This is an installment of the Religious Fundamentalism and Sexuality Project. You can read the full list of questions here and the posting plan here. The first six participants whose stories I’ll be posting are Melissa and Haley, Lina and V, Latebloomer and Katy-Anne.
Life Outside the Bubble
4. What (and how) do you plan to teach your children (if applicable) about sexuality?
Melissa and Haley
I really want the discussion about sexuality to be open and ongoing. We use the real terms for body parts, and educate about private parts. We are open about the different kinds of families that are out there, and teach our kids that it is OK to be who you are. I hope to make sure that my children understand everything about their body and how it works, and learn not only the mechanics of sex, and safe sex, but also how to have healthy relationships based on mutual respect and communication and honesty. I want then to know that they always have power in every relationship, and that they should never feel pressured to do anything they don’t want to do.
It is about consent, informed decisions, and about what what each person wants to do. I want them to have accurate and comprehensive sex education that is medically accurate.
Lina and V
Strange to say, it didn’t occur to me until about a year ago that my kid(s) will grow up thinking it’s okay to be in a same-sex relationship. Obviously, I know they’ll be raised by two moms, but somehow that jump – that they would spend their entire lives thinking it’s okay – blew my mind. In general, though, I plan to be very open. All questions will be answered, age-appropriately, with correct vocabulary. Puberty will not be a giant surprise or fear. I want to convey that sexuality is wonderful, and is something that takes thought, but that no one else can tell you what to do with.
V:I plan to teach them as much as possible in an open a way as possible. Why not share the wealth? Why put them through what I went through? I want to live an open lifestyle in which they are free to ask whatever question they can think of. I want to create a safe space where they are free to express themselves and be true to who they are meant to be.
I want my kids to have a very thorough and age-appropriate sex education, including how to prevent the spread of STDs and how to use birth control/condoms. Ultimately, they are going to make their own choices, and I don’t want them to be unprepared. I believe my role should be to encourage them to save sex for a committed mature relationship. No matter what choices they make, I want to keep an open and non-judgemental environment in our home so they can come to me with questions or problems.
My oldest son will be five in August, and I’ve already taught him about his body. If he asks particular questions, in my mind that means he’s old enough to get the answer if he’s old enough to be thinking about it and asking. I teach my children that there are many different kinds of families. I tell my children that in our family, there is mommy, daddy, and four children. I tell them that in some families, there is only a mommy, or only a daddy, or that some children have two mommies or two daddies. I teach them that in some families there is a mommy and a daddy but that doesn’t mean the mommy and daddy are married.
I teach them that sometimes I don’t agree with choices somebody else makes, but that those people are people and therefore they are valuable and I teach my children they need to love everyone, even those who might make choices with which they disagree. I do plan to tell my children what I believe is right and wrong at some stage when they are older, but right now I want them to be exposed to all kinds of families without knowing that so that they don’t cast judgment on people they don’t even know yet just because they know that mommy or daddy believes someone made a wrong decision. I hope that when they are old enough to have that information that they are also mature enough to still love others and mature enough to then be able to decide what they believe for themselves.