Hey Kids! Look at All This Sexy Sex! (But Don’t You Dare DO It)

Readers — This comes to us from a woman named Rita, who was reading the post, “The Man Who Abused Me Is Not on the Sex Offenders List (The One Who Saved Me Is).” At first, she asked me not to run it. But I found it so thoughtful, I asked her to reconsider, and she did!

Dear Free-Range Kids:  I don’t want to stir up a major hornet’s nest, but one of the things that has been more and more disturbing to me as I read posts such as this, and others regarding sex offender registries, as well as note the increasing tightening of laws regarding sex offenses, is that the more libertine we become in practice, including teen-agers — the more we tell young people that sexuality is natural, normal, and “fun” and their right to exercise — the more we criminalize and punish those who transgress some amorphous code known only to the ‘sex offense’ police.

This all, at the age of 67, seems quite perverse to me. I grew up in that age when sex wasn’t spoken about. For heaven’s sake, when my older sister was pregnant with her first child in 1959, her mother-in-law was appalled that she intended to leave the house in a maternity smock to shop once she began “showing.” The woman with whom I boarded at the age of 13 replied, when I asked what tampons were, “They’re for bad girls who want to give themselves a thrill.”

Lots of taboos, but most of us survived. And yes, there was sexual abuse back then, too, likely no more nor less than now. And most of us who were exposed survived that, too. I am not suggesting adult/child sexual molestation and abuse ought be ignored, nor taken at ALL lightly, just that we have, IMHO, actually INCREASED the trauma by our hyper-vigilance.

Even more importantly though is the change in the perception of what constitutes normal sexual experimentation between and amongst children, or the denial that there is such a thing as “normal” experimentation. I was raised Roman Catholic, so had I or most of my friends (also Roman Catholic), been caught during one of the relatively innocuous occasions that we set about satisfying our curiosity about how boys and girls were different, we’d surely have had our butts blistered, but on some level our parents understood it as a thing kids do. They let us know in no uncertain terms that it was a grave sin, etc. but that was a religious matter, not an “abnormal” or criminal act, much less actions that could scar one’s entire life (immortal soul, maybe, but not this life, lol). I know the lines can be blurry, but when it comes to kids and kids, I am disposed to err on the side of pragmatism and talking through the possible consequences of such behavior.

I also wonder how much of the more egregious behavior we see in kids now (although still not a reason to put them on sex offender registries) is a product of a culture in which the TV and internet have robbed them of their innocence and offered them images and ideas they are simply not equipped to make sense of, so they “act them out” without fully comprehending in any meaningful way what it is they are doing. To have one’s life scarred as a result adds insult to the injury we adults have dished out by allowing them to be corrupted in that way.

I could go on since clearly this issue is a heated one for me, but I figure I’ve made my point. I would love to know what you think. Regards, Rita

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Lenore here: I agree with pretty much every word, especially the idea that when we focus on the “enduring trauma” of an event we sort of ensure that the trauma WILL endure, rather than it becoming just part of the patchwork in anyone’s past. I’m not trying to minimize what anyone went through. I’m trying to minimize what they have to go through afterward. 

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And I totally agree that we are confused and confusing about sex — glorifying it and damning it in the same breath. – L
We get (and give) a lot of mixed messages about sex.

64 Responses to Hey Kids! Look at All This Sexy Sex! (But Don’t You Dare DO It)

  1. Christine June 27, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    This country is full of “sex” whether it is television, clothing, video games, internet, etc. and we expect our kids not to be curious. We have all been curious at one time or another on many different things. But in this age we are demonizing kids who are doing “normal curiosity” things. We have shows like, 16 and Pregnant, Toddlers and Tiara’s, The Bachelor, Tosh O, Jersey Shore, and many more reality shows are exposing our kids to all types of sexual messages. No one is standing up and going against these types of shows and they are on television because of the ratings. These are what our teens and young adults are watching. It is a sad culture. These shows produce curiosity. The internet for all its good can be very evil when teenagers go to peer to peer networks looking for free music, videos, and pornography. A teenager clicks on something wrong and next thing you know they are a “sex offender” by default even though they could have deleted it, ignored it, no one cares. But again, the government can close down access to copyright material in music videos BUT they will not close down the pornography websites or go after those producing the under 18 pornography. These young teenager and young adults are now labeled with the most heinous people in the country who actually molest children when they did nothing wrong except be curious, click on a wrong video, or have consensual sex with their girlfriend.
    Yet, we have deviance in society in the government. The Pentagon workers actually purchasing “child Pornography, the IRS using our money to purchase pornography, senators and congressman being unfatiful to their spouse, congress soliciting under age paiges for sex, and Anthony Weiner running for Mayor and no one blinks an eye. None of these people faced punishment for what they have done and they are much older then teenagers and have done INTENTIONAL things. These teenagers were doing UNINTENTIONAL things. The other thing is those who pass these laws are the ones who break them. But they expect teenagers to understand they are going to go to prison, probation and labeled with the most heinous people for UNINTENTIONAL faults.
    I don’t get it. The only thing I can say is the PEOPLE need to wake up. This is what is happening all around you. It destroys lives and families. How can our lawmakers make these harsh and draconian laws for the people to follow, but yet they are exempt from the laws. How did we get to this point. Tom Foley should have been thrown in prison, Pentagon workers should have been thrown in prison because they INTENTIONALLY did what they did. But the teenagers who do this UNINTENTIONALLY are thrown in prison and labeled sex offenders. They cannot get employment, housing, friends, etc. They are depressed, anxious, frightened, and this is because they made an UNINTENTIONAL mistake.

