Scary she is a senator, also a bad parent

I know this is long overdue, lost the file. First some caveats to reading this post. This is really an abridged version of what I want to say. Second, someone close to me indicated I need to preemptively indicate some things. Many times, people will read a post and skim the article, missing important details, then surmising incorrect ideas. I pointed out and can’t remember what famous person said something to the following effect: You will spend more time defending what you DID NOT say than what you actually said. (Anyone, know the famous person, please respond or email me at psychologyandphilosophyblog@gmail.com)

So, I am not advocating for underage sex, or suggesting it, or saying it is ok. I am not supporting a liberal agenda or a conservative agenda. This is not about a political position either, yet all of what I will say could be interpreted in any of the above ways to build a straw man (look up straw man fallacy). I AM talking about psychosexual education, positive sexuality (though briefly) and a senator’s potential ideas on these things of which scare me.

I have to admit I was in utter shock when I watched this interview. I believe Kirsten unfit to be voting on sex education, much less be talking about the subject in public, given her personal stance. Read her exchange below regarding how she responded to a question from Stephen Colbert:

“I have two young sons, one who is nine, and one who is fourteen, and how am I supposed to describe to them it’s okay to squeeze a woman here and grab a woman there and it’s not okay to grab a woman there. That is not a conversation as a mother I thought was appropriate to be having with a 14 year old boy. None of it’s okay Stephen, none of it’s okay.”
Video can be see here https://youtu.be/XWOxjo65if0

Lets get some things straight: I am 38 years old, and I can personally name individuals from junior high who actually had sex at 14, 15, 16 etc. This is not even to mention “squeezing” and “grabbing” behaviors at those ages… laughable. I believe many of us have known individuals in the same situation. Now, a quick google search will uncover varying rates, I don’t deny this. As an educated person I understand all the pitfalls of this data. No doubt some people reading this know solid, well replicated research to counter the the averages of males being 16, and women being 17 when first losing their virginity. However, if you understand what average means statistically, some could be down at 14, maybe even 13, while some are at 18, and 19. Taking the simple agreement sex happens amongst teenagers, obviously “heavy petting,” “fondling,” “squeezing,” or “grabbing” does as well. Important distinction, since these touching behaivors are usually precursors to sexual intercourse, statistically. I mean really most did not go from a kiss, or no kiss to a penis entering a vagina sex.

Therefore, as a mother she is amazingly ignorant. She should be talking about these things, as in “squeezing,” “grabbing.” This again is not pushing an agenda, you can be very conservative saying no sex till 30, or liberal sex when you like. Either way discussions with your children should happen regarding sexual touch (or any touch for that matter). This should happen for both sexes. As a parent, you can push any agenda you want, I have my opinions but no matter what, these discussions with teens, AND kids, need to happen. Otherwise, you are simply ignoring research that is well established, regarding teenage sex. (Don’t worry sex positive readers consent is coming).

As part of a university-level psychology department, I have taught a human sexuality course. I can’t believe that a U.S. Senator would say this. The things I heard from college students regarding certain behaviors… Yeah, a 14 NEEDS to be talked to about these things. Squeezing, and grabbing even at that age are just the beginning. Unbelievable. Then I am supposed to respect her vote on sexual education issues, birth control, Planned Parenthood! Come on this is despicable.

I am awaiting a reply to an email regarding research in Europe. I forget the exact country, but they literally start sex education in Kindergarten! (I want to say Denmark) A quick search shows, in Europe their rates on teenage pregnancies, (of which usually includes sexual intercourse) shows 4-6 births per thousand. The U.S. should be proud of our about 30 per thousand. This is a contest right? Bigger is better. They view it as a public health issue, and normal behavior, not pushing an agenda on sexual ideologies or religious values or political ideologies.

When I taught human sexuality back in 2009ish, I asked the students all freshman or above how many had HAD NOT had sex education until a certain grade level. Progressively, it grew from 1st grade up. I was shocked at the number of students who had never had any, until high school!!! Yes, some of those who raised their hand in the “until high school” group had already had a child. No statistics were recorded on these questions (dumb Eli).

In a 2009 study of college age males regarding pornography viewership, they could not find a control group of men which means, DID NOT view porn regularly. Many of which had been viewing porn for up to 10 years (See video directions at end). As a male of this species, I do think I remember stumbling upon pornography online, in 1997, at the age of 18. Anyways this number of viewing pornography up to 10 years before college put males in the past (study conducted 2009), as seeing pornography as early as before 14. Fast forward 9 years later. Do you think it is more difficult for this age group in 2018 to find pornography? My guess is NO. Furthermore, the same study, indicates that boys at the age of 10 back then in 2009 would actively seek out online pornography. Needless to say in this conversation for this present purpose, we do not need boys and girls at this young age viewing pornography as being how sex is or should be done in real life. I think that is a safe statement.

