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naivete's avatar

Would you rather have your child be overtly sexual or overtly violent?

Asked by naivete (2458points) February 9th, 2011

In my sociology class, the professor pulled up some pictures from French Vogue ( It shows little girls wearing heavy makeup, high heels and adult clothing.

Someone in my class made a comment while looking at the pictures that made me say hmm…
He said: “I’d rather my children be overtly sexual than overtly violent”...

So I ask you, fluther…
Would you rather your children (or hypothetical children) be overtly sexual or overtly violent. Answer as if you had to choose one.

And the pictures are sorta disturbing, don’t you think?

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21 Answers

KatawaGrey's avatar

I think that what is shown in those photos is not overt sexuality but a manufactured form of sexuality which I would not want for my children. However, I do not think there is anything wrong with children displaying sexuality as long as adults and animals are not involved. The way I see it, there is nothing wrong with two young kids engaging in sexual behavior with each other. If my child was experimenting with his/her sexuality at that age, I would want to know what was going on and have a talk with my child so that he/she would essentially have a sexual education earlier than most kids his/her age.

That having been said, I would rather have an overtly sexual child than an overtly violent child.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I agree with @KatawaGrey. Those girls did not do that to themselves, someone else did that for them, so they (on their own) aren’t necessarily overtly sexual. I’d also prefer a child to be overtly sexual over overtly violent. They would be educated about sexuality in age appropriate ways as they grew up into young adults.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Definitely overtly sexual. This is an easy one. Even if they stayed so sexual throughout their adult life, they could protect themselves in that environment easier than if they were very violent.

Axemusica's avatar

I would prefer not to be given the ultimatum when it comes to my unborn children thank you very much.

taytaysafreak's avatar

That’s a really good question, and in the end…both extremes will be harmful to your child or the people around your child.

I would honestly prefer a child to be overtly violent. It’s a behavior that can most likely be corrected early on before any real damage is done. Overtly sexual children are also usually sneaky children, and educating/handling them could be difficult if you do not know what they are up to. It feels more natural for me because I have an autistic nephew who threw tantrums quite often, but eventually was coached into expressing himself in gentler ways.

I lost my virginity at a painfully young age. Not a day goes by that I do not regret my actions. If a child is overtly sexual, they are more likely to lose their virginity before they are emotionally ready to understand the huge decision they are about to make. They may contract an STD or become pregnant.

In some cases, the children WANT to be parents at 14–15. They believe that because they made a decision that normally adults have to make, they can make more decisions like that and ultimately become a parent.

When you lose your virginity, you typically become quite attached to the first person you were with. That’s not a healthy relationship, especially as an impressionable child. I would prefer an overtly violent child. The behavior can be corrected. I think children should be thoroughly educated about sex, but not from experience.

Coloma's avatar

I can’t choose. So, guess I’d be dead if my life depended on an answer. haha

Neither is healthy or appropriate and both have serious consequences.

naivete's avatar

@Season_of_Fall I think most of us would want neither for our children
that’s why I asked you to choose the lesser of the two (in your own opinion).

I agree with @KatawaGrey and @Seaofclouds
If I had to choose, I’d say overtly sexual. I guess how sexual is overtly sexual is a questions that is dependent on your own opinions… but either way, sexually expressing yourself (safely… even if it is a lot) is probably less destructive than violence

Or maybe not… Hmm.. This is why I asked

choreplay's avatar

I still say neither. I would not give up and fight defeat. I would not want my child to be in bondage to either of these destructive states. So neither is acceptable. Choice in this seems like concession and that I won’t do. I would want my child to be free from both. I feel that strong about this.

Blackberry's avatar

Sexual, at least they’d rape someone instead of kill someone lol (bad joke?).

the100thmonkey's avatar

Aren’t children both sexual and violent creatures anyway?

I mean that, despite our best efforts as adults, children have identities that they own for and by themselves. Sexuality is not an exclusively adult club. There is no doorman at the club of violence saying “if your name’s not down, you’re not coming in”.

What does “adult” or, indeed, “child” mean here?

To ask such a question (and I appreciate that it is not your own), it behoves one to:

1. define “sexuality” in a consistent way – particularly with regards to childhood and adulthood.

2. define “violent” in a consistent way – same as above.

3. define “overt” in a consistent way – is it “overt” because it clashes with widely-held norms, or does it just particularly move one individual?

4. explain how “little girls wearing high heels, heavy makeup and adult clothing” is inherently wrong – I seem to remember my sister doing the same when she was nine or ten years old. She didn’t end up a crack addict; no-one was taking questionable photographs of her either. There are hidden assumptions in the comment made by your classmate.

By ‘consistent’, I mean that a definition should be as immune as possible to the vagaries of culture and discourse – it should not be judgmental. This, of course, is practically impossible.

As suggested above by @KatawaGrey, the images themselves are sexualised, rather than the girls in them – there is a definite tension between the intentions of the photograhper and those of the photographee.

Should your classmate not have said:

“I’d rather my children be considered sexual creatures than creatures considered capable of violence”? That changes the connotations somewhat.

naivete's avatar

@the100thmonkey That clarified a lot. Thanks!
I was trying to communicate what you so clearly articulated.

sanmo01's avatar

I don’t even need to look at pictures—I don’t want my children to be overtly anything. I want them to have balance in their lives and living with happiness inside. Not depending on the views or opinions of others. Balance is the key, I think.

cockswain's avatar

Well, I guess I’d rather my daughter punched a different guy each week vs. had sex with a different guy each week.

ETpro's avatar

Great question. Of course I would rather a child not be overly either; but definitely, if I had to pick one over the other, give me a Lothario and not a Lex Luthor. No contest. Sex is necessary to the preservation of life. Violence often unnecessarily ends it.

Aethelwine's avatar

You said it better than I was going to @cockswain. If I had to choose.


Sexual. At least I can put chastity belts on them and hide/throw away the keys. If they were overtly violent, I wouldn’t have any means of locking them up! Society would do that, by means of jail! Lol.

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mattbrowne's avatar

What does greater harm to other people? This answers your question.

I have always wondered why daytime tv programs in the US also watched by kids contain violent murder scenes with blood spraying everywhere, but exposing part of someone’s boobs gets censored.

In Europe it’s the other way round although sadly blood is on the rise. Good for business, supposedly.

iamthemob's avatar

@KatawaGrey and @the100thmonkey have articulately expresses issues about the underlying “meaning” problems in the question, so I second them.

I’ll add that my choice would be “overtly sexual” by which I mean that sexuality is something that should be celebrated, whereas violence should be condemned.

I believe we should teach our children not to hide their sexuality, but to learn to express it in an way that is (1) age appropriate and (2) respectful to the object of the sexual expression. The two are essential elements in responsible sexual behavior.

When I say age appropriate, therefore, I don’t mean how we think children should behave, but rather whether they are old enough to truly understand the consequences of their actions. There is no age where people should start having sex (or rather, an age until which all people should refrain from having sex). There are ages we generally agree are “too young” to really get what they’re doing (e.g., prepubescent children); however, the setting of age lines is too conditional for me – they always end up adding a shame element to the behavior and make people feel like the act itself is wrong.

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