Friday, October 12, 2007

Poppa don't preach. These Wall Street Journal articles (1) (2) point to a disturbing trend in bogus child sexual assault prevention: Keep men away from children. Not only does this presume women to be incapable of sexual assault (which is certainly not the case), it paints all men as dangerous pedophiles waiting for the opportunity to strike. Limiting male contact with children in every venue--from youth groups to sports to simple hand-holding--reinforces harmful gender stereotypes: Namely, that men are inherently aggressive and uncontrollable.

How are men supposed to become more involved with home and family life if they are not allowed to hug their children? As of 2002, 23% of children under the age of 18 live with only their mother, and children in fatherless homes are at greater risk for various behavioral problems. Depriving children of positive male role models does more harm then good, and you can't protect children all the time, no matter how much you might like to. Of course, one abused child is too many, but forbidding men to have any physical or emotional contact with children is not an effective method of prevention. It simply teaches children that men are inherently evil and deviant, reinforces models of male aggression, and prevents children from interacting with men who defy stereotypes. How do we raise boys to become men who do not act on aggression if we not only refuse to let them interact with positive role models but also tell them they are inherently evil?

1 comment:

JErich-Oh's said...

You have to remember that the people who preach this, are the same people who consider abstenance to be an effective tool against teenage pregnancy and STDs. Of course the rates for both these things are higher for children who are taught abstenance then those who are taught about proper safe sex.

Also, when are people going to learn that no matter how many restrictions you put on anything, the people who REALLY want to do them, will find a way to do them.

Ass Hats, all of them.