Childrearing

Parents Turn Porn-Catching Incident Into Opportunity To Discuss Female Sexuality With Kids

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With internet and Google available just about anywhere, many modern parents worry about the moment in which their kids stumble across pornography. While there are a multitude of ways to block certain sites, the availability of WIFI on many other gadgets that kids may own still presents certain gaps. But when two parents walked in on their nine- and seven-year-olds watching some questionable footage, they took it upon themselves to drive some points home about how women are sexualized in our culture.

Monica J. Casper writes on the Feminist Wire:

So immediately after The Troubling Porn Incident, we called a family meeting, wherein Bill and I explained in gentle tones that we were not angry. With my highly sensitive seven-year old clinging to me like a startled monkey and my nine-year old nodding sagely, I told the girls that curiosity is healthy, that there is absolutely nothing shameful in wanting to know about sex, but that there were far better ways to explore their curiosity than the Internet. We pointed out that pornography does not typically provide realistic depictions of how people actually experience and enjoy sex and intimacy, and that in most porn, women are not represented in ways that portray them as full human beings. (We stopped short of any “ick” moments describing details of our own sexual relationship, as we’re not actually trying to drive our kids into therapy.) In closing, we offered to answer truthfully any questions the girls might have and encouraged them to come to us first with their concerns.

Blaming children for following their curiosity to a less than ideal source does very little to address the questions that they might have. Monica and her husband’s reassurance to their children that were not furious with them for their inquiries, coupled with their confidence to answer  their kid’s questions presents a very sensible reaction to parental dread. Their added point about mainstream pornography typically distorting a woman’s experience of sex or her sexuality is also an admirable avenue to go down when realizing that your children have encountered porn in some form. Not discussing what your children have encountered on the web or shaming them into being silent about have seen risks them developing their understanding of sex through said mediums. It’s up to parents to intercept and reframe their children’s interest in sex to fit more healthy, non-misogynistic perimeters.