  2. AnotherAnon June 27, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    I’m reminded of the details in Debbie Nathan’s book “Satan’s Silence,” concerning the McMartin Preschool case where daycare providers were accused of abusing children in Satanic ritual.

    I quote from page 123: “It was the same everywhere. In Maplewood, Patricia Crowley’s daughter had nightmareas about Kelly Michaels’s ghost coming out of a light socket. Another child whimpered that ‘Kelly’s in my head.’ Boys and girls throughout the country complained that they did not want to go on living.”

    Kelly Michaels was eventually exonerated, and the charges against her were shown to be the product of social workers suggesting horrible situations to suggestible children. The abuse was fictitious, but the emotional trauma resulting from people harping over it was very real.

    In other words, if our response to perceived abuse is disproportionate to the actual trauma (if any) incurred, we ourselves risk emotionally scarring our children. I’m not excusing cases of actual sexual abuse, but if we’re talking about cases of teenagers having consensual sex or people taking pictures of children at a park, calling it sexual abuse when it is not will cause our children to respond as though they have actually been abused.

  3. BL June 27, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    “Hey Kids! Look at All This Sexy Sex! (But Don’t You Dare DO It)”

    Sigh. Of course they don’t want kids to “do it”. They want kids to buy whatever product is being advertised with the Sexy Sex.

  4. David June 27, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Dear Rita, I do enjoy your articles. This particular one has been a focus of mine for a long time. I was raised in an more sexually open family and I grew up with friends whom by the age of 16 and 17 yrs old were still sexually backwards with low sex IQ,s. I am in my late 40’s now so I know all about the taboos of sex and what pressures society placed on kids. I have never agreed with those pressures. I was not raised with them in my house but 99 percent of all my friends were subjected too. I have tried to raise my 3 boys into adulthood the way my parents raised me. And when the internet bombarded them with sexual images, I talked to them about what they were seeing and tried to guide them how to understand things on their level so that when they became older they were able to have really good with normal ups and downs in their dating life’s. And nothing happened to them, no sexual perversions such as sex crazed sex offenders. All happy healthy and loving. Cant’ ask for any better.

  5. SHEEPLE HERDER June 27, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    I remember growing up in Ohio in the late 70’s early 80’s. One of our teachers had an affair with one of the students. I think she was a junior or senior he was a popular teacher.

    News got out around the school and he was fired and that was the end of it. The teacher had crossed the line without doubt but I wonder what aims would have been served by creating a giant scandal and show trial?

    Would that have made it better for the victim in this case? Was this teacher better off being labeled a child molester for life? Would the teachers wife and children be better off seeing dad on the SOR?

    Would the victim benefit from a culture that tells her she is ruined for life by this event?

  6. Kimberly June 27, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    Christine –
    Get me a list of sponsors for16 and Pregnant, Toddlers and Tiara’s, The Bachelor, Tosh O, Jersey Shore, and I’ll boycott them. I have never watched the shows. 16 and pregnant filled at a friend’s hospital. According to her they put other patients at risk blocking the corridors and such. To bad her bosses wouldn’t call the cops and have the whole crew arrested.

    As far as Toddlers and Tiaras The whole child beauty pageant industry should be outlawed.

  7. Rachel June 27, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    As someone who was molested repeatedly at five years of age by an old man living next door, I can attest to the need to stop the trauma drama. The whole aftermath was one long list of how not to deal with a child who has had an experience like that, but what really created issues for me in the end was simply societies obsession with the terribleness of sexual molestation.

    Don’t get me wrong, what happened to me WAS terrible, and unforgivable, and completely wrong, but it was the idea that it should be my personal trauma to carry through my life that actually had me messed up for a while. I remember “confessing” my terrible secret to my soon to be husband, shaking as I told him the truth. Anytime the subject of child molestation came up in company, I would feel an inward anxiety and shame.

    Then one day I guess it just dawned on me that I had nothing to feel shameful or fearful about. For Pete’s sake, the old creep had been dead for forty years, and I was five years old at the time. Why was I letting this be my “horrible secret”. Why was i letting this define me? So, I just started just calmly mentioning it if the subject came up, without all the trauma drama. When people expressed shock and sorrow, I just shrugged and said, “yeah, totally creepy, right? I mean, who does that to a five year old?”

    So now, it is his problem, not mine. He took the shame of his behavior to his grave, and I rock on with my happy life.

    Oh, and I’m a free range mama with an eleven year old son who grew up talking to strangers, running out of my sight, and playing outside unsupervised. Why should I make my one bad experience keep him from all the good ones life has to offer?

  8. Warren June 27, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    When dealing with sex and sexuality not only are kids bombarded by images from all forms of media, they are also bombarded by nature as well.

    At some point in their lives hormonal, emotional and mental awakenings flood kids with all sorts of unknowns. And being true to their kind, kids get curious of the unknown. Thus they experiment. It is natural.

    Unfortunately this natural curiousity has been demonized by the whole good touch bad touch teachings. Good touch and bad touch teachings have been done as absolutes. Sort of zero tolerance type rules, with no room for common sense or understanding. Bad touch is Bad no matter what, and that isn’t really the way it should be seen.

