The "Is 8 yr old too young to learn the mechanics of sex?" thread - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 03-02-2011, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
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This thread is temporarily gone... I'm trying to figure out if it's worth removing some pieces but leaving some discussion about how to talk to preteens and teens about abortion, because I think that's an important conversation to have no matter what side of the fence you're on, or whether the whole thing should go, or whether we should start a thread for that topic. I'll leave this unlocked... any thoughts?

 
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#2 of 18 Old 03-03-2011, 02:26 AM
 
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I had been following this thread and had intended to post to it this afternoon but then I kept getting an error message when I tried to open the second page. I do think posters raised some interesting points and I think it would be a shame for the discussion to end. Can I ask what the breaches were which resulted in removal?


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#3 of 18 Old 03-03-2011, 06:22 AM
 
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My thoughts are that the original question and the responses to it, about discussing the mechanics of sex with children, are important and valuable and should stay. 

 

And actually, I think that the question about discussing abortion with children is also important. If the issue could be confined to the "process" - at what age to talk about it, when is it necessary, how to go about addressing such a sensitive topic, particularly if you don't agree with elective abortion - without a debate about abortion itself - I think it could be a valuable conversation.

 

Unfortunately, I honestly don't think it's possible for people to have a mature dialogue absent from inflammatory, offensive rhetoric on this topic. Certainly, this thread degenerated pretty quickly, which supports my point. I am willing (and hopeful) to be proved wrong though. So if I have a vote, I would vote to reinstate, with offensive posts (any posts debating elective abortions) deleted. 

 

 

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#4 of 18 Old 03-03-2011, 02:59 PM
 
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I'm voting with Ollyoxenfree.


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#5 of 18 Old 03-03-2011, 03:08 PM
 
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I think MDC's policy is to generally not touch abortion, and probably for a good reason.

 

To leave the posts discussing dispassionately the whens and hows of discussing abortion with children is going to bother a lot of people, because it inherently is on one side of the issue. I'm trying to say this in a non-inflammatory way just to make a point (in fact I'm on the fence on the subject, if that matters) but we wouldn't be likely looking for advice on how to discuss murder and such with our children, right? So my vote is to just keep it on the subject of sex and procreation and leave the abortion facet out of it. We simply can't stick to the facts without it becoming inflammatory, at least not without censoring a significant number of people.

 

I've long thought about MDC's policies to shut down debates on these things, and how it smacks of censorship, yet I think MDC's primary goal is to be a safe community. Certain things can be discussed outside the community (so there are ways to discuss them - just not here), but polarizing topics like this break the community down.

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#6 of 18 Old 03-03-2011, 03:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

Unfortunately, I honestly don't think it's possible for people to have a mature dialogue absent from inflammatory, offensive rhetoric on this topic.

 


agreed. I think that some people can't just say how they've explained things to their kids without using inflammatory language because they really don't hear how they sound to others. Their point of view seems so Righteous to them, they don't understand that they are being rude.

 

If the thread returns or a spin off is available, I think it would need to be closely monitored, and posts removed quickly.

 

I think that we as posters could help by:

 

1. Not responding to the offensive posts while waiting for them to be pulled. Working together to NOT quote or mention the inflammatory posts would help the thread no spiral out of control, and make it easier for the moderator to sort out.

 

2. Stick to discussing our actual children and real conversations we've had with them. If we stick with real experiences, there's just less to debate.

 

3. Left our political views aside. We all know that some people are pro choice and some aren't, we really don't need to know who on the board is each way. That's not the question. The question is -- "how do we explain this difficult moral situation to our children while they are growing up and learning about life?"

 

 


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#7 of 18 Old 03-03-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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Ultimately there isn't going to be a "right" answer.  For every 8 year old who is desperate to know how sex actually works there is going to be one who has zero interest and will be briefly grossed out then forget the whole conversation due to their lack of interest.

 

For every family there's going to be a different answer, just as for every family exactly WHAT one tells the kids about abortion is going to be different.  Abortion is a fact in our society.  The rights and wrongs of it are for the individual family to decide and for the individual parent to frame for the specific child.

 

So i say leave the thread up but ask people to refrain from debating abortion.  I have in fact had to answer questions from my FOUR year old about murder, though i didn't come to MDC to figure out how to do so, i can see some might.  Kids unfortunately never get the memo about which topics are in the "too hard" basket and shouldn't be asked about! lol!

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#8 of 18 Old 03-03-2011, 10:10 PM
 
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I recently read a book about how to discuss a variety of sex-related topics with children of different ages. The author basically divided the information into two categories; facts and values. She argued, and I agree with her, that it is important to discuss both with your children. 

 

So, if you're explaining sexual intercourse and conception the facts would be penis in vagina, sperm meets egg etc. And will be the same for everyone (although different language variations obviously). The values are your beliefs on the matter ie. I thing only a married couple should have sexual intercourse and create a baby. Or, I think you should only have sexual intercourse with someone you love very much. Or, I think 14 is too young to be having sexual intercourse, I hope you will wait until you are at least 18. Or whatever your personal beliefs are.

 

I think, in discussing termination of pregnancy the dialogue should be exactly the same. The facts are the same whatever you believe. Everyone has different *values* and I don't see anything wrong with sharing those with our children. In fact I think it is really important to do so.

 

TBH, I find it a bit disappointing that a group of adults can't have a conversation about how to discuss a difficult topic with our children without it degenerating into questioning each others values. 

