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Questioning the lack of age appropriate parenting and its impact on children as inadvertently sexually provocative behavior.

There is a kind of social, emotional abandonment of childhood itself, which I see as a growing phenomenon of our "modernity". Recently, I had argued on a group forum about the lack of really good children's films, and children's talent shows having children perform dances to very adult themes including emotions they are unlikely to have experienced in any way that does justice to the performance as art. Sexual attraction, betrayal, for example. A parent was very angry with me for calling this an example of neglect and said that her child LIKED and CHOSE to dance to those songs.

I beg to differ. Increasingly, busy parents have no time for childish things. Many will put on a cartoon on TV for kids to watch, but not sit with them to enjoy it. Many parents want to do intelligent things with children and ask them to play childish games with friends. Spending time together inherently has started requiring children to understand adult tastes to hold interest or be abandoned to their own devices. Choices influenced by these should not be seen as an interest in the content so much as an interest in holding the interest of loved adults.

Another way of looking at it is that sex repressed adults find unconscious enjoyment in sexual freedom being enacted publicly and freely. At the same time, their sexuality is so repressed, that they see nothing wrong with children dancing pelvic thrusts, because their own pelvic thrusts aren't sexual either, in their awareness.

A friend recently shared an outrageous situation. She said that the children being role modeled "sexy" all the time with few examples of self-respect or asserting personal boundaries, may have led many children to act in a seductive manner, which can give mixed messages to others - in the sense of implying consent.

She gave the example of her daughter's friend who was 11 years old, had not hit puberty and showed little sexual awareness, but wore, clingy, feminine clothes that were designed along the lines for more adult women in the sense of drawing attention to the body in a sexual manner - clothing many adult women would hesitate to wear too - she described strategic transparency, frills that would have framed a cleavage if she had one, but flopped meaninglessly on a flat chest, short skirts that flashed knickers all the time - while the girl herself was a tomboy and very friendly, but not necessarily in a sexual way - she was simply too young yet.

My friend said she constantly worried that a hormonal teenager or lecherous adult would read or choose to label the mixed messages wrong and lead to undesirable sexual consequences. The surprise is that the girl's mother, who wears salwar kameez and saris almost like a uniform is making these purchases for her daughter, saying that "she's a kid, let her enjoy now while she can wear exposing clothes". This is so warped on so many levels.... Freud would have a party with this. Many parents seem to live their desires of sexual freedoms through what they get their kids to do. Which, in my view is plain sick.

She is no prude, I am no prude, but I understood her to be saying that while there is nothing wrong about sexual attraction, children are rarely very self aware, and the friendly inputs from an adult can help them understand how they present themselves. It is a part of growing up. I agree with my friend that if the girl chose to wear clothes that flaunted sexuality, it was her choice, but if it was an unintended thing, then she was likely to be caught unaware by its impact on people and in either case, an adult ought to have been keeping a protective eye over her to ensure that her desire (if she chose) for freedom was not exploited. This, in my view is neglect on the part of a parent. The lack of that guiding into the world by showing meanings to things that may not have been noticed or intended. Children don't need to learn the hard way.

I call openly for sexual liberalization and acceptance of sexuality as a natural part of growth. However, what this girl's mother is doing isn't freedom, this is abandonment and possibly endangerment. When you set children free, as a responsible parent, your job multiplies exponentially, because the idea isn't to let them run wild and fall over cliffs, but for them to spread their wings safely with loving adults watching out for them, partnering them in their discovery of the world.

I brought this example up, because victimization of children gets spoken of a lot, but there is little talk about abdication of protective responsibilities of parents. We choose to ignore these things. This sexualization of children that is a social phenomenon, unless there is a rape, then we protest it. There is also little talk of the sexualization of children overall - for example, the mother may have purchased those clothes, but they are available in kids sizes in shops everywhere. Black net stockings for a girl to play in the garden? Gimme a break!

14

I had been noticing for quite some time the increasingly aggressive and unreasonable nature of most debates. There is no sense of compromise or even a willingness to listen attentively before assuming. I had noticed that the most energy seems to lie around power/control and sex/gender related discussions, and things started falling into place.