    Sexuality is one of the few areas in which parents do not want their kids to find their own way. They want to control it. Stop controlling and start guiding and teaching.

  9. Christine June 27, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    Kimberly,
    I don’t have a list of sponsors because I don’t watch them but I have seen young kids and even adults watching them and make them shut these off. They are disgusting. First, I was a mom at 16 and it is no picnic. Second, they are sensationalizing this with shows like these on television. Tosh O is just disgusting showing male body parts and stapling it to a table (sorry that was the part I saw) and was outraged. And the others are just sensationalizing sex so what do they expect kids to do.
    I can see what I can do about sponsors but I won’t watch them. I will see what channels they are on.

  10. Kvirtue June 27, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    EXCELLENT discussion by the OP. Thank you. This is going in the ‘keep for future needs’ folder.

  11. Christine June 27, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Rachel

    You are a survivor and your letter shows this. You are an inspiration to all those who survived such a tragic event in their life. I am happy you were able to come to peace with this and you are able to move on to a better place in your life. We have to move on because if we do not we will be destroyed by ourselves. We are our own worst enemy. I have moved one as well and my life has much more meaning then living with the “what ifs”. It makes a world of difference when we forgive ourselves and realize it was not in our control. There are BAD people in this world and they will always be there but we cannot allow them to destroy our lives. We are better than them.

  12. Jen C. June 27, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    As a New mom, I have already made the decision to not expose my infant/toddler to television and “screens”. I think that we Do have control what is available to us on television. It’s very easy. Don’t watch it! Or at least don’t watch the shows you are offended by (All reality TV for me). Our voices are the loudest when we don’t watch trashy television shows, click on TMZ or “Enquirer” type web sites or buy their magazines/books.
    If no one is watching, clicking or buying, then they’ll have to move onto something else to make money. Our power comes from where we put our money and our attention.
    As for the sex offender issue, it’s another one of our many broken programs that really needs to be looked at and fixed. NOW!!

  13. Christine June 27, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    Jen

    As a new mom I commend you. But as your child grows into a teenager, goes to friends homes, schools, parties, etc. you cannot control what they do or watch. That is reality. I did not allow my kids to watch these shows, I wouldn’t even let them watch Beavis and Butthead or the Simpsons when they were younger even though their friends would talk about how funny the shows were. But when they are somewhere else besides your home you have no clue. Kids are put into positions when they are with their friends. They don’t want to seem “uncool” with their friends.
    We have instilled morals, ethics, and values into all 3 my kids, now over 21, but the world gets a hold of them. They think parents are stupid and crazy. My kids turned out alright, although not perfect and I had to and still have to battle the world in my kids thought process even though they are older.
    We now have teenagers on social networks posting pictures in which they should be ashamed of and their parents have no clue or don’t care. I am mortified at some of the pictures I see and the stupidity of young teenagers and even some older ones. But this is what the country has become.
    I am really glad my kids are grown and two have kids of their own and I am frightened for my grandkids because of the world and what is promoted and what is seen.
    I remember my sister looking for some “cute” girl outfits for her 11 year old daughter and all she could find was “slutty” looking clothes and refused to buy them. But that was what her daughter wanted. My daughter bought “thongs” without my knowledge but she was stupid to leave them in the dryer because every time I saw them they were thrown out, she was 13. Just be prepared because once kids get to a certain age, it is YOU against the WORLD.

  14. Bose in St. Peter MN June 27, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    “when we focus on the ‘enduring trauma’ of an event we sort of ensure that the trauma WILL endure”

    It’s also unhelpful if/when this kind of thinking leaves the survivor of abuse feeling pressured to report deep, enduring trauma.

    The sexual abuse I experienced at age 12/13 at the hands of an adult was limited, something that I considered weird and uncomfortable, yet not terribly more uncomfortable than living with other dysfunctional stuff between me and the adult. By the time I was an adult myself, it was clear to me that it had been wrong and abusive, but it wasn’t an active thing in my life.

    At age 30, another family member came forward to talk about the trauma being processed in therapy due to similar events with the same adult. That brought my experience into family conversations, as well as my reports that I didn’t have unresolved issues to process or open wounds that needed to be healed.

    A few of my loved ones, however, remained convinced that I was unable or unwilling to deal with my “obviously” unresolved trauma, which led to arguments in my divorce trial that I was a ticking time bomb, at significant risk of repeating my abuse by abusing my own kids. It was perverse having my status as a survivor of abuse used against me, and it wasn’t too hard to demonstrate the absurdity of it all to the judge.

    So definitely, let’s get kids the resources they need when bad things happen, but let’s not REQUIRE that they report trauma.

  15. Jen C. June 27, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    Hey Christine. Thanks for the reply and insight! I am new and inexperienced with all of these lofty ideals, just like most new parents.
    I hope that the little things I do while she’s young will give her some idea of what is right and wrong when it is time for her to be exposed to the media and outside influences. I’d imagine it’s better to have her know we (her parents) don’t condone certain things as she explores her own world and choices. Thongs! Oh boy. I know we’ve got some interesting, stressful and crazy times ahead.

