Monday, December 18, 2006

Innocence / Ignorance

I'm so pleased that Katrina Fox has taken on the issue of underage sex:

So often the 'innocence of children' is used to excuse censorship and other oppressive actions of the State. Keeping young people in a state of ignorance about sex, sexuality and their own bodies does not protect young people from abuse, and is ultimately disempowering.

However, kiddie porn and paedophilia panic often means people are too frightened of being labeled a child abuser to speak about these issues. As someone who was raised ignorant if not precisely innocent, I had to work really hard, tell lots of lies and get myself into a lot of trouble to access non-judgemental information about sex. I'm glad I was gutsy enough to do it. I shudder to think of the amount of terminations and/or STIs I may have had to deal with as a teenager, otherwise. It is so important to ensure young people have access to accurate information, and are raised in ways that foster a sense of pride in and ownership of their own bodies. That they know that their body is theirs, not god's, not their parents, and are able to make choices that feel right to them. I feel that age of consent, kiddie porn panics and mandatory reporting gets in the way of supportive adults being able to share information with young people.

I also feel it's really important for young people to not be trained to be 'obedient' to be considered a good girl or boy. That it's okay if they don't want to kiss the uncle who gives them the creeps. To promote the idea that young people belong to themselves, not to adults.

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