Tag Archives: parenting

Public Pornography

8 Aug

 

Datingish recently posted a blog called “Public Pornography: Do or Don’t“. It wasn’t something I think would be a big issue until I started reading what some people were commenting. The responses ranged from “No, children could be affected” to “As long as they aren’t masturbating” to “I’d rather my children see that than violence”.

Everyone who mentioned that they wouldn’t care if their children saw it was supporting their argument by referencing billboards and magazine articles with naked men and women. Here is my problem with that: nudity and porn are very different things. Porn usually involved someone putting something into someone else’s orifaces. This can be extra-vanilla, or it can be downright violent.

When you assume that nudity = porn, and you would rather them see that than all the violence on TV/video games/movies, I read that as “I’m okay with my 7-year-old child watching that person tie up that other person and beat them until they are screaming for sexual pleasure.” If you are okay with that, I think you might also be okay with emotionally neglecting your child.

There is a time and a place for children to learn about and/or see, and experience sex. It should not be in that situation. There is also a place for porn, and keep in my that I have no problem with porn; you might even say that I support it, but it shouldn’t be allowed in public. Some people even argued that if they ban that, it opens the door to ban all kinds of other things. While psychology research has supported this, the opposite must also be true. If you open up one freedom, you also open up more, and I really don’t want to see giant orgies when I walk outside in the morning. I also think that watching porn in public could potentially cause a masturbation issue, which is also unacceptable in public.

Would you be okay with your 7-year-old child seeing hardcore porn? Could this scar/traumatize children? Do you think the problem lies in whether or not a person is masturbating? What do you think the reasoning behind watching porn in public is?

Dating Someone With Children

8 Aug

 

Considering that I never want children, I don’t think I could ever date someone who already has them. Sure, I wouldn’t have to go through all the pregnancy and pushing, but kids are a lot of work and I would not look forward to raising their children for the next x amount of years.

Would you date someone who had kids? Would it be dependent on how old you/they are? What about if they were currently pregnant?

The Ability of Gay People to be Good Parents

27 Jun

I just finished reading a blog, that I would like to talk a little more about. Just a little. You can find the blog here.

First and foremost, let me say that I enjoyed reading it. It wasn’t aimed to be condescending or attacking anyone (at least as far as I could see). This makes it very easy to discuss rationally, which I appreciate greatly. The point of it? That when two people of opposing opinions discuss a topic, they should stay clear of attacking one another when both sides treat each other civilly. I agree.

The comments on it, while I did not read all of them, also seemed to be genuinely civil. I’m sure as I typed my response, they became increasingly unwieldy as they usually do, but thats besides the point. As I was reading them, the writer clarified that he supports neither gay marriage, nor gay adoption, but that he was still close friends with someone who is gay. His reasoning was that gay marriage and gay adoption lack in areas that are necessary for a healthy child and marriage.

Lets talk about that. I know that there are usually other reasons, but lets just talk about this one.

First, I don’t believe that any evidence on this matter is legitimate or substantial enough to warrant the removal of rights of marriage and adoption. Lets assume, for arguments sake, that it is. This would mean that any family situation that would prove unfit for a child at some point in the future would be denied the ability to be married or to adopt. The unfortunate part, however, is that there are so many types of family situations outside of the nuclear family that it would be a tall order to analyze all of them. Single parent households would be especially difficult, considering the parent isn’t married. The only thing we would be able to do is take their child away and not allow them to adopt. No single person, then, would be able to adopt.

This also brings up another point I think is important to understand. Just because two people love each other and want to get married does not mean they want to have children. I don’t want to have children at any point in my life, but I do want to get married to someone I love. Should we look so far in advance that we deny someone the right to get married, even if they might never want to have children? And at that, there is also the argument that marriage is a means of procreation. That means not only should you not be allowed to get married because you will be an unfit parent, but also because you don’t want children.

I would like to put forth an example – the same example I used in reply to the blog – to illustrate how wide the effects of this reasoning could stretch. I used drinking. It seems really unrelated(ish), I know. For this example, I want to assume that this fictional person is an unmarried and single alcoholic, whose problem only affects her personal life (they maintain a job without error, pay their bills, etc). So what grounds should we remove her marriage rights? If we assume she doesn’t want children, she automatically can’t get married (at least according to the far reaches of this blog post). But lets assume she does want children. Lets say we decide alcoholics are unfit parents. We then take away her rights to get married. This can, unfortunately, be applied to a vast number of lifestyles.

I would also like to say that we have an entire agency devoted to protecting children. Mental and physical abuse and neglect are handled by these people. Along with the help of our legal system, these people make the judgement call. They decide who is an unfit parent. I think we should leave it in their hands, not in our own to make judgement calls too far in advance to even know if a couple will have children. If a gay couple, for whatever reason, emotionally neglects their child, then by all means take their child away and give it to a home that can love it, but don’t condemn them for what can only be a speculation by not allowing them to even get married.

Now, lets talk about the legitimacy of an argument that homosexual parents do not have the ability to provide a healthy home for their children. I can’t say that I’m certain what this encompasses. I can’t say for certain that this “evidence” is actually even credited. What I can say is every family dynamic is different, and all of them pose different problems. Many children who come from divorced or single parents think that marriage is nonsense and unnecessary. Children who come from extended family living situations are likely to have closer ties with family than those who come from a nuclear family. Children who have gay parents might have more open minds about homosexuality. Everyone has different experiences because of who their parents are and how they are raised, and its just something that we come to terms with and hopefully make us better people in the end.

