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S/O Hypersexualization of Today's Culture /Media's Impact on Youth Sexuality


umsami

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Just now, StellaM said:

 

I don't find it hard at all. Because I'd base my argument around the dignity of the person - does the action promote the dignity of the person, or does it undermine it ? And it seems pretty obvs that porn undermines it, and that not criminalizing people for their sexual orientation and resulting sexual behaviour, purely on that basis, promotes human dignity.

And considering the dignity of the person is important because a society which promotes the dignity of individuals is a healthier society.

I know the link is made. Critiquing X means you are racist, for eample, or a fascist,  or a homophobe, even if the topic is nothing to do with race or political or sexual orientation. I just don't think the link is inevitable. 

 

 

I don't know that it's inevitable either, or maybe it is because so many people used those arguments, and wouldn't have been if they had been more careful about it.  I don't know, but once the link has been made, it's a political factor.  If you want to convince people to think differently, you have to unmake it, and if they think it's important, even vital, it's very difficult.  They won't want to go there, and they won't trust your intentions or your facts unless they are impossible to deny.

FWIW, I think a lot of the social situations we see around perception of sexual behaviour, with regard to individualism and privacy and all, really comes out, materially, of the severing of sexual activity so completely from procreation.  No one was going to say sex was a right, or private, when it so clearly had a profound social impact.  What that means in terms of outcome I don't know, but it maybe relates to why the question is so fraught, it's really outside of historical experience on a population wide scale.

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2 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

It's pretty simple in that there are only three orientations - heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual. I mean, we only have two sexes in our species, so orientation has to be limited - it's maths. 

A man having sex with a woman is likely straight, whether or not his friend has sex with the same woman (ick). 

A confused man is a confused man. He will still have an orientation, unless he's asexual. 

I do not believe porn is creating gay kids out of straight kids, if that's what people are worried about. If that was happening, we'd be seeing a massive rise in numbers of gay kids, and we aren't. The % is pretty stable. Wake me up when that changes. 

 

 

 

I am hesitant to even step into this because I don't think this topic should be aligned with the gay community at all. I really think the focus should be on objectifying women, potential violence and potential damage to later sexual health. However, I think things are getting confused. Gay kids are gay kids, straight kids are straight kids. There is this separate piece though. Porn tends to like to portray threeway sex. It is a popular type of porn and it is easily found and pops up in porn videos at a high rate. Straight kids who begin watching porn and watching this type of porn do have higher rates of sex attraction to same sex partners but do not feel any romantic love for them. It is primal and sexual in nature. This is the difference. It is because arousal and masturbation during puberty is strong and is foundation forming. It is literally laying the framework of learning and the brain is molding neurotransmitter responses. So when a teen is aroused from watching sex and masturbates to those images it is reinforcing through dopamine  that gratifying feelings can be had with this simulated sexual experience. Now because many teens don't have access to a sex partner at 12 or 13 to gratify themselves once they have turned on this brain cascade, they tend to continue to seek out porn. If they see over and over again the same images and they are gratifying, that template is now laid down. They will then desire the experience and either fantasize about it during sexual performance either solo or with a partner or they will seek it out and not be gratified for long by experiences that didn't have a schema laid down. This is why people who delay sexual relationships, limit partners and steer from porn have longer lived, more fulfilling sex lives. 

It works through the nucleus accumbens, in the reward pathway just like if we were hunter and gatherers who found a food source that fed us. We keep going back. It is the same pathway that forms addiction to video games and creates an AD/HD profile. There is from birth ADHD as well as induced through this pathway. Exactly the same as what porn does.

Dopamine is our motivation neurotransmitter. It turns up to hard wire gratifying pathways and turns down to deter us from things less gratifying. Writing an English paper or reading a book is exciting until you play video games then dopamine turns down for those things. Vanilla sex totally dopamine inducing until you have foundations laid that are more enticing then dopamine turns down for that vanilla sex. It is straight neurobiology.

It isn't meant to offend or put people back in a box. This isn't black or white at all. It is something we need to not be squeamish about and get uncomfortable with for fear it doesn't fit the clean black and white thinking of this current cuktural zeitgeist. This effects gay kids and straight kids alike. Porn just needs to not be in kids every waking second of viewing. Television, music, billboard ads, Internet searches...it just is effecting everyone.

Also, I would say annectodotally I have seen a much higher level of kids coming out in my area. 10 to 15 years ago it would be 3 to 4 kids in our middle school group. The school I left last year had a middle school of 35 kids (wealthy private school) and 16 came out as gay or bi (I am including kids declaring pan sexuality and so forth here). A counselor friend of mine reported seeing a huge increase in the middle and high schools she is pushing into. Not as high as what our small school saw but closer to 10% she said. So it will take a couple decades to see the longitudinal studies that will actually be able to track this trend.

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1 hour ago, StellaM said:

We know for a fact that porn exposure can make straight kids gay or gay kids straight ? I don't think so. Citations, please.

 

That is literally the exact opposite of what I wrote. 

How people have sex is not necessarily a reflection of their sexual orientation.

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9 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

That's so interesting; there are almost zero lesbians in dd18's world; dating is really hard. All her female friends are straight, most of the boys are too. And we live in a very liberal area. It's definitely seen as a little old fashioned, very 20th C. 

I don't include alternate gender expression as a form of sexual orientation 'coming out'. Pansexuality is nothing more than bisexuality, as we don't have multiple sexes to be oriented towards.

And yeah, agreed with most of what you have written here. One only has to look (actually, don't, you'll need brain bleach) at things like sissy porn to see how it shapes certain behaviours.

I suspected it was probably regional trends. This little private school is very into social progressive movements and I suspect some of these kiddos are just being super supportive to their truly gay peers by partaking in the identity culture but as a counselor I am sensitive and affirming for all of the kids because it is just not my place to decide who is and isn't. 

I will also say that for myself and my peers there has been an uptick in kids coming out in our offices that have not told parents or peers. So either the environment feels more safe for them, which I believe is many of the cases, but I have also had my fair share of kids getting confused. One girl said she loved her best friend so much and felt jealous when she hung out with other friends does that mean I am gay? Things like that. One girl thought she was probably transgender because she didn't like to wear dresses and only liked pants and hoodies. So we have some educating to do as kids are just trying to make sense out of the many more choices they have given themselves these days.

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11 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

People were also supposed to abstain during fasting (which could be fairly extensive) periods and before receiving the Eucharist.

 

Because I've seen this happen before, I'm concerned that you have confused the Catholic practice of abstinence (not eating meat) with sexual abstinence. Can you cite a source on the above?

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25 minutes ago, Michael12 said:

 

Because I've seen this happen before, I'm concerned that you have confused the Catholic practice of abstinence (not eating meat) with sexual abstinence. Can you cite a source on the above?

1 Corinthians 7:5 discusses abstinence during fasting periods, but of course that doesn't mean it's the Catholic doctrine.

