Why are we promoting child abuse?
Side by SideOnce again we exclaim with Rhett Butler, "Ah, Scarlett, what a little hypocrite you are!" How could Amazon.com, the world's largest online book distributor, publish Philip R. Greaves' "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct"? Public outrage has forced them to pull it off their list, which still offers other notables, such as, the popular "How To Kill" guide.
Published: December 2, 2010
Published: December 2, 2010
First Amendment rights aside, what are we doing with parents' rights, indeed, obligations, to teach, guide, and, when necessary, command our children? In one particular area, sexuality, we are encouraging, even forcing, participation and declaration, long before their maturity levels call for it.
The child advocacy group Enough Is Enough says Greaves' book lends the impression that child abuse is normal. Our society is making it "normal" for elementary, middle, and high school children to declare their sexual preferences; that stance is just another form of child abuse. Even with science revealing that the decision-making part of our brains is not fully developed until our mid-twenties, we are promoting, catering to, and demanding respect for pre-puberty and teenage declarations of sexuality.
To protect our children, there are many things we must tell them long before we might wish. Raging hormones may frighten and seduce them, but that is more reason for adults (the kind with principles and common sense) to keep a firm presence, sought or unsought, in their lives. What is being pushed in a "positive" light makes real adults wonder if we have been taken over by aliens.
Look no further than the last six months to substantiate our decline. In June the National Center For Health Statistics reported an increase in teens using the rhythm method and having relaxed attitudes about unwed motherhood. In July, Forever21 launched its maternity line for the young mother-to-be, clothes to keep her in style for back-to-school. So, when a Gypsy woman in Spain expressed shock over our outrage at her 10-year-old daughter giving birth in late October, why are we surprised?
Should we take heart over an October report that condom use is becoming the norm for sexually active teenagers, that the majority of them, ages 14 to 17, outdo the well under half of adults using condoms in "casual liaisons"? If that encourages us, then maybe we are part of the group surprised to find in November that "oral sex is seen as a gateway activity for teenagers," a prelude to intercourse. Well, duh!
Mixed messages? In October, child psychologists declared texting and Facebook no more dangerous than what their parents grew up with. In November, another study found sex and drugs more common in hyper-texting teens.
A biblical prophet named Hosea gave a principle: "For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind" (8:7). Our children reap the results of what we allow: increased teenage suicide, bullying, a jaded coming-of-age touted as "coming out of the closet," a blocking of real enlightenment as to finding true self and sexuality.
Finding truth requires the right starting point. That is the quest of this column. If you are a seeker of simple truth, we can find it together-side-by-side.
Linda M. Downing is a freelance writer. Contact her at lindadowning.com.