Sexuality and the Child

First, let me go on record as saying that the idea “If I teach my child x, they will start doing x,” is the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard in my life. I’ve seen movies about gun fights, watched documentaries on the army, heard about suicide attempts, read about gay sex, and listened to songs about getting girls like crazy. I have partaken in none of these things. Now, educated or uneducated, I probably would not engage in most of these as most are not things I would do anyway. However, the one that is the most dangerous is having sex.

Without being educated, a child will hear about sex from his friends, who will probably tell him all the good things about sex, how amazing it is, how girls love it, etc. What they won’t hear are all the consequences we need to hear about to keep us in check. STDs, unwanted pregnancy, even the social stigma that comes along with it, these are all things kids don’t tell each other about, and that is the parents’ or educators’ job to teach.

Take The Color Purple for example. Shug was the one who taught Celie about sex. Now they were both consenting adults when this happened, but imagine this scenario being played out in middle school or high school. Neither one of these women were educated about sex, yet Shug taught Celie all about her “button.” While this is hardly a disaster in the book, it could cause chaos amongst young girls in a school setting.

In the book Forever, the two kids weren’t educated about love and sex either, and had big dreams and plans that didn’t work out as soon as life threw them one curveball. Luckily, it was a planned curve by the parents, or else those two kids would have had a lifetime of relationship problems ahead of them as they found out they were hardly a “forever” couple. Had the parents stepped in sooner, perhaps these two would have had more realistic expectations. It all worked out in the end, for the long term, but the parents could have stepped in much sooner.

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Blog #4: The Color Purple

As someone who has read The Color Purple, by Alice Walker, multiple times now, I can understand why a parent would be concerned about their child reading this book. It has foul language, lesbian sex scenes, and quite a bit of violence. If I was a parent, I would definitely be concerned for my child if they were reading this book. However, there is one prevailing argument that I have against book-banning in general that holds true for this book.

I would simply tell this parent that they cannot shield their child from the real world forever. In the real world, there are bad words which will be said profusely, and there will be lesbians, and there will be violence. As long as the parent keeps open lines of communication with their child so that they can talk about what they are reading, it would be much better for the child to read about things before they go out and experience it. It’s almost like a warning sign on the road, letting them know what lies ahead of them.

Let’s take, for instance, the argument against all the foul language in the book; the constant use of derogatory terms against black people and women. First of all, if your child is a teenager, it is very likely they have heard most of these words, and if they haven’t, then they will. You cannot cover their ears for them for the rest of their lives. If the child hasn’t heard the word before, then when they ask you can explain it to them in a way you want them to understand it, and if they have, this book gives you a reason to talk about these words and make sure they understand why it’s a foul word. In essence, this book can be a tool to help your child as he or she matures and prepares themselves for the real world.