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32 minutes ago, Michael12 said:

 

Because I've seen this happen before, I'm concerned that you have confused the Catholic practice of abstinence (not eating meat) with sexual abstinence. Can you cite a source on the above?

I think what BlueGoat is referring to is the early church practice of sexual abstinence during Great Lent and other fast days throughout the year, not Catholic abstinence from meat.  It is is still observed in some Eastern Orthodox parishes and possibly other traditions that I'm not aware of.

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11 hours ago, nixpix5 said:

I suspected it was probably regional trends. This little private school is very into social progressive movements and I suspect some of these kiddos are just being super supportive to their truly gay peers by partaking in the identity culture but as a counselor I am sensitive and affirming for all of the kids because it is just not my place to decide who is and isn't. 

I will also say that for myself and my peers there has been an uptick in kids coming out in our offices that have not told parents or peers. So either the environment feels more safe for them, which I believe is many of the cases, but I have also had my fair share of kids getting confused. One girl said she loved her best friend so much and felt jealous when she hung out with other friends does that mean I am gay? Things like that. One girl thought she was probably transgender because she didn't like to wear dresses and only liked pants and hoodies. So we have some educating to do as kids are just trying to make sense out of the many more choices they have given themselves these days.

 

Soo, could this be another symptom of too many choices? My thoughts are still amorphous, so bear with me? 

When I was a child, Little Women spoke to me as no book had because like Jo, I felt the greatest tragedy in my life had been being born a girl. Undoubtedly part of that feeling had to come from having grown up in the 70s and 80s budding feminism where old ideas were still stuck in cement. But I loved hanging out with boys, playing with boys toys and wanted all of the advantages I inferred boys had. My nature is more typically male and maybe if I were growing up today I would wonder if I were homosexual, bisexual, transgender. These ideas were just off the table for a fifth grader in 1980. And thank goodness. I’m neither homosexual or bisexual (in the sense that I don’t identify that way...I believe we all fall on the continuum somewhere), nor transsexual. But I can see how the surrounding culture could have me made me feel confused in middle school.

A generation or two ago, everyone felt forced into a heterosexual mold; now maybe the opposite is the problem. Kids are smacked in the face with gender identity and sexuality ideas they aren’t quite ready to grapple with. 

What do you all think?

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8 minutes ago, Barb_ said:

 

 

A generation or two ago, everyone felt forced into a Hetero mold; now maybe the opposite is the problem. Kids are smacked in the face with gender identity and sexuality ideas they aren’t quite ready to grapple with. 

What do you all think?

I think this is happening like crazy.

Kids are overwhelmed, and everyone pounces all over the identity signals so hard that they don't have much room to just be.  

I am particularly concerned about the increasing use of puberty blockers.  While I am sure that those would have helped some, I think that they hurt others.  I think we are casting too wide a net for that treatment right now.

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2 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I think this is happening like crazy.

Kids are overwhelmed, and everyone pounces all over the identity signals so hard that they don't have much room to just be.  

I am particularly concerned about the increasing use of puberty blockers.  While I am sure that those would have helped some, I think that they hurt others.  I think we are casting too wide a net for that treatment right now.

 

My gut agrees with you.

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32 minutes ago, Barb_ said:

A generation or two ago, everyone felt forced into a Hetero mold; now maybe the opposite is the problem. Kids are smacked in the face with gender identity and sexuality ideas they aren’t quite ready to grapple with. 

What do you all think?

 

Yes, I have seen this. The example nixpix cited...kids saying "I love my best friend" and now he is confused what this means. 30 years ago, there likely would have not been this kind of confusion because when an 10 or 13 year old said this, it was taken to just mean he really likes to hang out with the kid - it was not thought of in sexual terms. In the present oversexualized culture, everything is immediately categorized into straight, gay, bi or whatever. 

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5 hours ago, Barb_ said:

 

Soo, could this be another symptom of too many choices? My thoughts are still amorphous, so bear with me? 

When I was a child, Little Women spoke to me as no book had because like Jo, I felt the greatest tragedy in my life had been being born a girl. Undoubtedly part of that feeling had to come from having grown up in the 70s and 80s budding feminism where old ideas were still stuck in cement. But I loved hanging out with boys, playing with boys toys and wanted all of the advantages I inferred boys had. My nature is more typically male and maybe if I were growing up today I would wonder if I were homosexual, bisexual, transgender. These ideas were just off the table for a fifth grader in 1980. And thank goodness. I’m neither homosexual or bisexual (in the sense that I don’t identify that way...I believe we all fall on the continuum somewhere), nor transsexual. But I can see how the surrounding culture could have me made me feel confused in middle school.

A generation or two ago, everyone felt forced into a Hetero mold; now maybe the opposite is the problem. Kids are smacked in the face with gender identity and sexuality ideas they aren’t quite ready to grapple with. 

What do you all think?

Yes, I have thought long and hard about this question. My sister’s child identifies as transgender. This child was not “girlie” from an early age, around 6. So I have been braced for this possibility for a long while. I do think my sister is handling this admirably well. But, there is a part I wonder about, too, regarding the culture.

My sister was also very tomboyish in childhood. We were total opposites, lol. For me, you couldn’t give me a fancy enough, ruffling enough, lacey enough dress. She detested wearing church clothes and could not wait to change into a tee shirt and shorts. In school, she took classes in woodshop, small engine repair and building model cars. She was very kinesthetic, but sports for girls were forbidden in our family; I always thought that was a great loss for her. She had a baby early in life and I guess there was not a question for her of, “Am I really a boy in a girl’s body?” because that wasn’t a question we asked ourselves in the seventies. So then she became a mom early and I assume, she didn’t wonder about her identity or orientation after that point, if she ever did wonder before. 

So, while I 100% wish to be respecful of my nephew, I definitely wonder what would have happened if there weren’t this larger cultural question of, “what is my gender identity?” In the 70s, there were just girls who liked working on engines and boys who liked sewing, and you had your smattering of gay kids, closeted or not. It seems more confusing now, for kids, because they are asking themselves if they really are the gender that corresponds with their genitals. I am not sure this is a net benefit for the psyche of kids. 

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I can't believe the turn this thread has taken but being transgender isn't about not being "girlie" or about what toys/sports you like. I can concede that some may just be confused but those who are transgender aren't that way because they have too many choices. ? 

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10 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

It's clearly not a right. I've never understood that argument. Upholding that argument leads to incel type arguments for the redistribution of sex, which by their very nature subvert the dignity of the redistributed person (considered a sexual object).

So far as social impacts go, I have trouble seeing this in any way apart from the evolutionary. It's obviously important to the continuation of the species that most people be oriented towards opposite sex partners. And they are. That a minority are not does not seem to me to threaten species survival.

There are arguments to be made that having a small proportion of the population same sex attracted may have evolutionary advantages. Reducing competition for fertile females, having a stable number of childess women to assist in caretaking of children....

