Ah... is this a response to the "Adult Content" filter fetish that LJ is currently suffering from? The "Fortysomething" community has adopted it, goodness knows why, whereas some of the really pornographic LJ sites ar unencumbered with such niceties. It is a mad world.
Yes it is. A lot of my friends have been discussing it and I thought I'd add my sixpenn'orth.
Children notice what goes on around them, but I do have to admit, internally I was gasping when I heard a girl that could not have been older than 11-12 talking about a "he-she" on the tram, and then she went on to define it as "ya know, both balls and fanny". I wish kids barely scraping puberty didn't know quite that much.
I was having fantasies about gender-bending, sadomasochistic sex orgies when I was much younger than 11.
I knew next to nothing but I clearly intuited a lot.
I think a lot of us had very strange fantasies as pre-pubescents. I would not even discuss what went through my head at that age and I shudder to think how I knew enough to imagine it. I tell myself it was a reaction against lack of empowerment. eeewww
I think we're born with the knowledge- just as animals are.
2007-12-02 03:56 pm (UTC)
We teach by example...
It doesn't matter as much what we tell children as much as it matters what we show them. We don't learn sexuality in a vacuum. It is a part of our waking reality as much as the morals, ethics and values we assimilate and the foods we like.
2007-12-02 04:00 pm (UTC)
Re: We teach by example...
I totally agree.
Example is more powerful than any amount of show and tell.
I don't know whether to agree with you wholeheartedly or to say that adults are just better at hiding their depravity (from others and themselves).
Adults are more skilled- at concealment and control.
And denial, don't forget.
Great post. I work with kids, and remember my own childhood vividly-- they're no different; just younger. "Innocence" is strictly a fantasy entertained by adults. Children know better.
Children are ignorant- in that they're starved of information- but that's not quite the same as being innocent.
I would have agreed completely at one time, but having discovered so many people who, as children, were abused, I know there are a lot of people in their teens and older who would be badly affected by a lot of 'adult content'. It's different when there's a site which shows itself openly to be overtly sexual, but I think when it occurs out of the blue, as it frequently does in journals and blogs, it can hurt.
Anyway, this stuff in LJ is only, in effect, adding a disguised lj-cut to the posts in question, and any kid who wants to look, will look. And yeah, as someone else has said, they can easily lie about their age.
You're raising a whole new issue here- the question of what we do to protect damaged adults and I've got to say I find this really difficult. All my instincts are against censorship. And sometimes a writer wants to deliver a cathartic shock by introducing something shocking "out of the blue"- and to flag it up in advance would spoil the effect.