I'm not sure if this little boy is going in for a kiss or is just being a nuisance to his sister, but for all intents and purposes, I'm going to go for the former. And this SHOULD be the proper response of a little girl who is being approached at such a young age for something like a kiss. Now I'm not saying we don't do that kind of stuff. Little kids kiss other little kids in very harmless way but if a young little boy goes in for "the kill," I would like to think, in my idealistic world, that this would be the first response. Free love, 1967 Summer of Love type radicals will probably wish to lock me up for such a rigid stance, but I want a girl to know she is ready for the advancement, whenever that times comes. For my daughter, I've set it at 40. :)
When I worked in foster care, albeit about a year and a half, I was assigned a case of a young boy who was removed from his home because he "perpped" on his little sisters. In other words, he was a sexual predator at age 12. Age 12? Really? Where in the world did a 12 year old learn a myriad of sexual behaviors enough to perform them on or demand them from his two younger sisters, and where did he come to understand that he needed to bribe them to keep their mouths closed about it? He evidently deemed it to be a bad thing but did it anyway. My main question to him was, knowing that he had watched porn on some of his friends' smart devices, "did you ever think to do anything like that before you watched porn?" His answer was an emphatic no. He didn't even know that kind of stuff existed, and yet here he is, engaged with that imagery so much that he wanted to see what it was like in the flesh-if he could experience what they experienced while acting on screen.
He experienced something he was not ready for. He was removed from his home and placed in foster care.
I wish I could say that his was an isolated case but it isn't. Not in foster care, not in the world of "healthy" families, not anywhere. It's rampant. Young boys and girls in their pre-pubescent years and teens are now a whole new breed of porn producers as they sext back and forth pics and videos of their nude bodies to show off what "they got." It's how they strive for acceptance now. When I was younger, it was clothes. Now it's what lies beneath. But who or what in the world gave these young kids the idea to do that? Well, if you've known me personally long enough, you'll know my answer. PORN.
Porn is now more invasive than ever. It shows up in our everyday activities. It's part of our online experience as porn sites seek to engage kids while sending out links to online kid sites. They even offer sexual pictures of Disney characters to pull them in. In the world of videogames, the whole issue of sexuality is present in such games like GTA (Grand Theft Auto) where you get to kill prostitutes. Great. In one fell swoop, we get desensitized to sex and violence and then milquetoast parents, who wish to remain naive about their children's activities, wonder why they are going to visit their son or daughter in jail. And the sad truth is, most of society wants to protect porn as a first amendment right because they want access to their addiction whenever they can get it. They justify their need in many ways and will fight against you if you try to tell them that it is the main culprit, the point of origin that turns our darling little toddlers into isolated, harsh, angry teens. Yes, there are hormones involved but hormones laced with constant porn use actually causes a form of brain damage that leads to depression and a loss of logical reasoning.
What's worse, is that this porn use is quite often the symptom of another problem. Just like people will escape into their alcohol. gambling, marijuana and cocaine use, porn is no different. It has the same capability of messing you up mentally and physically, very similar to other addictions. What lies beneath what lies beneath? In essence, what are the problems the kids are facing that is allowing them to escape into porn use? Sometimes there is not an issue and it is simply another substance abuse problem, but other times there is brokenness, trauma, emotional injury or emptiness. However, the imagery of porn and consistent reinforcement of porn normalizes sexual behaviors. It makes a young kid think that he can try out such viewed sexual behaviors on younger girls. It makes a young boy think that if he's attracted to a girl at school, she is probably going to like that and is going to give in to her most basic instinct of sexual desire and give the boy whatever wants, however he wants it and she will probably continue to hunger for more and wait for his beckon call to "wash rinse repeat" this whole thing all over again.
The weirdness ensues when the boy is hypersexed up by his porn use and has this false sense of bravado, he acts out on those belief systems we just mentioned, and many a time, the girl will NOT embrace his sexual advances and push him away. This is somewhat confusing to this lad because he has just watched teen girls on his computer or smart phone who get turned on by their teachers who will give them a better grade if they takes care of his sexual needs. on screen he sees such a girl steal away and perform all manner of sexual behaviors with her boyfriend, or girlfriend, or her stepdad or even her real dad. So many stereotypical relationships are exemplified in porn and continual reinforcement by watching this stuff, as well as masturbating to it, keeps the belief system so fresh that this boy begins to believe this is what young girls actually want. Art imitates life right? Add to this the potential underlying trauma of say, a messy divorce, a death, an additional addiction like drug use and you have the makings of perfect adolescent sexual storm.
Our fight to shut down easy access to porn is not just some selfish quest because it's not good to see a bunch of naked people having lots of sex in every way imaginable. It goes much deeper. We seek to make access harder to come by because it stops the cycle of belief systems and behaviors that stem from that. We want to protect our young kids and give them a normal, positive and fun childhood, full of good information that promotes real relationship, real love and, pure sexuality, not let them find the counterfeit on their own and begin to learn something completely baseless and hurtful to themselves or others. When this belief system is met with a challenge such as the girl not giving in to the boy's advances, that's where we often see forced sexual behaviors that lead to coercion and rape. No one wants to admit that we live in a rape culture but porn is showing us that when it doesn't work out like it does on the computer screen, there is a paradoxical struggle within the addicts - and that's what they've become - they can't fully grasp it, but to them it means, they must work harder for the favorable return. When that doesn't work, they can actually enter into rage because of mental and physical issues due to the addiction and really cause harm to a number of people.
Please do not look upon porn as some evil we just have to put up with. Please do not look at porn as free speech because according to our Constitution, it is not. Please be vigilant about the games your kids play online and on their playstations, etc. And finally, invest into them truth about respect and honor of the opposite sex. They may not like you in the moment, but they will come to appreciate your input as I know I do and you do as well when you hear yourself say, "I'm glad I was taught that lesson when I was younger." You can change the world, just by being invested in your children. Don't let the world guide their thinking, because it will.