 

The right thing flummoxes me too, but it seems to underpin the thinking of so many the days.  If you follow it along to it's conclusions though, they seem obviously crazy.  I think it comes out of the way people interpret some of the messages they've heard growing up - sex is good, everyone should be able to pursue a happy and satisfying sex life, our bodies are made to be sexual.  A kind of focus on sexual activity as inevitable along with no attention to avoiding sexual activity, a focus in the media about the necessity of having a good sex life at every stage of your life.  I've seen that thinking be really destructive among new mothers, where they and their husbands are completely blindsided by the effect of pregnancy and nursing on their sex life, and it scares them not only because it's unexpected, but they've been told sex is a foundational element in their marriage.  

 I have  been relatively sympathetic to the incel issue, because I think they have been fed that idea by popular culture, and I find it disturbing that when people find out about them, they don't say - oh, gee, maybe that's a stupid idea - instead they basically ridicule them.  The sense is, yeah, sex is a right, unless you are too pathetic to get it - then you should just pay a prostitute or watch porn.  They are like a sort of poverty stricken underclass of the sexual marketplace, so no wonder they want a revolution and hate the aristocracy.

I don't see my view on the fertility element as separate from the evolutionary element, but that really wasn't meant to be related to same sex attraction issues at all.  I meant more in relation to the wholesale changes in our accepted cultural attitude to sex - it's not chance they came right along with the ability to have fairly reliable control of fertility.  When the vast majority of sexually active people are producing babies regularly, sex is not a purely private concern, it has a significant impact on the community and it's health, and it will have an real link to issues of public policy.  (That can go in either direction as well, not only the problems of caring for a lot of babies, but if the community is struggling to maintain viable numbers.)  

It's really interesting to read the paper of allowing the use of bc by the Lambeth Conferece, back in the first half of the 20th century.  The Anglicans were the first church that allowed the use of birth control, and the paper sets out the reasons for that decision, which were mainly compassionate, and if they had been implemented along the lines the bishops envisioned probably would have looked a lot like the Orthodox approach.  Anyway, what is really interesting is to look at the concerns the bishops had in terms of how widespread use of bc might affect people's perception of sex and sexual relationships - they were eerily accurate in a lot of cases.  

Just as one example of this kind of effect - men who impregnate women and leave them high and dry have always been seen by much of society as morally suspect, it shows lack of care for the woman and the child.  Where it was overlooked or condoned was with people who were seen not to matter or in situations where there would be no further relation to the women.  If you are the kind of man who cares about your child and mother of your child, you are going to see sexual activity as happening within certain bounds - any woman you have sex with might be the mother of your child, and also might bring economic burdens.  As soon as sexual activity is free of those risks, it opens up the possibility of the partner as an interest of the moment - a kind of hook up culture model of sex.  Not everyone will do that of course, we still have our psychological tendencies to attach, and various smaller belief systems that guard against it.  But it makes it seem like a viable way of thinking, and I think it has some relation to the impersonal and self-focused view of sex we see in porn.  

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10 hours ago, Michael12 said:

 

Because I've seen this happen before, I'm concerned that you have confused the Catholic practice of abstinence (not eating meat) with sexual abstinence. Can you cite a source on the above?

 

Days of fasting and abstinence were also meant, ideally, to include sexual abstinence, not just food - and not just meat, necessarily, either.  If you do some Googling it's easy enough to find information on this, with relation to any of the catholic/apostolic churches historically.

The absolute necessity to fast from sex before performing a Eucharistic liturgy was a factor in the western move to a celibate priesthood, when it became common for priests to celebrate daily.

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28 minutes ago, Joker said:

I can't believe the turn this thread has taken but being transgender isn't about not being "girlie" or about what toys/sports you like. I can concede that some may just be confused but those who are transgender aren't that way because they have too many choices. ? 

 

I didn’t mean to imply that. I think that too many...maybe I should have said competing influences...can create  confusion regarding sexuality, especially in late elementary and early middle school when thoughts about sexuality and identity are just beginning to crystallize. 

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7 hours ago, Barb_ said:

 

Soo, could this be another symptom of too many choices? My thoughts are still amorphous, so bear with me? 

When I was a child, Little Women spoke to me as no book had because like Jo, I felt the greatest tragedy in my life had been being born a girl. Undoubtedly part of that feeling had to come from having grown up in the 70s and 80s budding feminism where old ideas were still stuck in cement. But I loved hanging out with boys, playing with boys toys and wanted all of the advantages I inferred boys had. My nature is more typically male and maybe if I were growing up today I would wonder if I were homosexual, bisexual, transgender. These ideas were just off the table for a fifth grader in 1980. And thank goodness. I’m neither homosexual or bisexual (in the sense that I don’t identify that way...I believe we all fall on the continuum somewhere), nor transsexual. But I can see how the surrounding culture could have me made me feel confused in middle school.

A generation or two ago, everyone felt forced into a Hetero mold; now maybe the opposite is the problem. Kids are smacked in the face with gender identity and sexuality ideas they aren’t quite ready to grapple with. 

What do you all think?

 

Yeah.  I have no doubt in my mind that had I grown up now I'd have been hurled into therapy and likely ended up on hormone suppressants.  I claimed for a few years as a kid that I was a boy, and when I started puberty I was profoundly uncomfortable with the physical changes, I'd have jumped at any chance to put them off.  If I had been told that discomfort was maybe gender dysphoria...?  

I think an issue is that a lot of people are unsure about normal childhood development around ideas of sex and gender.  It's normal for kids to think concretely about it, and also make errors in that concrete thinking.  Lots of kids go through stages where they actually think sex is about certain social characteristics, or certain social customs like clothing are universal rules of some kind.  It takes time to acquire the concepts, the language, to jettison over-generalzations and plain old errors.  By the time that happens a lot of kids are dealing with sexual hormone issues, which adds other complications.  I don't think sexual/gender identity is really very well solidified until the early 20s when the hormonal element starts to settle down, and for some it seems to relate to establishing a stable sexual partnership too.

Anyway, once young kids with normal intellectual development are in a situation where there aren't any rules they can grasp, it becomes very difficult for them to sort through this stuff.  Grasping the terms is something that takes time.  It can take time for a kid like I was to figure out what "I am a girl" means and doesn't mean - when no one can tell you what a girl is, where does that leave kids?  If it's a feeling, what feeling is that?  An interest in pink?  Wanting to be Spiderman?  Being jealous of your friend?  If it's less concrete than those things, kids in the concrete stage are not going to get it.

The other element is, it's maybe not chance that as external roles for males and females become more extreme, those concrete externals, more kids feel uncomfortable with adhering to them nd look for new categories, or to switch categories.  Cultural elements of sex role are far more extreme now than in the 70s and 80s.

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30 minutes ago, Joker said:

I can't believe the turn this thread has taken but being transgender isn't about not being "girlie" or about what toys/sports you like. I can concede that some may just be confused but those who are transgender aren't that way because they have too many choices. ? 

 

Whew. Glad you said it.

