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Statement # 26

The ultimate peril: sex

We spoke about the overprotection of children:
too much protection does not protect.
By playing outdoors, children learn social abilities and to avoid cars.

Yet, many people do not see that the car is the greatest child murderer,
followed by suicide of teens due to problems at school or at home.
The next danger is threats from the child's own family.

But the greatest fear is that children might have sex:
the ultimate peril.

In the Anglo-Saxon countries, this fear has reached a very high level. In the US and the UK, fear of 'pedophiles' has become irrational and hysterical. The effect is the endangerment of education, sports, culture, family life and civil rights, 'to protect the youth'. This fear is the far greater threat.

Examples from the US include the two-year old 'exhibitionist', the eleven-year old (or younger)  'molester', the 'social' workers who batter down the door to snatch away the children if the parents ever have taken a photo of them in the bathtub.

In the US, there is no sex education, only anti-sex education. which preaches only abstinence and suppresses information about birth control and protection from disease. The effects are large numbers of pregnant teens and an epidemic of AIDS in young patients. In contrast, many countries, for example in Latin America, have much lower teen pregnancy and AIDS rates - and a relative greater openness about sex and freedom for youths. 

The Netherlands scores in this respect as one of the world's best countries, albeit that the problem returns for Muslim teens who know too little about sex, who detest homosexuals, and who are not allowed by their parents to get sex education lessons at school.

There is no need to deny children sexual knowledge. Instinctively, they know how babies are born, just as animals instinctively know this. By not speaking about it, you say that one cannot speak about these matters, that sex is dirty, scary, weird and mysterious against which only warnings are correct. This only hinders healthy sexual development.

We plea to keep our heads here [in the Netherlands] and not to follow the hysterical route of the Anglo-Saxon culture, to not let that wind blow over the North Sea to us, but to keep going our own way: the way of openness and sex education from the cradle to the first job, and the way of relative freedom for youth.

Judith Levine has written a book about this matter:

Harmful to Minors; The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex,
University of Minnesota Press, 2002.

In the Read More section, we present a lecture about this book.

Protecting... against what? In the course of time, society has created a devil, the pedophile as the ultimate peril. This is created in a process called scapegoating. Factually rare events were enlarged and presented as a standard pattern. By scapegoating, a common enemy is created - not a real peril, but an imagined peril. The protection from this virtual devil, and from all sexual matters and knowledge, is far more dangerous.

Two books describe this process of scapegoating and the role of the news media in it:

Pedophiles on Parade; Vol. 1: The Monster in the Media, Vol. 2: The Popular Imagery of Moral Hysteria, David Sonenschein; San Antonio, TX: D. Sonenschein, 1998, Paperback, 562 pages, footnotes, list of works cited, filmography, index, $40 institutions; $36 individuals plus $5 S/H: PO Box 15744, San Antonio, TX 78212
Moral Panic: Changing Concepts of the Child Molester in Modern America, Philip Jenkins; New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998, Hardcover, 302 pages, footnotes, index, $30

In the Read More section, we present a review of both books.

John L. Randall wrote a book,

Childhood and Sexuality,
a Radical Christian Approach;
Pittsburg, 1992.

In the Read More section, we present the first chapter of this book.

Speaking about 'devil', 'scapegoating', and radical Christian views, we present also an article of Kirkegaard & Northey, which carefully describes not only the scapegoating process, but also how religious communities have found a realistic and humane answer.

We present more articles: click on the next button.

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