  16. Papilio June 27, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    Yes! YES – Exactly! Thank you Rita! And thanks Lenore for asking her again and post this :-)

    And now I totally feel like re-posting my plea for proper comprehensive sex ed for teenagers to help teens make sense of all those mixed messages they get, and also the links to research about the attitude toward teen sex among US parents and the messages teenagers get about sex through teen magazines (‘promoting’ hooking up rahter than sex within a relationship, teaching girls what boys want rather than what girls themselves want, etc etc), compared to parental attitudes and teen magazines in the Netherlands, where teen pregnancy rate is very low and where teens are expected to know when they feel ready, and are taught to do it safe and with someone they love. (It sounds a bit ‘na na na na na’, sorry…)

    Some things need to change, that’s for sure.

  17. Angela June 27, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Rachel –

    My situation was very different from yours. I was 14 and at one point considered myself the girlfriend of the 28 year old that lived down the hall. This status didn’t last long after I said “No” and he simply disregarded it.

    When I talk to others about it, which I don’t often do, they are caught by surprise. I should be completely incapacitated, mentally and emotionally crippled, for the rest of my life or I must be lying about what happened. In the one online forum I mentioned it on I was “accused” of being black because, “Rape isn’t as bad for them.” WTF??!!??

    I took the stance long ago that I was NOT going to let this man control my life, especially when I have not seen him in over 20 years. Why would I give control of my life over to someone that I hated? Yes it took time and a lot of introspection. I spent several years with a really screwed up idea about sex and the percieved obligation I now had to perform if I claimed to care for someone. But I made it through it, came out the other side a stronger person and now this part of my past is just that – a part of the past.

  18. JB June 27, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    I’m in the same boat as Rachel- molested by the creepy old man next door for several years while I was in elementary school. I some how put a stop to it myself, and have never let it define me. What it did do was ruin my relationship with my mother, but that’s another story.

    My other comment is that I just had a call from camp regarding my newly minted 5yo exposing himself on the bus home. I was totally embarrassed, horrified, wanting to punish- but in reality I guess it’s normal and instead of punishment, we need to help him with his boundaries and impulse control. ARGH- sometimes this is so hard.

  19. Brian June 27, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    Another aspect is that our nation is very divided when it comes to laws regarding underage sex. For the most part, “blue” states have “Romeo and Juliet” exceptions and lower ages for consent. They also teach sex ed and have available birth control including abortion. Red states restrict all of these things.

    But the media is created in blue states with sexuality reflecting the more open laws. Teenagers can deal with the sexuality shown in those films, TV shows, etc. when they have real sex ed, birth control, etc. But when they get the sexual content without support it creates a problem.

  20. Papilio June 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    @JB: I once saw a little boy that age peeing against a tree as I biked by on my way to the train station. It was quite cute how he’d turned his back to the people on the sidewalk, but was totally visible from the street as a result! Guess he needed a little boundary talk too ;-)

  21. John June 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    Quote: “I am not suggesting adult/child sexual molestation and abuse ought be ignored, nor taken at ALL lightly, just that we have, IMHO, actually INCREASED the trauma by our hyper-vigilance”

    Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! I could not have said it better myself! What really galls me is when anytime an adult is caught doing something sexual with a minor, no matter what the nature of the act was OR the mature age of the minor, the media labels that kid as “ruined for life”. How presumptious! The very people who claim they’re on the kid’s side, put a “ruined for life” label on the kid! Oh I’m sure that label is really gonna help them in life. “Gee Bill, you’re really qualified for this teaching position and you gave a great interview BUT even though we sympathize with what you went thru as a child, you’re ‘ruined for life’ so we can’t take a chance in hiring you.”

    But in reality studies have found that in MOST cases, adults who have been sexually abused as youngsters do just fine in life and put it all behind them. Then the “hyper-vigilant” people will claim those type of studies as being done by pedophiles! What a world we live in.

  22. oncefallendotcom June 27, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    I see someone mentioned the McMatin “satanic ritual abuse” scares of the 1980s.

    The main driving forces behind those panics was the “believe the children” mantra. Children never lie about abuse, so believe them no matter what. Only problem is, children are easily influenced by adults, particularly witch hunters. Coercive tactics by overzealous prosecutors, social workers, and paranoid parents exacerbated the problem as children were coerced into telling unbelievable stories about child molestation on rocketships, by Chuck Norris, and in underground bunkers with child and animal sacrifices.

    Compounding this was the theory of “repressed memory syndrome,” a false belief in repressing trauma made popular by a book called “Michelle Remembers.” The book has been universally debunked as utter BS but it helped spark the belief in both Satanic Ritual Abuse and Repressed Memory Syndrome.

  23. John June 27, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    @Rachel…….fantastic post! You go girl!!

  24. Natalie June 27, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    Red states have an interesting dichotomy. I remember driving through Missouri, and watching the billboards flash by.

    First billboard: Jesus will save you!

    Second billboard: XXX Ladies dancing exit 23.

    Third billboard: Have faith in god and his kingdom.

    Fourth: Hot! Hot! Hot! Blue light night club!

    Fifth: Come to our services every Sunday at 10, free pastries and coffee!

    Sixth: Come see our talented ladies every night at 10, free beer. (Kidding about the free beer)

  25. John June 27, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    @oncefallendotcom……….can you say “Wendy Murphy”?

  26. John June 27, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    @Natalie…….that’s just a sign (no pun intended) of our diverse society. Even in red states!