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1 minute ago, Barb_ said:

 

I didn’t mean to imply that. I think that too many...maybe I should have said competing influences...can create  confusion regarding sexuality, especially in late elementary and early middle school when thoughts about sexuality and identity are just beginning to crystallize. 

 

Now that would be accurate. As the video stated. These kids aren’t who media say they are and how could they be bc these kids usually don’t even know who they are yet. Nor should they.  Most people don’t know who they are definitively at those ages.  That’s why it’s so much more horrible that media is purposely and knowingly inflicting this trauma on young people.

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7 hours ago, Barb_ said:

 

Soo, could this be another symptom of too many choices? My thoughts are still amorphous, so bear with me? 

When I was a child, Little Women spoke to me as no book had because like Jo, I felt the greatest tragedy in my life had been being born a girl. Undoubtedly part of that feeling had to come from having grown up in the 70s and 80s budding feminism where old ideas were still stuck in cement. But I loved hanging out with boys, playing with boys toys and wanted all of the advantages I inferred boys had. My nature is more typically male and maybe if I were growing up today I would wonder if I were homosexual, bisexual, transgender. These ideas were just off the table for a fifth grader in 1980. And thank goodness. I’m neither homosexual or bisexual (in the sense that I don’t identify that way...I believe we all fall on the continuum somewhere), nor transsexual. But I can see how the surrounding culture could have me made me feel confused in middle school.

A generation or two ago, everyone felt forced into a Hetero mold; now maybe the opposite is the problem. Kids are smacked in the face with gender identity and sexuality ideas they aren’t quite ready to grapple with. 

What do you all think?

I see this happening. In part because it goes something like this...let's consider the girl I worked with who likes hoodies. She tells her friend and her friend says "this is amazing! You are trans and there is nothing to be ashamed of. You are totally supported in this group" they all hug, reaffirm their love for each other. Now my little student feels important, she belongs, she has a title. People come up and tell her how brave she is and how unfair it is the world is not accepting but they will rally for her. (This is actually what happened by the way). 

So yes, kids are trying to explore those choices but then the reinforcing positive benefits are pretty high in the schools I am in. Had she said "no, I think I am just a Tom boy" then that isn't at all unique or special. Although I do think kids have their hearts in the right place by wanting to be supportive, open and loving. I get to see a lot of sweet, inclusive kiddos.

This isn't how other parts of the US are of course but l live and work in a progressive area so this trend I have seen happening for a while. 

I do worry about choices though. Research shows time and again when people have too many choices they have less happiness and more anxiety/depression.

Now I feel this has been a derail of the original topic and I apologize. I feel deeply uncomfortable about anyone even remotely linking this topic with the original. We should probably move back to the original video as I certainly don't think this topic has anything to do with porn exposure. This is a separate cultural swing which is best suited for a separate thread.

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14 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

 

Now that would be accurate. As the video stated. These kids aren’t who media say they are and how could they be bc these kids usually don’t even know who they are yet. Nor should they.  Most people don’t know who they are definitively at those ages.  That’s why it’s so much more horrible that media is purposely and knowingly inflicting this trauma on young people.

 

I have to admit I’ve not watched the video in full yet. I’m packing for our yearly cross country trip and I’m trying (and failing) to stay focused. 

This thought regarding sexual confusion germinated a few weeks ago due to something my 9yo said. She told me she thought she’d like to be a lesbian when she grows up. I was a little startled as this came out of thin air, but I asked why she thought that. She said because girls are nicer to her than boys are and she thinks having babies would hurt. I told her that she would change her mind about a lot of things about romance and babies as well as other things like dolls and college over the next 10-20 years and that she didn’t have to make any decisions now. But that could have gone differently.

11 minutes ago, nixpix5 said:

I see this happening. In part because it goes something like this...let's consider the girl I worked with who likes hoodies. She tells her friend and her friend says "this is amazing! You are trans and there is nothing to be ashamed of. You are totally supported in this group" they all hug, reaffirm their love for each other. Now my little student feels important, she belongs, she has a title. People come up and tell her how brave she is and how unfair it is the world is not accepting but they will rally for her. (This is actually what happened by the way). 

So yes, kids are trying to explore those choices but then the reinforcing positive benefits are pretty high in the schools I am in. Had she said "no, I think I am just a Tom boy" then that isn't at all unique or special. Although I do think kids have their hearts in the right place by wanting to be supportive, open and loving. I get to see a lot of sweet, inclusive kiddos.

This isn't how other parts of the US are of course but l live and work in a progressive area so this trend I have seen happening for a while. 

I do worry about choices though. Research shows time and again when people have too many choices they have less happiness and more anxiety/depression.

Now I feel this has been a derail of the original topic and I apologize. I feel deeply uncomfortable about anyone even remotely linking this topic with the original. We should probably move back to the original video as I certainly don't think this topic has anything to do with porn exposure. This is a separate cultural swing which is best suited for a separate thread.

 

I feel like it’s related though. I think it was Kate up above who mentioned that exploring some of these topics in this context is less controversial since the discussion stems from the confusion and pain kids and teens can experiencing due to media exposure and the resulting influence on their social interactions. 

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1 minute ago, Barb_ said:

 

I feel like it’s related though. I think it was Kate up above who mentioned that exploring some of these topics in this context is less controversial because the discussion stems from the confusion and pain our kids and teens are experiencing due to their media exposure and the resulting influence on their social interactions. 

 

I think it can be related too. 

For example, a middle school kid getting picked on and called gay. If everyone calls you something, maybe it’s true. Especially in the mind of a young person. So they go online and search for some things to affirm or just out of curiosity. They might have never given it any thought and assumed they were straight but the bullying is causing major self doubt. Or a gay kid who just wants to be like everyone else.  

Does that “turn” anyone? No. But it does inflict psychological trauma and creates sexual dysfunction and confusion. 

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12 hours ago, Greta said:

 

Thank you for articulating this.  I was too overwhelmed and distraught to even find the words!  I knew this situation was bad, but this video painted a more vivid and horrifying picture of the situation for me.  My 18 yo dd just told me last week that she is interested in dating now.  Not that she has someone in particular in mind, but she's hoping the right person will come into her life.  She simply hasn't had any interest up to this point.  How do I protect her???  The thought of her dating someone whose perception of sexuality has been warped by porn absolutely terrifies me.  She is modest and shy by nature.  She's never even been kissed.  And the dating world that she's about to enter is . . . well, this hell that we've created.  It truly makes me want to weep.  

Other mothers of daughters*, please tell me, how can we help our daughters protect themselves?

 

* and please know I'm not ignoring or denying the very real need to protect sons too.  It's just that I only have a daughter, so that's my focus right now.