Now, for those in the sex positive community, reading this. Many will not agree with her assessment at all regarding where it is ok to squeeze and or grab a woman. INSTEAD, in the sex positive community it is about MUTUAL CONSENT. This issue of consent has nothing to do with age period. It does not matter, if it’s two 10 year olds or two 50 year olds. This is about consent. I am completely disappointed that this was not the main point. Yet, frankly, sadly understandable. If she is so out of the informational loop that teenagers can, do, and have been having sex for years, much less squeezing, and grabbing…. I think she needs to learn about consent, regarding touching period. Not just in a sexual context.

In summary, regardless of my agreement of her position on guns, I am scared for the future, when she states: “That is not a conversation as a mother I thought was appropriate to be having with a 14 year old boy.” It should be not only appropriate, and expected but mandatory, GIVEN THE DATA.

These can be found on the web, from http://www.youtube.com
Stephen Colbert interview at 8:00 or 8:30 to start…

2009 pornography study… Need to listen to all of it.

2 thoughts on “Scary she is a senator, also a bad parent

  1. Rule number one, if you are uncomfortable talking about sex, do not reproduce. If you cannot explain to your children the emotional, physical, biological and psychological components of sex, you will do a disservice to your children and possibly their future partners. In the United States, there is an embarrassing lack of parenting and education that equips children,-both boys and girls to accept their own sexuality. When I say parenting, I am talking about parents communicating openly and honestly about sex with their children. Some adults can’t communicate openly and honestly about sex with each other, so that can compound the problem. There are parents that refuse to address sex with their children. There are parents that do not want schools to address sex. There is the push pull between parents and schools in this area.

    There is also the religious angle of sex education. When religion comes into play, there can be a very discriminatory approach to sex education. This approach shifts away from actual facts about biology such as how erections work, masturbation health, std’s and pregnancy and morph into moral directives where sex is shameful. There are so-called sex education programs in the United States that promote abstinence only. These programs shame young girls and compare sex to a piece of tape that is repeatedly stuck onto something or a used piece of gum, this message gives the implication that sex is dirty and bad. Now I am not endorsing sex in young people that are still developing into their own independent selves, but these approaches skew their perspective and can be psychologically harmful.

    Sex Education should include facts but it should also address emotions as well. When I heard Senator Gillibrand’s comments, I was appalled. I am a mother of an adult son. I was open and honest with him about sex from a young age. I talked to him and with him about sex at various stages. It started early. There was the stage of curiosity, what are these parts and why are they different from yours and so on. And then that transitioned to asking questions to looking at various avenues for knowledge. Parents that don’t talk to their kids and/or with their kids about sex produce clueless kids or kids that ask other friends, parents, etc for information. Or they look online or acquire false information. My son’s friends asked me questions about sex because their parents wouldn’t answer them. Granted, I talked to the parents first because that was the right thing to do. And usually the parents did not want to talk about the topic. Then I addressed it with the kids. As a parent, it is your responsibility to raise informed human beings.

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  2. A comment on the Internet porn TED talk:

    As far as the internet porn is concerned, it is a fascinating area to explore. It makes sense that the novelty aspect is key. Variety is the spice of life as some people say. But you bring up an important point in the difference in the age of the viewer. There is a world of difference between viewing porn at the age of 10 versus the age of 18. The development level is quite different. There is also the skewed view of sexuality. Fantasy versus reality. There is the idea of the fantasy relationship based on romantic comedies, there is also the fantasy of sex based on porn. Porn is an outlet but it’s not the truest form of human interaction. We have our animalistic urges but porn is a performance. People are getting paid to act out scenarios that give people pleasure and satisfaction. Sometimes there is a vicarious thrill involved. But if a pornographic scene is acted out in real life, it doesn’t always translate. Or communicating that fantasy to another person may not receive a warm response.

    Two things that immediately stood out to me about this TED talk is the fact that there is no control group to study for college age men that did not view porn regularly and every day pleasures don’t satisfy a porn addict. I am not surprised by either of these two statements but I think they say a great deal about where we are as a society in regard to exposure and access to information about human sexuality. Online there is a plethora of porn. Pick a genre, it’s out there. But in the United States we are still quite repressive in our expression of sexuality. It’s such a contradiction. There is the idea of freedom of expression and the attempt to stifle it or keep certain topics in the dark. We need to find a happy medium. Where is the balance or moderation? And with the ease of access, all it takes is a few clicks, there is no delayed gratification. It is a need or urge instantly met. But it’s only part of the equation.

    I was also intrigued by the connection between erectile dysfunction and online porn use. Another area of interest was how the neuroplasticity impacts porn usage and development. And the fact that older guys regained their functioning quicker than younger guys due to starting to use and access online porn later. It’s a different world when it comes to porn now. You don’t have to pay for it. You don’t have to be a certain age to access it. It’s not like kids can’t lie about their birthdays online. The key is when they are accessing it. And this is another area that parents neglect to talk to their children about. And often since the curiosity isn’t acknowledged and questions go unanswered, the kid goes exploring. Curiosity is a wonderful thing but when you are younger, guidance is recommended. But only guidance from someone that is honest. And like anything else, too much of something may not necessarily be a good thing. When a person is deeply immersed in the fantasy of porn, it can have an unwanted impact.

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