  27. Geena June 27, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    There is something curious about parents who won’t let their adolescent walk to the park but will allow them unmonitored access to shows such as Friends and Sex in the City.

  28. oncefallendotcom June 27, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    @John, you Wendy “I never, ever met a false rape claim, by the way. My own statistics speak to the truth” Murphy?

    All thee years later, Murphy is STILL trying to defend her assumptions, despite Nifong’s disbarment for prosecutorial misconduct and the accuser (Crystal Mangum) arrested on murder charges. If you ever read an article of hers, mention this in the comment sections and watch the magic happen.

    I’d like to point out the West Memphis Three were also accused of SRA and the state convinced them to accept a lower guilty plea to finally get out, so they were not “cleared’ of the crime, and it prevents them from suing for wrongful imprisonment, despite overwhelming evidence they aren’t guilty.

    Going back to that book Michelle Remembers, there is a good Youtube video about it here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik2JGe2b-l8

    the person who made the video broke it down nicely.

  29. marie June 27, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    I’m not trying to minimize what anyone went through. I’m trying to minimize what they have to go through afterward.

    I loved what Rita said but ^this^ is probably my favorite line.

  30. lollipoplover June 27, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    @Papilo- watch out for that urinating in public! It could get you on the sex offender registry, even though it has nothing to do with sex.

    A homeowner (house backing to the woods off the golf course) put up cameras on her property that take pictures of anyone urinating in the bushes near her house. She gives the pictures to the police who told one of the urinators (a retired veteran) that he could pay the fine ($500) or would be placed on the sex offender registry.

  31. John June 27, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    @oncefallendotcom…….even though the jury in the latest Michael Jackson case admitted they thought that MJ might have had some attraction to young boys, they also were very adamant in saying that there was not one shred of evidence claiming that Jackson molested that boy. All evidence pointed to the kid’s family being money grabbers; therefore, the jury rightfully acquitted Michael Jackson of that crime.

    But yet Wendy Murphy insists that MJ really did molest that boy and is guilty of that crime. Even though she had NOTHING to do with the trial nor was privy to any of the evidence, or lack thereof, put before the jurors!

    Wendy Murphy will go on O’Reilly and tout that same old tiring line, “We’ve got to start believing the children” as if nobody has ever believed a child who claimed that an adult touched him or her inappropriately. Please give me a break Wendy!

  32. Claudia June 27, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    Certainly I fear that we now rush to pathologise behaviours, such as young kids showing one another their ‘rude bits’, which in the past would have been accepted as within the bounds of normal childhood curiosity.

    Just because adults fear it’s ‘sexual’ doesn’t mean the kids see it as anything other than funny/silly.

  33. Suzanne June 27, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    I loved Rachel’s response. Why let an incident in childhood define one’s whole life, there is no other situation in which victims are expected to make their whole life revolve around wallowing in the tragedy they experience other than sexual abuse. Even other abuses people are supposed to move on from and have a productive life. However, they way society describes the “trauma drama” from sexual abuse, anyone who was abused must feel abnormal if they choose to move past it and have a normal life. That’s just wrong and one other way media misleads people.

  34. Christine June 27, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    When I see Wendy Murphy on any news station I just cringe. She has NO clue. I remember seeing her on Stossel with prostitutes stating they don’t really want to do this. These women were totally content in their lifestyle. But Wendy believes she knows better than the women themselves. She literally makes me sick. Not that I condone prostitution but if a women wants to do this, it is HER business.

  35. Warren June 27, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    Wasn’t it required, when kids did play outside, that every neighborhood had one little girl that ran around lifting up her skirt flashing her undies?
    Today people would label her as troubled or deviant.

    Whatever happened to “kids will be kids” or “it’s just a phase” or “they’ll grow out of it soon”?

  36. Papilio June 27, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    @Lollipoplover: “watch out for that urinating in public! It could get you on the sex offender registry, even though it has nothing to do with sex”

    Thanks for your concern, but ehm… The one peeing was a male toddler, I just saw him, by coincidence. That wouldn’t land me on the SOR. And as a female adult, I wouldn’t urinate against (? OK ‘next to’) a tree in a neighborhood street surrounded by cyclists, motorists and pedestrians anyway.
    Last but not least, I live in Europe. No SOR here, just a €130,- fine.

  37. Christine June 27, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    Papilio

    There was a little boy here downtown whose parents allowed him to urinate in a bush and a police office went to the parents and told them they can get into trouble for allowing him to do this. There are also laws on the books in where you cannot undress your child on the beach or in public, as many parents of young toddlers do at times because this could be considered “child exploitation”. There are over 200 offenses which could land you in prison, probation, and on the registry. You can kidnap someone, high jack a vehicle and do no harm to anyone and you can land on the registry. It has gotten way out of hand. My problem is the amount of teens and young adults on this registry for unintentionally being stupid and irresponsible, in other words being a kid.