 

I don't know, but this really scares the cr@p out of me, too.  I have 3 teenagers, so this is all over my radar right now.  I don't worry so much about my 3 oldest, but I do worry about dd10 later.  She can barely open a freaking water bottle without help and tends to be bullied by other kids when she's in groups.  She has a sweet, pleasing personality (um, doormat) and that worries me.  Another one of my daughters (dd13) is gorgeous (no offense to my other dds) and she's already had several older boys ask for her phone number, etc.  One boy was trying to manipulate her by getting upset, because she wouldn't give him her number.  He said no girl had ever turned him down before.  She just tells them that her mom and dad said she's not allowed to have a boyfriend.  It's been an easy way for her to get out of situations so far (she just blames us, lol).  And I know they can always say no on their own, but I've always told my kids that they can blame me in uncomfortable situations if there is a lot of peer pressure.  And my kids are pretty sheltered like you mentioned yours in your post.    

I've been slowly brainwashing my kids...  I'll randomly tell them stuff like you don't have to date someone you don't want to date....and you don't need a boyfriend just because everyone else is pressuring you to have one...if you're out with friends and something happens and you're uncomfortable, call us immediately and we will come and get you - no matter where you are...you don't need a man to be a happy person, etc.  And we've started talking about some safety stuff, too (especially after a local girl here was murdered by her boyfriend after she tried to break up with him).  And online safety...been talking about that, too.  I DO need to talk more about safety.

And like I mentioned in my earlier post, I've noticed the ADULTS are also indirectly pushing the teens to date.  And teen girls are seen as "there's something wrong with them" if they're not constantly with a boyfriend.  DD16 is starting to get that from other adults and teens (and pushy relatives).

I have also noticed that DS15 has not had the kind of pressure to date from other teens and adults that DD16 has (and they are almost the same age).  He's just not interested in girls, yet, anyway.  He has other awkward dude friends and I think that's enough right now.            

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5 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

 

I think it can be related too. 

For example, a middle school kid getting picked on and called gay. If everyone calls you something, maybe it’s true. Especially in the mind of a young person. So they go online and search for some things to affirm or just out of curiosity. They might have never given it any thought and assumed they were straight but the bullying is causing major self doubt. Or a gay kid who just wants to be like everyone else.  

Does that “turn” anyone? No. But it does inflict psychological trauma and creates sexual dysfunction and confusion. 

 

I think that for a lot of young people, they tend to accept a label and then try to fit themselves into it.  Often the original label is kind of a surface idea.

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Ime the pressure isn’t to date. It’s to hookup. Very few peers date, even in college - but they hookup frequently. Which is considered acceptable and inevitable. Those who do date are actively discouraged (by parents and peers) from actually commiting to each other or getting “too serious.” And yes, it’s worse for girls than boys ime. 

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31 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

Ime the pressure isn’t to date. It’s to hookup. Very few peers date, even in college - but they hookup frequently. Which is considered acceptable and inevitable. Those who do date are actively discouraged (by parents and peers) from actually commiting to each other or getting “too serious.” And yes, it’s worse for girls than boys ime. 

 

I wish there was more I could say about this, but I generally won't post about any kids but mine (and mine are pretty G rated).  Some of the things she was talking about in the video...my teens' friends have experienced or dealt with.  And I wish she would've added more of a social media component to her presentation, because that seems to have a really big influence on that age group (and she did mention if you were under 35, you grew up in an image-based world, but I wish she would've talked more about social media).  

I can say that I've had to stop cooking dinner a couple of times to talk to DD16's friends, because they don't seem to be telling their parents anything and they are posting way too much online.

    

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2 hours ago, Evanthe said:

 

I don't know, but this really scares the cr@p out of me, too.  I have 3 teenagers, so this is all over my radar right now.  I don't worry so much about my 3 oldest, but I do worry about dd10 later.  She can barely open a freaking water bottle without help and tends to be bullied by other kids when she's in groups.  She has a sweet, pleasing personality (um, doormat) and that worries me.  Another one of my daughters (dd13) is gorgeous (no offense to my other dds) and she's already had several older boys ask for her phone number, etc.  One boy was trying to manipulate her by getting upset, because she wouldn't give him her number.  He said no girl had ever turned him down before.  She just tells them that her mom and dad said she's not allowed to have a boyfriend.  It's been an easy way for her to get out of situations so far (she just blames us, lol).  And I know they can always say no on their own, but I've always told my kids that they can blame me in uncomfortable situations if there is a lot of peer pressure.  And my kids are pretty sheltered like you mentioned yours in your post.    

I've been slowly brainwashing my kids...  I'll randomly tell them stuff like you don't have to date someone you don't want to date....and you don't need a boyfriend just because everyone else is pressuring you to have one...if you're out with friends and something happens and you're uncomfortable, call us immediately and we will come and get you - no matter where you are...you don't need a man to be a happy person, etc.  And we've started talking about some safety stuff, too (especially after a local girl here was murdered by her boyfriend after she tried to break up with him).  And online safety...been talking about that, too.  I DO need to talk more about safety.

And like I mentioned in my earlier post, I've noticed the ADULTS are also indirectly pushing the teens to date.  And teen girls are seen as "there's something wrong with them" if they're not constantly with a boyfriend.  DD16 is starting to get that from other adults and teens (and pushy relatives).

I have also noticed that DS15 has not had the kind of pressure to date from other teens and adults that DD16 has (and they are almost the same age).  He's just not interested in girls, yet, anyway.  He has other awkward dude friends and I think that's enough right now.            

 

My daughter also used (at my suggestion!) the "my parents won't let me date yet" excuse for several years.  It gave her an easy way out without the boy feeling like it was his fault.  I loved it.  But alas, she's 18 and has graduated now, so it won't serve as a reasonable excuse for those boys she doesn't want to date.  And I've heard so many stories of boys and young men becoming nasty or even violent when turned down that it really worries me.  That wasn't something that was in my awareness when I was her age.  I'm not saying it didn't happen - I'm sure it did.  But it didn't happen to anyone I'd ever heard of.  I'm so sorry to hear about the girl local to you who was murdered.  I can't even.  ?

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1 hour ago, Evanthe said:

 

I wish there was more I could say about this, but I generally won't post about any kids but mine (and mine are pretty G rated).  Some of the things she was talking about in the video...my teens' friends have experienced or dealt with.  And I wish she would've added more of a social media component to her presentation, because that seems to have a really big influence on that age group (and she did mention if you were under 35, you grew up in an image-based world, but I wish she would've talked more about social media).  

I can say that I've had to stop cooking dinner a couple of times to talk to DD16's friends, because they don't seem to be telling their parents anything and they are posting way too much online.

    

This is an irony that I have found. I am open and frank with my kids but as Christians we do have moral discussions and discussions about limits and consequences. Current climate would have you believe that if parents take a stance their kids won't tell them things. Such a complete lie. My older boys used me constantly as their sounding board and still do. They called me to pick them up when friends were making poor choices. They had a template for right and wrong plus parents who would never yell and never berate them but would walk them through right and wrong. 

 

Their friends who had parents that were more "non judging" who tried to be super supportive and let everything be ok had the opposite. Their kids would not tell them things, we're uncomfortable with their lack of boundaries, and get where they came? My house. They loved the clear boundary discussions they received in loving and frank terms. I still get texts from my sons' friends and roommates from high school and college bouncing stuff off.