Do you think this is a legitimate argument? Should we extend the illegalization of marriage from homosexuals to others who might be consider unfit parents?

Socialization in Humans: Making Friends

6 Jun

Rarely are things in this world black and white. This is also true for nature versus nurture (and most other debates of this type). So before I make my case, we are all born predisposed to certain things. Nurture can only act on what nature gives us, so to some degree socialization can only matter so much. The reason I bring this up is because I think I was fairly well socialized as a child, but I’m still an introvert and I still have trouble doing certain things adequately.

In animals (lets speak non-human animals first) we know that socialization can be crucial. With dogs, we socialize them with other dogs, people, and in an ideal world, other species of animals as well. This is all in hopes that they will not fear these things, and will know how to react when they come into contact with them. A poorly socialized dog may find it harder to understand its doggie friends social cues, or may be fearful or aggressive toward them. This is the same with people. If a dog hasn’t been socialized with people, it may bark, bare its teeth, or just be fearful. Novel situations do the same thing. That is why it is so important to introduce puppies to these things. This is all nurture, but the internal nature of the dog still is being acted on; some dogs are socially motivated, so they may love to play with people or other dogs, but others may be internally motivated, so they are more introverted and prefer to do things at their own pace.

Depending on the situation of an animal, we might want to limit its socialization also. This is true of wildlife rehabilitation animals. We don’t want them to think humans are good (because that can endanger them later on, and people as well), so we don’t interact with them the same way we do a dog. If its a baby, however, it does still need to know what it is, and how to react to its peers, so its best to try to introduce it to others of its kind.

This brings me to humans. We, too, have different levels of motivation – its kind of like the introvert versus the extrovert, so how we deal with situations is naturally variable from person to person. Socialization is important for us also, though. Socialization is a major perk of having siblings, and of being taught at a public or private institution. This is not to say that being an only child or being home schooled are bad things, but that parents must take extra measures to ensure their child still has the ability to react to social cues, as well as give them. We may not realize it, but baby/toddler play dates are just as important as puppy play dates. Children learn how to share, what it means to get hurt or hurt someone, and all the positive and negative connotations of such.

This can help them make friends easier later on, and friends are important.

Also, socializing a child with animals or introducing them to new adults can be life-altering as well. If you show a child all different kinds of animals – snakes, mice, rabbits, dogs, cats, birds, etc. – then the likelihood that they will fear those animals decreases. It also gives you a great way to teach your child about its surrounding environment, and the proper way to handle animals like these. Having your child interact with strangers can help them learn that not all people are scary, but can help you teach them valuable lessons such as “don’t get into a car with someone you don’t know”. This could be as simple as introducing your child to the cashier at the store, or asking for what they want at a restaurant.

Being socially awkward myself, I know that I could’ve been more socialized as a child. My sister was 8 years older than me, so I was almost like an only child (yes, growing up I had sharing issues). I also see the effects in my peers who might manifest things such as social anxiety or a decreased ability to react properly to social stimuli.

Do you think socialization in humans is important? What was your situation as a child? Do you have children of your own?

Pregnancy, Older or Younger?

20 May

First, let me tell you that I am never having children, so all of this information is irrelevant to me.

Now that thats out of the way…

People are getting pregnant at older ages. Historically, you could be married and pregnant by the ripe old age of 14 (not that the pregnant thing has really changed), but now it looks like the age for first time mothers is about 25. That’s 4 years older than 40 years ago. Its not too big of an issue if you have a child at age 25 – you are in the prime reproductive years – but because this is an average, it means the entire scale of women’s first pregnancies has shifted to higher ages. An example of this is that between the ages of 15 and 44, births have declined (births total have declined, so this is expected), but for women over 45, births have increased.

My reasoning behind this is that its taking people on average longer to finish school and settle down to a place which is conducive to having children. I also think that women don’t have to make as many attempts to have children who survive to adulthood, as they did centuries ago, so women don’t have to have children as early to maximize the number of years they can reproduce. There is also the increase in life expectancy; you have the option to have children later.

All of this brings me to my main point: having children at an older age can pose some serious problems, but it also has its benefits.

Benefits

  • You have more resources. Children are expensive, so its important to have plenty of money to pay for all of their needs like healthcare, food, clothing, and enrichment. Having a stable living situation is also important.
  • You’re more mature. Mentality is a big deal with anything – it can make or break you. As you get older, you’ve learned how to deal with stress better. You’re also more likely to be comfortable staying at home every night with your small child (instead of having that inner desire to party it up).
  • Personal lives are stable. As you get older, you are more likely to have a single, steady partner to help raise your child with. You are also more likely to understand that your child takes precedence over your love life (if you happen to not have a single steady partner).

Detriments

  • Less energy. As you grow older, you naturally have less energy than you do when you are younger – say your early 20’s. Babies and toddlers require a lot of keeping up with, and you might find yourself falling short.  You might also find yourself out of touch with whatever age your child might be as he/she grows older.
  • Higher health risks for you. Risk of things like gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, miscarriage, and multiple babies all go up and the risk can even be twice as high as someone in their 20’s.
  • Higher health risks for your baby. With increase prevalence of mom’s health risks, cause an increase risk in problems for baby. For example, if mom gets diabetes while she is pregnant, baby is a lot more likely to get it too, or have a high birth weight. Chromosomal disorders, like Down’s Syndrome (and others), dramatically increase with age also. There may be other long-term consequences as well. If you are an older mother and are having trouble with fertility, its likely that your child with have problems with fertility also.

What age do you want to/did you get pregnant (for the first time) at? Which has more weight, the pros or the cons?