  38. Christine June 27, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    Warren

    Unfortunately the girls are not held accountable. there is a case in Texas, i believe the girl is 15 soliciting sex from Marines and telling them she is older. Ok, so she had sex with 11 of them. All 11 of them went to prison, probation and on the registry. Never mind the girl asked for it and her parents blamed these young men who were ages 18-20. They never thought their daughter needed help. After this was all over with and they were put out of the Marines, she went back on her FB and started all over again.
    I have heard and seen young girls and women make things up, want to have sex, even going into bars with fake ID’s and going home with men. They can cause young men to go away, be put on the registry, because they even lied about their ages. We are told girls would never submit to having sex, they must have been forced or cohersed in some way. There is a law her that even though a girl lies about her age it is NO excuse to be charged with a so-called crime. So if you meet a girl at the bar, has an ID she is 21 and she looks like she is and you have sex and find out she is only 17, you WILL go to jail if she reports it or her parents find out.

  39. Crystal June 27, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    Loved this! Every word is true. Especially loved your headline.

  40. Amber June 27, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    AMEN. I have never commented before but I had to this time. Thank you.

  41. amy June 27, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    Speaking of looking at sexy sex, Walmart displays Cosmopolitan at the checkout counter, eye-level to my 10-year-old, displaying huge boobs barely covered and the word SEX writ large (or words pertaining to sex) and management tells me they can’t do anything about where the magazine is displayed. Totally out of their control; it’s up to the magazine people, so sorry. So. Now I can’t even freely go to freaking Walmart without my kids being exposed to it.

  42. AJ Kuperman June 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    So, here’s the realization I came to lately. Why is it that is okay for children to watch über-violent movies (Iron Man, The Avengers,etc…) but it’s not okay for them to see a little intimacy? And I’m not talking about the crap they have on TV nowadays. This stems from a conversation had with other moms about letting our kids watch movies from our childhood in the 70s and 80s. The shock value in those kid movies were usually some curse words and a dirty joke here or there (think Goonies). To be honest, I know for a fact that my children are one day going to have sex but I sure as heck hope they won’t ever have to chop someone’s head off or vaporize them. I guess I am confused by society’s insistence on keeping children so naive but yet, at the same time, exposing them to these horrid TV shows, social media, and über violence.
    I think this speaks volumes about where society is headed. It’s as though we’ve got two extremes going on; butting heads with one another. It almost seems as though they are playing chicken with one another and here we are stuck in the middle, hoping that someone will declare it all to be silly and stop this insanity.
    I totally agree with Rita and most everyone who has posted here, let’s stop the drama trauma! More of us need to take a stand and get involved, we can’t just talk about it here. We need to make it happen.

  43. Emily June 27, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    Amy–I think Wal-Mart has a few aisles without candy or other impulse items, for people looking to get out of the store without their kids throwing tantrums over candy. Of course, I don’t go through that aisle very often, because after braving Wal-Mart, I feel like *I* deserve some candy, or at the very least, a Diet Coke. Anyway, I’m pretty sure that the “no-candy” aisle is also a “no smutty magazine” aisle.

  44. LastTrain June 28, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    A few years ago I was in Springfield, IL the night before I was going to attend a committee hearing for some [fill in new sex offender restriction] bill. As I was getting ready for bed I had the TV on and a commercial caught my attention. It was from some local healthcare agency looking for girls 12 (maybe it was 14?) or older who were on the pill to participate in a study.

    The times I had attended committee hearings for any bill concerning “Romeo & Juliet” relationships, the committee members would declare minors (more specifically, females) as being too young to consent to sex, even with someone no more than three years older.

    The commercial made me think of society’s double standard when it comes to sex. It’s ok for a girl to be on the pill if she is a minor, but if that girl actually has sex with someone who might be over the age of 17, that girl is automatically a “victim” and the slightly older boy is labeled a “sex offender.”

    We allow girls to have access to the pill (and now they can obtain the morning after pill) when they are minors, TV shows geared for teenagers glorify getting pregnant at 16 or have sexually charged themes, clothing ads for stores that cater to teenagers show scantily clad girls and boys, etc., yet we freak out as a society when these kids act on their curiosity (or hormones) and actually HAVE SEX.

    Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways.

  45. StaceyJW June 28, 2013 at 2:19 am #

    I hear all these laments about “this awful world” and that it is “us against the world” as parents, and I have to think- really? Taking on the world? Is it really so ugly out there?

    This IS the worlds kids live in, and in most ways, it is much better than what came before. So they see sexualized images and porn, which is disgusting, but they will also be able to navigate it in ways that we cannot even imagine. Sure, there will be some bad points , but are they really worse than what came before” Such as wife and woman beating as acceptable, women with no rights or limited in every way, non virgins and unwed mothers being shamed and their lives destroyed, masculinity that required the demolition of a mans inner life and emotions, etc etc etc, besides the poverty, death from diseases and other stuff thats better in the modern world.

    Look, I KNOW it is scary to see little girls playing like they are mature women, and taking sexy pics for Facebook, and boys that think porn is how sex should be. But this is not the defining thing of the next generation. They may have some confusion about sex, but I think they will have MORE tools to deal with it, and MORE ways to have healthy relationships than people did in the past.

    It is NOT all doom and gloom, just because some kids do pagants and watch dumb TV.

  46. StaceyJW June 28, 2013 at 2:30 am #

    I also want to add:

    Sex has NEVER been easy, simple, non confusing. Period. EVERY generation has it problems. I think todays problems at least have a source that can be seen and understood, and easily overcome with communication, and a frank look at influences.

    What we really want is our kids to grow up and have healthy relationships and healthy sex lives, and I do think that they will be MORE able to do this NOW, than ever before- even WITH Pornification of the culture. I wish I could explain this better.