 

The same trend existed in my counseling practice. The kids with the most progressive and "supportive" parents were the ones telling me their biggest secrets. They didn't have respect for their parents and when their parents had to parent the teen wouldn't listen. Boundaries are love. 

Teens are not adults. They don't want to hear everything goes. They want to know there are life guidelines or they feel out of control. Why do they apply labels and order to things as chaotic as gender fluidity? Because they need, crave, desire order. They want structure and lines. They definitely don't want adults telling them how much smarter they are than the adults. That terrifies them because they feel confused and it tells them adults have figured out nothing so there is no hope. It creates epic amounts of anxiety in our culture when adults place kids at the center of their universe.

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

 

Which is such a bummer.  So glad I grew up in the 70s.

 

And weird.  But I think a lot is consumer driven.  You can sell a lot more if boys and girls need different sets of LEGO.

I have no problem with clothes designated to some extent for a certain sex - it's a pretty harmless way to signal that we are sexually dimorphic, which many people want to do, at least some of the time.  Since it's arbitrary, it really hurts no one if one colour signals boy or man, and another girl or woman, especially if we don't get too exclusive about it.  It's better IMO than boys and girls feeling they need to adopt certain social roles or whatever to accomplish the same thing.

But I get the sense now that the tomboy has almost disappeared, whereas it was common when I was a kid.   And yet at the same time,  lot of middle class university educated millennial mums I know want to abolish any sense that clothes could be gendered, and they despise pink anything and won't buy it for their little kids, so I wonder why I don't see more tomboys? Do the kids rebel when they can?   I find it all a bit mixed up.

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I’m happy to be the excuse my kids need. 

But it’s a bandaid to the problem. 

No one should need an excuse to not want to be recreate porn for someone else.

I didn’t want to derail the school shooting thread(s) but I wonder how this plays into those young minds. Someone on my Facebook feed posted this and I think it’s worth mentioning here as an example of the subtle but constant and pervasive horrible messages bombarding our kids 24/7. (I’m not a fan of patheos but they aren’t the only ones to point this out.)

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2018/05/in-the-wake-of-the-latest-school-shooting-newspaper-headlines-need-metoo.html

But I don’t think we should be surprised by this given that a media is also profiting from brainwashing young boys (and girls too but in a different manner) that it’s okay - a climatic turn on even - to objectify and brutalize.

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6 minutes ago, nixpix5 said:

This is an irony that I have found. I am open and frank with my kids but as Christians we do have moral discussions and discussions about limits and consequences. Current climate would have you believe that if parents take a stance their kids won't tell them things. Such a complete lie. My older boys used me constantly as their sounding board and still do. They called me to pick them up when friends were making poor choices. They had a template for right and wrong plus parents who would never yell and never berate them but would walk them through right and wrong. 

 

Their friends who had parents that were more "non judging" who tried to be super supportive and let everything be ok had the opposite. Their kids would not tell them things, we're uncomfortable with their lack of boundaries, and get where they came? My house. They loved the clear boundary discussions they received in loving and frank terms. I still get texts from my sons friends and roommates from high school and college bouncing stuff off.

 

The same trend existed in my counseling practice. The kids with the most progressive and "supportive" parents were the ones telling me their biggest secrets. They didn't have respect for their parents and when their parents had to parent the teen wouldn't listen. Boundaries are love. 

Teens are not adults. They don't want to hear everything goes. They want to know there are life guidelines or they feel out of control. Why do they apply labels and order to things as chaotic as gender fluidity? Because they need, crave, desire order. They want structure and lines. They definitely don't want adults telling them how much smarter they are than the adults. That terrifies them because they feel confused and it tells them adults have figured out nothing so there is no hope. It creates epic amounts of anxiety in our culture when adults place kids at the center of their universe.

 

 

 

Seriously, it's just not much help when you go to someone for advice and they say "Well, what do you think?"

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4 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

Seriously, it's just not much help when you go to someone for advice and they say "Well, what do you think?"

 

That and even if they aren’t asking for advice, but seeking discussion or a sounding board - it’s just not helpful. They are young and simply don’t have the experience or foresight that communal knowledge imparts. This is true for all ages, but especially young people. 

And in the video, this lack is one of the things she points out. How is an 11 year old boys going to know any different?  No one is talking to him about it except for media.  Frankly, I think that’s a problem for parents/spouses too. No one is talking about it with them either. Unless it’s to assassinate character of someone who fell in the rabbit hole. Or their parents for letting them do so. Or their wives for not being better/more available in bed. 

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2 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

The ‘blame it on someone else’ thing works great.  Whenever someone criticizes our lifestyle or family choices, I always defer to my husband on the same thing.  “You can take it up with my husband, it’s his decision” takes a lot of heat off me, even when I completely agree with him.  It takes me off the spot. And he is more capable of defending himself and our choices without getting flustered, unlike moi ?

 

 

 

Yes, forgive me for getting a little off track here, but the part that I bolded is so true.  I've read that women are simply hard-wired to be less confrontational than men, though I realize others would argue that we are simply socialized to be so.  But no matter how much I've tried to re-train myself and tell myself that I have every right to stand my ground, the fact remains that confrontation, even minor confrontations, rattle me in a way that they never do for my husband.  

And actually, I guess this is relevant to the conversation, because I have a sweet, shy, timid daughter who desperately worries about hurting or offending someone.  I started dating my now-husband when I was quite young, so "I have a boyfriend" was my standard response when another man expressed interest.  I don't have a lot of practice in the art of saying no graciously, and it seems that fewer young men these days know how to accept a gracious no.  It's worrisome.

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1 minute ago, Greta said:

 

Yes, forgive me for getting a little off track here, but the part that I bolded is so true.  I've read that women are simply hard-wired to be less confrontational than men, though I realize others would argue that we are simply socialized to be so.  But no matter how much I've tried to re-train myself and tell myself that I have every right to stand my ground, the fact remains that confrontation, even minor confrontations, rattle me in a way that they never do for my husband.  

And actually, I guess this is relevant to the conversation, because I have a sweet, shy, timid daughter who desperately worries about hurting or offending someone.  I started dating my now-husband when I was quite young, so "I have a boyfriend" was my standard response when another man expressed interest.  I don't have a lot of practice in the art of saying no graciously, and it seems that fewer young men these days know how to accept a gracious no.  It's worrisome.

 

I think this is what they mean when they say women score higher on agreeableness than men.  And it''s apparently consistent across cultures so probably not just socialization.  

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2 hours ago, nixpix5 said:

This is an irony that I have found. I am open and frank with my kids but as Christians we do have moral discussions and discussions about limits and consequences. Current climate would have you believe that if parents take a stance their kids won't tell them things. Such a complete lie. My older boys used me constantly as their sounding board and still do. They called me to pick them up when friends were making poor choices. They had a template for right and wrong plus parents who would never yell and never berate them but would walk them through right and wrong. 