Sexual frustration is the root cause of most social aggression #tweetlikeFreud
Vidyut
August 4, 2011

Sexual awareness is something humans around the world share. We come into it in the same way, we are curious about it in much the same way. Experimentation with the new sense of self is a preoccupation with teenagers around the world.

We come into sexual ability at puberty. Then, we spend a few years getting used to the idea.
Vidyut
August 4, 2011

And that is natural. It is like exploring the space where a tooth was, with your tongue, or testing the edge of the emerging tooth.

It is changes in the body and instincts that we reorient our sense of self around. Some of the most important years in life in terms of personality.
Then, we spend a lot of years - the sexual peak, actually for men - twiddling thumbs, because sexuality is becoming increasingly taboo
Vidyut
August 4, 2011
This is actually sad, because the natural instinct of any animal, humans included is to reach maturity and begin preparing for reproduction - on a biological, hormonal level. Emotionally, it is a time of a lot of suppressed desires. The new self image is quite fragile and needs the reassurance of being "functional" - as in, capable of attracting a mate and having a relationship.
Whether the relationship lasts is immaterial, courtship is a natural instinct. However, our society looks down on it as something undesirable.
This largely stems from old fashioned concerns about the woman being "used", meaning, had sex with and abandoned - often pregnant. So it is actually a protective norm gone way out of its original context.
From advising women to refuse men "physical relations" as sex is euphemised, to forbidding, monitoring and controlling the contact of unmarried girls with men, this is a journey that is taking us down the rabbit hole where interacting with men "unnecessarily" or for pleasure is seen as a mark of "bad character".
The choice is very clearly between losing respect or acting on desire.
If you consider 30 as the average age of marriage, that is approximately 16 years since wanting to have sex and getting it
Vidyut
August 4, 2011

Add to this the increasing corporate culture and stress on being self-sufficient before marriage and increasing inflation and the age of marriage has moved past 30 for many people.

I have even heard match making mamas chitter among each other that settling down before marriage is such greate incentive for becoming secure in life! The classic carrot and stick circus.
What people don't realize in this process is the physical, emotional and psychological toll it takes to not do something that is a spontaneous instinct.
So, you have no easy source for sex, and the age of marriage is going further and further away.
Vidyut
August 4, 2011
And this is a cause of great frustration among young people. Why young people? Even with 30 something unmarried people. Sex is taboo.
The age old service that prostitutes have been providing for mankind for precisely these reasons is now under attack from both sides. The traditional view sees it as immoral while the modern view sees it as the mark of a person unable to attract a woman.
In essence, if you are living with family, you can expect to be ready for sex sometime around 14 years of age, and not get it till about twice that age - usually longer. Those who don't live with family have it slightly easier from the lack of immediate shame and taboos.
That is a heck of a lot of frustration. Then you have a lot of frustrated, short tempered people getting offended at everything.
Vidyut
August 4, 2011
It is difficult to realize the extent to which this suppression of natural instincts disturbs the victims. Some rebel, some break off ties, others get into aggressive, repetitive  arguments. Still others entertain themselves with passing women.
You have people "copping a feel" of a woman, hungrily looking at any woman as a sexual opportunity to be grabbed or lost....
Vidyut
August 4, 2011

#Eveteasing is a crime of opportunity and aggression.  One way or the other, the suppressed feelings will explode out. There are many who hunger for a woman so much, that they end up staring at women they see and knowing that it is wrong, they will create explanations about how that particular target is not worthy of respect or in other words, allowed.

It is a process of suffering and dishing out anger too. When a part of the mind is preoccupied with something it cannot legitimately get, the mind is disturbed and overloaded causing irritation and anger to spill over into their interactions with people.
Women are no longer people, but objects of entertainment to be judged and abused. And not just women, it is about anyone who seems to be an opportunity to get sexual experiences. Grandmothers and small children have been raped too!!! It isn't at all about actions inviting rape. That is an excuse.
Many suggest the solution for sexual harassment like eve teasing or rapes be harsh. That is a band aid. An emergency fix of a bad situation
Vidyut
August 4, 2011
Most people get angry with predatory men, and there are calls for severe punishments ranging from intricate tweaks of laws to make them more stringent to demanding that police act more strictly against complaints, to outright recommendations of castration for rapists.
Without calling any method of punishment better or worse, I want to stress that punishment, however light or severe is post facto. A heavy punishment will be some deterrence, but a bully rarely sees himself in negative light, so doesn't think of himself as criminal for the deterrence to matter.
On the other hand, I do see how a strong, well publicized punishment goes a long way than mere words. In any case, these are punishments. They rarely get to the root of what causes such criminals to be formed in society.
The real solution can only come if people have ways to engage in natural, hormonal, emotional instincts without being shamed for it.
Vidyut
August 4, 2011