    Here is an example- can you imagine being gay even 30-40 years ago? I cannot. Even today it can be hard, but in the USA, you CAN escape and go to places where you can live out and happy, have a family and nice life. And this is just ONE example of how we have evolved in a good way regarding sexuality. The ability to be more open is a GOOD thing, not a bad one.

    Look back at your childhood, and the childhood of your parents, grands, etc. Do you think they actually had it better, overall? Come on now. Forced adoptions, shunning of unwed moms, abusive relationships because moms couldn’t leave, 9 pregnancies, but 2 surviving kids, woman as property of their fathers and husbands. I cannot see any beauty or simplicity in the “old ways” of patriarchy. I would rather a little porn/dirty TV than the old ways ANY DAY.

    I do agree that the criminalization of kids curiosity is a horrible thing, but that can be changed. What cannot be changed is the nature of sexuality and the inevitible changes across generations. We will never see it the way the kids do, and that is OK. The best we can do is equip them to live IN the world they live in.

  47. LadyTL June 28, 2013 at 2:41 am #

    @Last Train, being on the pill even at 12 does not mean you are taking it to have sex. I got my period at 13 with horrible crippling cramps and started using birth control not too long after the first time I had to go home from school because of my period. I also didn’t have sex despite being on birth control until I was 19. There really is alot more uses for birth control medications that just preventing pregnancy now.
    In fact that attitude is some of the problem with how kids deal with sex as a teen. If you label someone a slut or say they are just taking a medication to have sex, it makes them less likely to want to use it because of the stigma.

  48. Andy June 28, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    @StaceyJW What precisely is confusing or complicated about sex? You can make it complicated if you want, but you do not have to.

    Maybe it is just me, but I do not recall any confusion about sex. I remember some curiosity and questions I asked, so maybe I was lucky to have people important parts soon enough.

  49. J.T. Wenting June 28, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    I fully agree with the double standards here.

    And it gets even sillier. We’re saying kids shouldn’t be subjected to images of naked people (or even people in underwear or swimsuits) because it “traumatises them” while at the same time they’re bombarded with images of the most graphic violence imaginable all day long not just on the evening news but on prime time television in “reality tv shows”, movies, and especially in cartoons specifically targeted at them and aired at special childrens’ channels like Disney and Cartoon Network.

    I’m all for not subjecting kids to graphic porn, but why is a few seconds of a second rate singer slipping her top on prime time television cause for lawsuits that go to the supreme court (and turning the USA into the laughing stock of the world on the side) claiming it harms children, while those same children are subjected all night long to people blowing each others’ brains out on childrens’ television and that’s considered quite normal?

  50. CrazyCatLady June 28, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    Undressing the kids on the pool deck in the warm sun, or undressing them in freezing cold darkish locker room with all the same set of parents and kids is really an issue? Or running naked at the beach – good thing the police don’t come on the beaches much in Santa Cruz CA, because many of the under 2 are naked.

    I let my kids watch the Simpsons. They have from an early age. It is a show that we talk about – more often now about how to treat people – Homer or one of the guys will make a stupid, sexist remark to a woman, and we talk about why it isn’t appropriate. It is a great show for teaching what is appropriate and what is not.

    But…that is pretty much the only show we watch on commercial TV. We watch PBS, and do not have cable. I do expect my kids to play with friends when friends are over and not watch TV. The parents that my kids hang out with for the most part agree. Maybe it is because we homeschool and I tend to know the parents better than I would were my kids in public school, but so far, even with one young teen, mostly what the kids have seen at other places has been appropriate. With the exception of one family, but there was more going on with that family than just TV – drugs – and the mother has had her kids taken away for a second time. When they lived near us they played at my house or outside at the kid’s house.

  51. Natalie June 28, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    @Andy – what’s confusing or complicated about sex? Come on. Did you bypass being an adolescent and teenager? Don’t tell me that you were some sort of Don Juan from the get go.

  52. Mandy June 28, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    Will someone please ask this lady to run for office – I don’t care what office but the higher the better. I just know she would do a darn good job at whatever she chose! She is a breath of fresh air.

    to Rachel – thank you for sharing your story and acknowledging that we often self impose this trauma/guilt because it’s what we are told to do.

    To all of the media out there – quit the constant harping about terrible tragedies and violence. Report it and move on – we don’t need the extended media coverage for us to know what happened.

    I think everyone needs to step back and take a deep breath so we can realize that things happen – good bad or ugly and that we are all strong enough (okay I’ll change that to most are strong enough) to deal with things and move on. The constant parade of counselors who are brought in to all manner of incidents only escalate the perceived threat or grief and try to turn all of us into some sort of victim – America we are stronger than that!

  53. oncefallendotcom June 28, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    I don’t think “seeing’ sexual imagery is a problem in itself. After all, we are sexual creatures. The difference is how we react here in the States. For example, Japan has octopus tentacle porn and lollicon, yet their sex crime rates are far lower than in the states. The US is pretty unique in our approach to sexuality. I can’t say I know the attitudes of every nation in the world, but Predator Panic has been largely limited to countries of the former British Empire or countries closely tied to us. Ironically, Japan is one of them.

    Just an FYI, the full list of countries with a sex offender registry:

    Australia, Ireland, Canada, France, South
    Korea, Japan, the US, and the United Kingdom.