 

Their friends who had parents that were more "non judging" who tried to be super supportive and let everything be ok had the opposite. Their kids would not tell them things, we're uncomfortable with their lack of boundaries, and get where they came? My house. They loved the clear boundary discussions they received in loving and frank terms. I still get texts from my sons' friends and roommates from high school and college bouncing stuff off.

 

The same trend existed in my counseling practice. The kids with the most progressive and "supportive" parents were the ones telling me their biggest secrets. They didn't have respect for their parents and when their parents had to parent the teen wouldn't listen. Boundaries are love. 

Teens are not adults. They don't want to hear everything goes. They want to know there are life guidelines or they feel out of control. Why do they apply labels and order to things as chaotic as gender fluidity? Because they need, crave, desire order. They want structure and lines. They definitely don't want adults telling them how much smarter they are than the adults. That terrifies them because they feel confused and it tells them adults have figured out nothing so there is no hope. It creates epic amounts of anxiety in our culture when adults place kids at the center of their universe.

 

 

 

Preach it, Sister. :) Reminds me of Dr. Dobson who was fond of saying: "Your children need parents, not just another friend."

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5 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

 

I think it can be related too. 

For example, a middle school kid getting picked on and called gay. If everyone calls you something, maybe it’s true. Especially in the mind of a young person. So they go online and search for some things to affirm or just out of curiosity. They might have never given it any thought and assumed they were straight but the bullying is causing major self doubt. Or a gay kid who just wants to be like everyone else.  

Does that “turn” anyone? No. But it does inflict psychological trauma and creates sexual dysfunction and confusion. 

 

I don't know, labels might make a difference to some kids.  I remember back when the original Queer Eye was on the guys all went on Oprah.  She asked them when they knew they were gay.  The blonde flamboyant one (Carson?) said he didn't know until he was an adult, and it wasn't due to attraction.  He was flamboyant and didn't fit in anywhere, and the gay community is the first place he felt accepted and at home.  I got the impression he was somewhat close to asexual in terms of drive.

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3 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

I’m happy to be the excuse my kids need. 

But it’s a bandaid to the problem. 

No one should need an excuse to not want to be recreate porn for someone else.

I didn’t want to derail the school shooting thread(s) but I wonder how this plays into those young minds. Someone on my Facebook feed posted this and I think it’s worth mentioning here as an example of the subtle but constant and pervasive horrible messages bombarding our kids 24/7. (I’m not a fan of patheos but they aren’t the only ones to point this out.)

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2018/05/in-the-wake-of-the-latest-school-shooting-newspaper-headlines-need-metoo.html

But I don’t think we should be surprised by this given that a media is also profiting from brainwashing young boys (and girls too but in a different manner) that it’s okay - a climatic turn on even - to objectify and brutalize.

This is a part of it for sure. I think it rolls in well to this overall topic too because along with the pervasive and permissiveness of the everything goes culture, comes a second issue which is parents ruthlessly protecting their kids from every and all perceived natural consequences and feedback they receive in their lives. We live heavily in a victim culture and when you tell people constantly they are victims it neuters them and starts a script in their brains that they have certain rights that are owed them. Coupled with no gradual inoculation to pain. When little kids are allowed to mess up with friends and have their friend not play with them they learn a valuable lesson. Now even this minor incidence can be seen as bullying. Teachers override and make kids be inclusive even when they need to be setting a boundary. This teaches kids they are wrong if they don't accept someone stomping on them. It also gives the other student no sense of social right and wrong. The level of exposure to safe rejection. So when rejection eventually happens that parents and teachers cannot jump in and save the student from it feels like the end of the world coupled with the victim "I am owed this" mentality. No wonder a kid results to shooting up a school. Adults have no concrete answers, they are special, they "deserve that love", they have no right or wrong order to their lives, they have no sense of industry....something that they are contributing to society as a whole to belong and be useful such as contributing to the family, and they seek resolution to their intense pain and notoriety. They have grown up in a youtube channel, Facebook era where  being someone is how many likes and followers they can get. If you cannot get likes or notoriety through social media and the Internet then being a school shooter will get it for you.

It reminds me of Greek Ancient culture where honor and notoriety was everything. All they had to look forward to was the underworld and hoping people remembered their names so dying for that was a non issue. Teens have no greater belief in anything outside of themselves. God has never been less popular and all there is is the here and now so getting that glory and honor is all they have.

It's kind of a mess out their people. Kids have never had fewer issues or conflicts with their parents, they have never had more voice and say in the world, they have never had more choices and they have never been less happy and had more anxiety than now. 

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2 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

 

And weird.  But I think a lot is consumer driven.  You can sell a lot more if boys and girls need different sets of LEGO.

I have no problem with clothes designated to some extent for a certain sex - it's a pretty harmless way to signal that we are sexually dimorphic, which many people want to do, at least some of the time.  Since it's arbitrary, it really hurts no one if one colour signals boy or man, and another girl or woman, especially if we don't get too exclusive about it.  It's better IMO than boys and girls feeling they need to adopt certain social roles or whatever to accomplish the same thing.

But I get the sense now that the tomboy has almost disappeared, whereas it was common when I was a kid.   And yet at the same time,  lot of middle class university educated millennial mums I know want to abolish any sense that clothes could be gendered, and they despise pink anything and won't buy it for their little kids, so I wonder why I don't see more tomboys? Do the kids rebel when they can?   I find it all a bit mixed up.

 

The tom boy has only disappeared in the sense they don't stand out. Girls are allowed to be athletic, wear men's clothes, talk to the guys, be interested in things not considered "girlish" and still just be who she is rather than labeled a tom boy. I think there is more variety and more of a spectrum now rather than a strict division and you have to fit specifically into male or female stereotypes.

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12 minutes ago, Liz CA said:

 

Preach it, Sister. ? Reminds me of Dr. Dobson who was fond of saying: "Your children need parents, not just another friend."

Totally. Dr. Dobson had it figured out. 

 

I am sure you see this same trend in your work. Kids beg for boundaries and often when kids are pushing back, yelling at parents acting out, the first instinct parents have seems to be giving less boundaries. It is odd. We are seeing the effects of it in society. Kids have learned if they stomp and yell enough they will get their way. They lack internal peacefulness due to chaos.

Boundaries and consistency though make such calm, confident kids. Those kids are not less creative, they are more. They don't have more anxiety, they have less. They achieve more and live more structured and successful lives.

This great social experiment is going to produce some interesting longitudinal studies that will have everyone doing a 180 in a decade or two. I guarantee it.

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On 5/24/2018 at 6:29 AM, Barb_ said:

 

Implicitly assumed as part of the culture. My 24 and 21yo daughters attended a charter high school for a year that had a high evangelical population. All of the girls they stay in touch with are married with children. The willingness of young women to give up their ambitions and often their education is pretty central to the purity movement. It’s less likely someone will remain celibate into her late 20s or early 30s. 