 

I do see Seashell's point about community but it seems sort of false to me to only discuss things that everyone agrees on. I think it takes real courage and maturity to respectfully discuss difficult and controversial issues and it can be a big opportunity for growth. I'm not talking about gratuitous chat about controversies just for the sake of it but this thread had some legitimate issues which most of us have or will face at some stage.

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#9 of 18 Old 03-04-2011, 05:28 AM
 
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I'm mostly a lurker but wanted to chime in on this one.  I think the sexuality discussion is one that is an ongoing conversation we need to have with our kids by giving them age appropriate information.  Age appropriate information is what they can understand and process themselves at specific ages.  I have 4 dd's from 20 - 10 so I have been through all the stages and sex has never been an awkard topic in our house.  The actual mechanics of sex have come up before with both my 20 yr old and 17 yr old (who btw are both active) and and I've dealt with abortion topic by trying to explain the reasons some moms do terminate and why some moms do keep the baby.  I personally happen to be pro choice however I want my girls to be able to make their own decisions on this and have tried very carefully to not let my personal views influence theirs.  Abortion is a vey personal decision and I don't judge those on either side of the issue, every mom has to make up their own mind.  I think this can be a very valuable discussion if we don't judge others beliefs. 

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#10 of 18 Old 03-04-2011, 05:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post

I recently read a book about how to discuss a variety of sex-related topics with children of different ages. The author basically divided the information into two categories; facts and values. She argued, and I agree with her, that it is important to discuss both with your children. 

 

So, if you're explaining sexual intercourse and conception the facts would be penis in vagina, sperm meets egg etc. And will be the same for everyone (although different language variations obviously). The values are your beliefs on the matter ie. I thing only a married couple should have sexual intercourse and create a baby. Or, I think you should only have sexual intercourse with someone you love very much. Or, I think 14 is too young to be having sexual intercourse, I hope you will wait until you are at least 18. Or whatever your personal beliefs are.

 

I think, in discussing termination of pregnancy the dialogue should be exactly the same. The facts are the same whatever you believe. Everyone has different *values* and I don't see anything wrong with sharing those with our children. In fact I think it is really important to do so.

 

TBH, I find it a bit disappointing that a group of adults can't have a conversation about how to discuss a difficult topic with our children without it degenerating into questioning each others values. 

 

I do see Seashell's point about community but it seems sort of false to me to only discuss things that everyone agrees on. I think it takes real courage and maturity to respectfully discuss difficult and controversial issues and it can be a big opportunity for growth. I'm not talking about gratuitous chat about controversies just for the sake of it but this thread had some legitimate issues which most of us have or will face at some stage.


 

Agreed. The part I bolded is very helpful and I think it's an excellent way to approach these discussions. 

 

 

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#11 of 18 Old 03-04-2011, 08:05 PM
 
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Nothing that  hasn't been already said, but just wanted to voice my appreciation for the discussion.

 

Thanks!

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#12 of 18 Old 03-04-2011, 08:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post

I do see Seashell's point about community but it seems sort of false to me to only discuss things that everyone agrees on. I think it takes real courage and maturity to respectfully discuss difficult and controversial issues and it can be a big opportunity for growth. I'm not talking about gratuitous chat about controversies just for the sake of it but this thread had some legitimate issues which most of us have or will face at some stage.



Well stated.

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#13 of 18 Old 03-04-2011, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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So, I'm leaning towards editing out the the posts on abortion that are pretty inflammatory but leaving the more thoughtful ones, and then returning the thread with a note saying the discussion of how to talk about abortion to your kids is an important one but it sort of hijacked the original intent of the thread, so if you want to discuss that questions further please start a new thread (and if someone does want to start a new thread, it would be good to link to this thread for everyone's guidelines and suggestions for keeping the conversation from getting out of hand).

Sound good?

 
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#14 of 18 Old 03-04-2011, 08:56 PM
 
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Sounds good to me. Thank you.


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#15 of 18 Old 03-05-2011, 12:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post

So, I'm leaning towards editing out the the posts on abortion that are pretty inflammatory but leaving the more thoughtful ones, and then returning the thread with a note saying the discussion of how to talk about abortion to your kids is an important one but it sort of hijacked the original intent of the thread, so if you want to discuss that questions further please start a new thread (and if someone does want to start a new thread, it would be good to link to this thread for everyone's guidelines and suggestions for keeping the conversation from getting out of hand).

Sound good?


Maybe have a mod start the thread on how to talk to your kids about abortion, that way the presence of authority is a little more real to those posting. It might help keep things in line, people have a visual reminder every time they visit the thread that it is on the admins radar.

 


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#16 of 18 Old 03-05-2011, 12:45 AM
 
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I would very much appreciate having a separate moderated thread since the abortion issue was hijacking the thread's original topic. And I personally don't want to have to wade through a heated debate looking for tidbits related to explaining the mechanics of sex to children.


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#17 of 18 Old 03-05-2011, 07:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post

So, I'm leaning towards editing out the the posts on abortion that are pretty inflammatory but leaving the more thoughtful ones, and then returning the thread with a note saying the discussion of how to talk about abortion to your kids is an important one but it sort of hijacked the original intent of the thread, so if you want to discuss that questions further please start a new thread (and if someone does want to start a new thread, it would be good to link to this thread for everyone's guidelines and suggestions for keeping the conversation from getting out of hand).

Sound good?

 

Sounds good. Thank you. I really appreciate your sensitivity and willingness to try to work this out. 
 

 

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#18 of 18 Old 03-05-2011, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I just returned the original thread. I'm going to lock this one and start a new thread on the topic of talking to your preteens and teens about abortion...

 
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