Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Idiot parents and the sexualization of children

JL sent me an IMDB link to read about the movie My Life as a Dog, which I have not seen, but which he, being Swedish and a thus countryman of the filmmaker, likes rather a lot. I read the reviews and then read the discussion board ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089606/board/nest/7553096) on it.

The discussion there was lively and interesting, the respondents being a cross-section of the world: european, american, asian.

This is my response to the child-nudity / child-sexualization issues voiced on that board:

We should recognize that children are very sensual creatures. They have such delight in all of their senses: touching things, tasting things, pressing their faces to things that smell good, transfixed by sights and sounds. They also touch themselves, without shame, enjoying the way it makes them feel. It is not until someone slaps their hands and tells them it is dirty or wrong that the seeds of repression and obsession are sown, proceeding hand-in-hand through their adult lives.

We also need to be aware that it is only very recently (since Freud) that the Western World recognized 'childhood', or that their status as children conferred any need to respect their sexual innocence. Prior to that, they were treated as little adults, often dressed just like them, and given as much adult responsibility as they could handle.

That we have evolved as a world community to try to allow children to mature psychologically as well as physically before they become sexually active does not deny the biological imperative that exists in our species: if she is big enough, she must be old enough.

In both Eastern and Western cultures, females were transferred to an interested male as soon as she was nubile. The social reasons varied, but basically, as soon as she was sexually curious and breedable, she was put out of the reach of the males of her family -- it has long been understood that interbreeding creates deformed offspring. Not a hundred years ago in the US it was common for a girl to be married at 13. She had a many pregnancies, was old and grey by 18, and often died in childbirth well before she was 21. Presently in Africa, mothers are hiding daughters over age 9, often trying to pass them off as boys, to save them from marauding males infected with HIV, who think the cure for AIDS is to claim a virgin.

What I am getting at is this: It is very natural, very human, very much a part of our biology and evolution, for males of any age to look at very young women, even pre-teen girls, and desire them.

Thus, parents who permit the premature sexualization of their daughters along the lines of the fashion and pop cultures, allowing them to wear skimpy, sexual clothes and behave like adults, while at the same time covering their children's eyes and exclaiming in horror over child nudity and the risk of exploitation are the worst sort of hypocrites. They endanger their daughters because they believe an appeal to reason and morality should save their children from biological drives, both their own and those of the people around them. It hasn't, it doesn't and it won't. I could say to these people "Believe me -- I'm speaking from experience" but I doubt they would listen.

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