There's a difference between marrying young and not using birth control. I've known couples to continue their education before starting a family.

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46 minutes ago, nixpix5 said:

Totally. Dr. Dobson had it figured out. 

 

I am sure you see this same trend in your work. Kids beg for boundaries and often when kids are pushing back, yelling at parents acting out, the first instinct parents have seems to be giving less boundaries. It is odd. We are seeing the effects of it in society. Kids have learned if they stomp and yell enough they will get their way. They lack internal peacefulness due to chaos.

Boundaries and consistency though make such calm, confident kids. Those kids are not less creative, they are more. They don't have more anxiety, they have less. They achieve more and live more structured and successful lives.

This great social experiment is going to produce some interesting longitudinal studies that will have everyone doing a 180 in a decade or two. I guarantee it.

 

I agree...but meanwhile we have a generation of anxiety-ridden kids who feel chaos reigns because evidently anything is okay and they are desperately searching for the boundary lines. I've been thinking on this for a while - why are so many young people (I am talking about men in their early twenties) so anxious? I cannot recall that anxiety was so prevalent when I grew up. I may have been anxious about the next math test but there was none of this broad, hard to define anxiety I am hearing about today.

I wish longitudinal studies didn't take so long ? or there was a viable alternative to get reliable results because years down the road, we are going to evaluate the results and say: "Oh my" and then it's a scramble to turn the Titanic around.

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Quote

are not adults. They don't want to hear everything goes. They want to know there are life guidelines or they feel out of control. Why do they apply labels and order to things as chaotic as gender fluidity? Because they need, crave, desire order. They want structure and lines. They definitely don't want adults telling them how much smarter they are than the adults. That terrifies them because they feel confused and it tells them adults have figured out nothing so there is no hope. It creates epic amounts of anxiety in our culture when adults place kids at the center of their universe.

Yes. This dovetails nicely with the discussion we (here) were having about the human impulse for rules and limits. There was also a fascinating article in The Atlantic about college kids and binge-drinking. It talked about how the kids who had “get real” parents who allowed underage drinking because, “get real; they will do it anyway,” did not fare better in college than the children whose parents upheld the law on drinking age. (This is all US culture, BTW; I don’t think it applies evenly to other cultures.) The kids whose parents wanted to be “cool” were more likely to binge-drink in college. The early exposure to drunkenness had not produced the intended result of removing the “forbidden fruit” element from the kids with lax parents. They largely interpreted the laxity as endorsment. 

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2 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

I'd like to see those scores broken down by age. And point in menstrual cycle. And history of pregnancy and breastfeeding.

I know for myself I was pretty darn agreeable till I stopped being awash with oxytocin; I forsee a long late middle age of being quite antsy and not giving a #$%& ?

There is no way in this world those scores cannot be affected by our hormones as part of our female reproductive cycle. With variations due to personality. Chuck in a rather large dose of socialization and you're done.

This is my battlecry. “I AM LOW ON ESTROGEN AND I DO NOT CARE!” 

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3 hours ago, Liz CA said:

 

I agree...but meanwhile we have a generation of anxiety-ridden kids who feel chaos reigns because evidently anything is okay and they are desperately searching for the boundary lines. I've been thinking on this for a while - why are so many young people (I am talking about men in their early twenties) so anxious? I cannot recall that anxiety was so prevalent when I grew up. I may have been anxious about the next math test but there was none of this broad, hard to define anxiety I am hearing about today.

I wish longitudinal studies didn't take so long ? or there was a viable alternative to get reliable results because years down the road, we are going to evaluate the results and say: "Oh my" and then it's a scramble to turn the Titanic around.

 

I was talking about this with a friend who is a university chaplain, and his feeling was that the kids felt a vacuum with regards to meaning - they couldn't see any real meaning in life, everything seemed random.  He said he had more kids than before coming to him anxious or depressed, and even feeling like they had no vocabulary to talk about it.  I thought that was interesting because my sense is that a lot of these kids - mostly middle class or above in this case -  have had some exposure to psychology and it's language.  But all the people I know working with kids that age find that they seem more anxious and at kind of loose ends. He also said that they have zero sense of any way of thinking that tells them how they use their body, sexually or otherwise, has a relationship to their mental state. One of the things that has struck me about the sexual problems around things like porn is it seems like parents are at a loss about what to tell kids about what sexuality is meant to be about.  As far as it goes it's libertine, but even that doesn't have much foundation - again, no real meaning is ascribed.

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32 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

They may have been seen as suspect, but oh boy, I only have to think about my own family tree stretching back to the 1600's to see how common it was for women to birth a first child, father unknown, and for the grandparents to raise that child, sometimes with the child returning to the mother's care once she married and had her second and subsequent children. Wastrel fathers who drift in and out of their children's lives seem a common enough theme also. 

As much as I loathe hook up culture, I can't valorise times past either, where pre marital sex still happened, and girls were left to cope with the shame, the pregnancies, the illegal abortions, alone. Reading a lot of stories relating to the Repeal referendum in Ireland, and they are heartbreaking. Think of the Magdalene Laundries.

I do see what you are saying; our human tendency to take risks, including sexual risks (and there is no doubt that pre b/c the risks were so much greater) don't, however, seem to yield at any time in human history to pragmatic and self discplined will.  Which is understandable; it's not really in the interest of species continuation that we delay or avoid sex. 

 

 

Oh, it's absolutely never been perfect, or maybe even concretely effective.  And they were brutal at times to the people who were seen as unimportant.  But I think what it did do was create in most cases a cultural ideal of sorts.  People could say things like - if you respect that girl, you'll marry her, and not be laughed at by pretty much everyone, because it was understood what the connection was..  Most religious systems also have pretty straightforward teachings about family life and sex.  

At the moment, I'm not sure what there is that most young people are exposed to in terms of an organized ideal.  My sense is it's pretty mixed up.

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32 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

I'd like to see those scores broken down by age. And point in menstrual cycle. And history of pregnancy and breastfeeding.

I know for myself I was pretty darn agreeable till I stopped being awash with oxytocin; I forsee a long late middle age of being quite antsy and not giving a #$%& ?

There is no way in this world those scores cannot be affected by our hormones as part of our female reproductive cycle. With variations due to personality. Chuck in a rather large dose of socialization and you're done.

 

I'm sure it is affected by hormones.  Post-menopausal women do have a reputation for being, um, less agreeable.  But women from 12 or so to 40 or so will have large amounts of estrogen in their systems, so if that makes them more agreeable, then isn't it fair to say that's kind of an element of the female personality?  Our personalities have to be related to our physicality.  I'd say greater aggression is also a feature of the male personality, which is related to testosterone and tend to moderate with age.

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4 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

So far as I can tell, the organised ideal is all about affirmation. Doesn't need to be sexual in nature.

I think it's incredibly unhealthy; you really only become adult when you stop seeking continuous affirmation and stand on your own two feet, psychologically speaking. 

 

I don't see what you mean about organized affirmation?

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