpetrators such as the likes of those pictured below. That’s not to mention the countless politicians, religious clergy, teachers, mentors and people in your neighborhood.
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It can’t be said enough or over emphasized that YES our children are most definitely the future. We, as parents, need to not only change our words, but also our actions. If you want to start seeing positive change in the current dynamics of how our boys relate to our girls and vice versa, we have to start by changing what we are currently teaching our children. If we don’t, how well do you think it will bode for our future?