We need to get real about these things. While it is important that young adults are safe, it creates more problems than it solves if we go the other end of the scale and police them for something as natural as attraction and developing relationships. It only leads to hidden affairs and increased risk rather than decreased. Or it adds to suppressed sexual desires causing frustrations that warp other aspects of behaviour.

It creates a classic sour grapes mentality around women. We see already that misogyny has gone beyond being an attitude to being a very real danger to women with many instances of life threatening harm or deaths. The methods of victimization can be physical/mental or actual physical attacks or murders. The common fact, whether it is a catcall or a rape+murder is simple and obvious - the woman is overruled about her own self.
I am in no way excusing criminals, but I do think that in the process of segregating genders and shaming attraction, we deprive our own of very vital tools for dealing functionally with the other gender, as well as the much needed interactions that are so important for mental well being.
It is no coincidence that the more rigid a society it is, the more hot tempered people there are.
Vidyut
August 4, 2011
And not just about sex. Hot tempered, intolerant people about anything. A person with frustrated desires is irritable and looking for ways to push people away. Doesn't take too long to categorize large swathes of people as one kind and be angry with them for their real or imagined qualities.
This unnatural moralizing also creates other problems. Gender roles are changing. People enter marriages clueless no compromise needed.
Vidyut
August 4, 2011
The woman of today is very different from the women of twenty years ago. And still different from one thirty years ago, and so on. The world has opened to women. Opportunities, responsibilities, freedoms beyond anything women might have imagined thirty years before.
As such, traditional attitudes around marriage are often unfair, because they don't appreciate the expanding influence of the woman that didn't exist earlier, and their recommendations for women are often very unreasonable for a working woman.
Yet, without the socialization, very few couples actually get time to integrate with each other and families and the marriage is very often quite similar to a leap of faith.
And there IS no reason why all this should happen. It really is not necessary at all to interfere in the sexual life of someone else - unless you are their partner and thus subject to their choices.
Seeing as how we now have excellent contraceptives, there is no reason young adults can't be educated in their use and allowed to BE.
Vidyut
August 4, 2011

A father once berated me for saying such things, because according to him, something like this will get his daughter pregnant by a creep, her life destroyed. This is not true.

If a woman is likely to get attracted to a creep, I think it is much better she have an affair with him openly than hide and eventually marry and remain tied to him. If children are not budy hiding from parents, vital conversations around morality, safe sex, emotional needs etc can happen and empower young people to make far more responsible choices.
Like I mentioned, contraception exists, and even if it fails, it really isn't the end of the world enough for the girl any more. Social acceptability is improving, as are the opportunities for earning and independence for women.
Most importantly, it is still better than a daughter pregnant and married to a creep.
It is a fallacy to think that shaming people from having relationships actually prevents them - it only renders some young people more vulnerable to other people who may exploit them.
It gives legitimacy to people victimizing women who are open about their relationships as though the woman is a public object without the right to have preferences or refuse.
If you consider 30 as the average age of marriage, that is approximately 16 years since wanting to have sex and getting it
Vidyut
August 4, 2011
That is more than half the age till then. That is more than schooling years. A loooooong time of intense feeling spent in forced denial
Vidyut
August 4, 2011

Very important. What does it mean, when we design our world so that fertile, interested people are kept away from each other by design for their most reproductive years and most intense desires?

What a depressing thought that if you are fourteen when you hit puberty, you have the duration of your life so far stretched ahead before you actually do anything about that ability.
The idea that another can dictate sexual norms itself stinks of seeing mts own children as possessions.
Vidyut
August 4, 2011