Well, of course, the answer is we don’t have to do anything. But it is important to me, as a sexuality educator, to write about children for this reason: if I don’t care about children, you should not trust me as a sexuality educator.
I have many children in my life. I have a large family of origin and more nieces and nephews than I can count. I also have a number of friends with children.
I love the children in my life and give to them as much as I would love and give to my own children. I have never felt any need or desire to be a parent because I believe that all the children in this world are my children and I have responsibility for all of them.
As a sexuality educator, I have been sensitive to the taboo of talking about sexuality and children. Childhood sexuality is not the main focus of my work. However, I often call my work “sexual healing education” rather than “sexuality education” because I do my work from the vantage point of knowing many of us need to heal our sexualities because of our childhood experiences. I also want to prevent more harm being done to anyone in the world, particularly children.
Preventing harm also includes letting children discover their bodies naturally. When we teach children about limits or boundaries, we should do it in a way that when they become adults, they don’t have difficulty claiming their natural-born right to pleasure. It means understanding that not all touch is sexual, so we can all get the nurturing touch we need. And children in particular can get the love, touch and attention they deserve.
If I didn’t keep the best interest of children in mind, you should not trust me as a sexuality educator. Teaching adults about sexuality can be interesting, but that is not where my primary interest lies. It is in understanding how to have the healthiest relationships and friendships in our lives and how to develop a sexuality that is not stifled or repressed by cultures uncomfortable with touch, sexuality, feelings and all else that matters.
I believe in paying attention to what happens to children as well as adults. That is why I do what I do, and you should only trust me as a sexuality educator if you know that I will care for the children.
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