    Funny that none of these are “communist” countries. Although the US acts like one.

  54. Christine June 28, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    LastChance

    You are so on point. You are absolutely right, you cannot have it both ways. Teaching children as young as 5 about sex in schools, allowing girls (any age) buying the morning after pill and birth control but yet , “Don’t have sex and if you do he will go to prison and be labeled with SO for the rest of his life.
    We have so many double standards and it is the guys who get the rap all the time. Either we stop the “sex” talk and slutty clothes and sexual content or change the laws because “girls also wanna have fun” and parents need to accept their little girls (12-up) are doing this whether they know or not.
    I was 16 when I had my first son, yes I was not married. I was told I was the oldest my doctor has seen in a long time, and that was 31 years ago. Not that I say have children at 16, but girls have been doing it for years and whether you stayed together or not the girl had sex. The guy did not get put on a registry. Can you imagine how many would be on that today if they did.

  55. Ariel June 28, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    Brian,

    Please go look up the age of consent laws . 16: 11 red, 19 blue; 17: 5 red, 4 blue; 18: 5 red 6 blue. The close-in-age rules are all over the board. Note that in CA proximity only yields felony or misdemeanor (CA is 18); PA is age of consent is 16 but will charge any adult with corrupting a minor (I left it in the 16 still, but should be 18).

    Many of those Romeo and Juliet laws aren’t what you think they are either, and some of the best are in red states and blue states. Some are only if both are minors, some are so complex that a lawyer should be consulted. TN, UT, and OK are quite plain on allowing close-in-age and what it means, TX uses it as a positive defense; CA, MA, WI, NY and MI are really strict to the age.

    The funny thing about all of this is that the coloring of states was just the opposite prior to 2000, and meant as little then as it does today. But we didn’t use the dichotomy until 2000.

  56. Earth.W June 28, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    Here is another fine example of where we have lost the plot, treating youth as criminals because we cannot emotionally cope as adults. In Australia, Police are treating youth as sex offenders for taking even a semi naked photo of themselves and sends it to a boy/girl friend. While that age of consent is 16 in all but a couple State where it is 17, you are still a child until you turn 18 so even if you were at the age of consent, a photo is still a child sex offfence.

    It’s not as if photos are new. I remember as a child seeing teenagers around me taking sexual photos of each other with Polaroid cameras. They were also sexually active but this very generation is behaving as if they never even knew of sex until they were at least 50 years old.

    Then there is the matter of business being allowed to lawfully take photos of children who have not even started high school in demeaning and sexual poses. It’s always good when a business abuses a child though. Same goes with religion. Those two can actually abuse a child and nothing happens.

  57. Christine June 28, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    Brian

    Yes each state has their own age of consent but now this does not hold water. The government has a law called the Adam Walsh Act and when the states adopt it the age of consent is 18. I know a guy who was 26 who had consensual sex with a 17 year old college student, he spent 5 years in prison and on the registry cause her dad was upset. he may have been a little older but she wanted it. Age of consent does not matter. Not all states have adopted this Act but many did. There have been many lawsuits pending on this on so many levels. I also know 19 year olds who had sex with 16 year olds and have gone to prison and on the registry. It does not matter anymore if the state adopted this, and they are all suppose to adopt this act.

  58. Christine June 28, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    This is an interesting article. I am not for kids having sex but…this is happening all over…

    http://www.denverpost.com/ci_4783650

  59. Andy June 29, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    @Natalie Nah, I never became Don Juan. Not when I was young and I’m not one now. I prefer long term relationships anyway.

    As I told, I remember some questions, being curious and being inexperienced, but not confusment.

  60. Warren July 2, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    @Andy,

    I agree. Yes there is new feelings and physical changes one goes thru, but to call sex and sexuallity complicated is just insane.

    It is only complicated for those who are uncomfortable talking openly with their kids about it. Sex is only as complicated as you make it out to be. You make sex complicated by injecting your own religious, moral and personal beliefs about it. Keep the morals, the religion and personal beiefs out of it, and it is not complicated.

  61. Papilio July 2, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    Christine’s article reminds me of a letter from two kids I read long time ago in a column (consisting of kids writing stuff like ‘Hi I’m D, I have this one problem…’ and then other kids could write back with solutions and support).

    This particular letter came from a boy and a girl, friends, also aged 12 and 13, who’d had sex with each other. They were both curious, they both wanted it, so they decided to try it out, and they didn’t regret it afterward. They had even used a condom. But they did realize they were very young, so their question was ‘Was it wrong of us to do it?’

  62. Natalie July 5, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    Sex is complicated because relationships are complicated and it takes time to figure that out, regardless of whether or not your parents are a good resource. Your parents are not in bed with you and your partner (woody Allen movies excepted) and not in your relationship. Advice helps. Being open helps. This does not make anything simple.
    Indeed, some of the complications and confusion with sex make it more exciting.

  63. Rachel July 19, 2013 at 1:46 am #

    Well children don’t need internet and you can control their telivision watching. Pre-teens will likely start becoming curious anyways,and teens should be expected to be interested in such stuff.

    Its not just about religious or moral beliefs.
    Many children that suffered abuse or mental illness add complications to it,they get used to abuse,get attracted even to abuse and start related childhood things to fetishes and it gets complicated that way.
    I know because I’ve been through it.

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