thinking

bits and pieces of clouds, ether, maybe even ideas

Give sons a porno pep talk :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Betsy Hart

Give sons a porno pep talk :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Betsy Hart.

Select a publication or site Chicago Sun-Times The Beacon News The Courier News The SouthtownStar The Herald News Lake County News-Sun The Naperville Sun Post-Tribune YourSeason.com Search Chicago Home Autos Homes Jobs Public Record Search Search Chicago Directories Centerstage Roger Ebert PioneerLocal.com Antioch Review Barrington Courier-Review Buffalo Grove Countryside The Doings Clarendon Hills Edition The Doings Elmhurst Edition The Doings Hinsdale Edition The Doings La Grange Edition The Doings Oak Brook Edition The Doings Weekly Edition The Doings Western Springs Edition Deerfield Review Edison-Norwood Times-Review Elm Leaves Evanston Review Franklin Park Herald-Journal Glencoe News Glenview Announcements Grayslake Review Gurnee Review Highland Park News Lake Forester Lake Villa Review Lake Zurich Courier Libertyville Review Lincolnshire Review Lincolnwood Review Proviso Herald Morton Grove Champion Mundelein Review Niles Herald-Spectator Norridge-Harwood Heights News Northbrook Star Oak Leaves Park Ridge Herald-Advocate Forest Leaves Skokie Review Vernon Hills Review Wilmette Life Winnetka Talk The Batavia Sun The Bolingbrook Sun The Downers Grove Sun The Fox Valley Villages Sun The Geneva Sun The Glen Ellyn Sun The Homer Sun The Lincoln-Way Sun The Lisle Sun The Plainfield Sun The Wheaton Sun Chicago Chicago Heights Country Club    Hills Crestwood Crete Evergreen Park Flossmoor Frankfort Glenwood Homer Glen Hometown Homewood Manhattan Matteson Midlothian Mokena Monee New Lenox Oak Forest Oak Lawn Olympia Fields Orland Hills Orland Park Park Forest Posen Richton Park South Chicago Heights Steger Tinley Park University Park North Shore Magazine

Give sons a ‘porno pep talk’

FROM THE HART | Let boys know interest is natural, but that images are misleading

March 18, 2010

The Sun-Times ran an Associated Press story last week with this headline: “Study: Guys More Into Sex.”

Shocking but true, I know. Yet so found University of Chicago researchers. Really. They recently published their findings in the British Medical Journal.

OK, I’m being facetious. But there’s an irony when what comes as news to our “sexually enlightened” culture — that men and women typically have very different sexual appetites, prompted by different kinds of stimuli — would have been utterly accepted by our grandparents’ more “repressed” generation.

I thought of this as yet another female friend called me to tell me with horror that her son was found to be looking at pornography on the Web, and to ask my advice. My friends are typically angry and disgusted in the wake of their discovery. And that comes through to their sons. In contrast, my response was what it always is: of course he was looking at pornography, and of course he was, well, seduced by it.

In fact, that is exactly how he was designed — to be sexually aroused when viewing beautiful naked women. That he would want to do so is not perverted, or weird. Unlike us women, males are intensely visual creatures, and his desires are completely normal.

Shocked? Don’t be. I hate pornography. It objectifies women. It degrades men because it separates sex from relationships. It completely distorts notions of what real women look like, not to mention their sexual appetites and desires. That, in turn, can impact a man’s relationships. We need to openly tell our sons, and daughters, all of this.

(Here I’m focusing only on so-called “mainstream” pornography, not that which involves children, violence, etc.)

Parents, don’t be naive: unlike when we were kids, explicit pornography is everywhere and only a computer click away. By all means put filters on your computers. Just know your sons will see it, are seeing it somewhere, anyway. And they are enticed by it. Period.

Your daughters will see it too, of course, but they are just not as likely to find it highly erotic or to be entranced by it over time.

As I’ve counseled many mom friends, I think we make a mistake if we try to make our sons feel ashamed for their reactions to what they have seen.

Moms, they aren’t us. Rather, I think our approach to them here should be put in the context of “of course this interests you. This is exactly how you are designed. Don’t be ashamed of that desire. You were made to find beautiful women sexually enticing, and the people making this base stuff know that. But, these images aren’t good enough for you. That good desire you have will meet its greatest satisfaction with a real woman, when sex and relationship in marriage go together.”

When there is a dad in the home or other trusted male in the family, he should take the lead. But I think it’s helpful for moms to have a part in that dialogue too!

Now do I think such a pep talk is going to keep anyone’s sons from being involved with pornography? Unfortunately, no. And yes by all means we need to set explicit rules and protections against pornography.

But because today it is so ubiquitous, I think we parents also need to proactively give our sons in particular some tools for dealing with it. And for thinking rightly about it — so that they are not as damaged by it as they might otherwise be. So that they even get a positive message from us parents as to who they were really created to be.

It seems to me that starts with what our grandparents knew. That regarding sex (and so much more) men and women really are wonderfully different. And we don’t really need a study to tell us so.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: