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Waarden en seksualiteit

Voorkant yates 'Sex without shame - Encouraging the child's healthy sexual development' Alayne YATES
Sex without shame - Encouraging the child's healthy sexual development
z.p.: William Morrow, 1978; 252 blzn;
ISBN: 06 8803 3016

(9) Part 1 - Understanding the child’s sexuality

(11) 1 - Sensuous children?

[Waarom dat vraagteken? Is er dan een ontkenning mogelijk van de feiten over kinderlijke sensualiteit die al 150 jaar onderzocht zijn en bekend zijn? Of spreekt er angst uit om die feiten naar voren te brengen? Nee: ze worden gegeven, zoals blijkt. Maar Yates is niet iemand die de confrontatie zoekt, zelfs niet met gelovigen en de kerk, zoals later blijkt.
Er volgen vele voorbeelden van seksueel gedrag bij kinderen, met cijfers en al. Wanneer kinderen naar school gaan stopt al die seksuele activiteit - men noemt het daarom sinds Freud de latentieperiode. Oorzaak daarvan: de opvoeding. En meisjes worden door ouders duidelijk meer onderdrukt op dat punt dan jongens.
Na de latentiepedriode komen de seksuele activiteiten weer terug, maar stiekem, in het verborgene, kinderen doen zich onschuldig voor omdat ze al weten dat hun ouders moeite hebben met hun seksuele activiteiten en die veroordelen of minstens willen negeren. Jongens hebben nu een voorsprong op meisjes gekregen omdat vooral de seksuele activiteiten van meisjes in de opvoeding onderdrukt worden.]

"Masturbation culminating in climax may occur as early as the first month of life. The baby girl is the most enthusiastic and proficient."(12)

"Infants were born ready and fully equipped. During sleep, spontaneous erections or vaginal lubrications occur every eighty to ninety minutes throughout the entire life span. Throughout life, sleeping sexual function remains far more reliable. While awake, our conscious anxieties take their toll."(12)

"Infants intrigued by erotic sensations are neither emotionally ill nor stunted in development."(12)

"Thirty-six percent of year-old infants are reported by their mothers to play with their genitals. Between two and three years, many more youngsters masturbate, and pleasuring is already commoner in boys than girls. Nursery school children show an avid interest in each other’s genitals and initiate erotic experiments. Half of all middle-class pre-schoolers indulge in sex play or masturbation. Games such as 'Mommy and Daddy' or 'Doctor' are common by age four. By age five most children have asked questions about sex, and know that boys have a penis but girls do not. From the age of three, little girls recognize themselves as certainly female, and little boys recognize themselves as certainly male."(13)

"A curious modification arises at about the time when children enter school. Sexual activity declines, so that at age seven only ten percent of boys masturbate, indicating that most of those who did masturbate have relinquished sexual pleasure. Only five percent are engaged in sex play with girls. This sudden repression of sexuality is the beginning of a period called 'latency'. There are no hormonal or growth changes which account for this rapid shift. In cultures such as the Arandas of Central Australia, children continue to masturbate and show avid interest in sex throughout maturation. In some segments of our own culture, such as certain communes and slums, eroticism continues to increase. The answer, of course, rests in our method of child rearing."(14)

"Little girls of five are unfamiliar with the term “clitoris” and are more than likely to state that the “vagina” is dirty."(14)

"Once past this most difficult age, normal children begin to expand their erotic horizons once more, in ways calculated to avoid discovery. Children over seven are well aware of adult attitudes about sex. They devise elaborate strategies to present themselves as innocent. [mijn nadruk] Foreplay and orgasms are achieved in cellars, haylofts, and attics. Those who have temporarily abstained from masturbation often begin again. The accumulative incidence of masturbation in boys rises from ten percent at age seven to eighty percent at age thirteen. Heterosexual play rises from less than five percent at age five, to a third at age eight, and two thirds at age thirteen."(15)

"Girls, who begin life with a greater erotic response, continue to lag far behind, although their trend is similar. In early puberty the divergence between the sexes becomes even more striking."(15)

"She may still be unaware of her clitoris, which is tucked away beneath several fleshy folds and unromantically named “down there.” Confusion and anxiety may accompany the onset of menses, the presence of blood, and often some discomfort. She is never to appreciate the raw, unsolicited gratification of a wet dream. She is beset by cultural remonstrances, ignorance, shame, and the fear of gossip. Most importantly, she has a past marked by deficiencies in erotic pleasure."(16)

"The overwhelming preponderance of orgasmic dysfunction in women is clearly related to their lack of early sex experience."(16)

"The only possible prevention lies in the development of a positive, enthusiastic approach to children’s sexuality. The roots of all dysfunctions extend back to early childhood, and even in the first year of their lives, we shape our children’s capacity for pleasure [mijn nadruk]. The sex drive is singularly vulnerable. It can be diverted, elaborated, constricted, or squelched. We need to understand and nourish the wellsprings of eroticism."(17)

[Dat is precies waar het om gaat. Ouders en anderen voelen er zich ongemakkelijk bij en kunnen niet eens goed met hun kinderen praten over dat ze masturberen en manieren zoeken om lijfelijk plezier te hebben. Je moet het normaal vinden om het te kunnen hanteren. Maar het meest schandalige hier is dat ouders en opvoeders nog steeds de houding en opvatting hebben dat seksueel actief zijn iets is voor jongens en niet voor meisjes. Als de vagina en de clitoris niet eens benoemd worden op een leuke manier, wat wil je dan?]

"Even the perception of the eager suckling infant is eclipsed by the need to deny erotic import. He is 'cute', or 'famished', but never passionate. Nursing is reduced to such aseptic components as calories and formulas. To nurse or not is a decision for or against an intensely erotic experience. Some mothers are rendered embarrassed and anxious by their own response. The nipple comes erect and hardens at the infant’s eager approach. Seconds later the breast tingles as the milk spurts forcefully. The rhythmic tugging at the nipple elicits genital sensations. Some women experience serial orgasms, and then drift into a refreshing slumber.
Fewer than twenty percent of mothers in the United States today nurse their infants. Many of those offer the breast as a duty, and soon abandon the effort. Very few are able simply and quietly to offer the teat and savor the sensations.
Those who choose not to nurse give reasons with which a good Victorian could have rationalized sexual abstinence. Breast-feeding is dirty, messy, embarrassing, and inconvenient. It can wreck mother’s body, sag her appendages, derail her from productive efforts, sap her strength, and keep her from knowing how much milk her infant is getting. Nursing may make infants hard to wean because they like it too much. They may get too full, not receive their vitamins, or waste away. The central values are production, cleanliness, appearance, and the scientific method. Mutual pleasuring between mother and infant is conspicuously absent. In fact, the mother is thought to experience more pleasure if she doesn’t nurse, for lactation will tie her down and make her less sexually attractive.
The woman who chooses to nurse in spite of these discomforts has at her command many strategies and appliances to ward off pleasure. She can allow her infant to suck only for specified periods through the porthole of her triply reinforced nursing bra. Though weary, she may sit upright, evacuating her teat at the infant’s first sign of satiation. A relief bottle allows her to 'rest'. If still queasy at the infant’s raw excitement, the uncontrolled squirting of the milk, and the moistened underwear, she soon begins to prefer the sterile bottle.
As we shall see, the skin-to-skin contact between mother and infant constitutes the basic erotic experience. These sensations also contribute to the most fundamental form of intimacy — body intimacy."(17-18)

(21) 2 - Parenting paperbacks

"Although we often think of the United States as more advanced than its conservative European counterparts, concern with masturbation declined more slowly here."(24)

[Pardon? De VS minder conservatief dan Europa op het punt van masturbatie en zo? Het zou niet in me opkomen ... Gekke opmerking, misschien heeft hij te maken met de verschijningsdatum van het boek - 1978 - en de seksuele revolutie die gaande was in de VS?]

"Between 1914 and 1921, the danger of children’s sexuality was painfully evident. If not promptly and rigorously squelched, both thumb-sucking and masturbation would permanently damage the child. (...) Total eradication of any self-pleasuring was the goal of responsible parents."(24)

"In 1938, masturbation was presented as normal exploration, of little consequence. Sexuality was no longer seen as crippling and dangerous, but rather as an unimportant incident, often embarrassing to the mother. In contrast, thumb-sucking still required mechanical restraint.
The trend toward leniency continued. In 1951, mothers were told that masturbation does not amount to anything, although children sometimes touch their genitals while on the toilet. The mother may experience uncomfortable feelings when she observes this, and for her own sake can distract the child with a toy.
For years parents have accepted this dogma without question. Yet what message does this attitude of studied indifference or anxious distraction give the child? Young children are not stupid. The toddler accurately senses the mother’s mood. The message he receives is a message of apprehension or disapproval.
Most parents validate children’s positive behavior. They say, “Your hair is so pretty the way you brushed it” or “You can be proud of making your bed so well.” These messages are clear and not subject to misinterpretation. Teachers use the same approach to reinforce good behavior at school. No one reinforces children’s sexuality. We actively avoid mentioning or observing it. Have you ever heard a mother say to a child found fondling himself: “My, you’ve really learned how to make yourself feel good.” Or have you heard a father say to his son: “It’s real nice that your penis is getting bigger”? Instead, children are confronted with anxiety and ambivalence. [mijn nadruk]"(25)

"Young minds are more profitably directed toward academic pursuits, and eroticism constitutes an uneconomical pastime. Is this again the “fatal drain”?"(26)

"Spock is a moderate. He warns against telling children that masturbation will injure their genitals, or that it leads to insanity. Yet he suggests that more than a vaguely defined amount is a danger signal. It can proclaim a serious emotional problem. Are serious emotional problems so different from the older concept of insanity? He feels that it is quite proper for parents to uphold society’s disapproval of sexuality if they agree with society. He doesn’t offer instructions to those who disagree with society."(27)

"Several other books present masturbation as a necessary part of the learning process, implying that pleasure is secondary or absent."(29)

"The popular books on parenting present consistent and culturally acceptable views of children’s sexuality. The sexy child remains a threat to parental self-esteem by evoking fears of loss of control or moral disintegration. The authors recommend that we overlook, disapprove of, or correct eroticism in children. A few, caught in the midst of cultural dissonance, devalue sex or relate it to learning rather than feeling. Thus it is necessary but never nice. The child contends with absent, ambiguous, or negative responses from his parents. He quickly senses their anxiety and need for constraint. He correctly interprets sex as a distressing or cumbersome area."(29-30)

"In the last century we have progressed from picturing the erotic child as a diseased pervert to seeing him or her as a behavioral problem demanding considered restraint. Some parents are now able to tolerate, but not enjoy, some sexual expression, especially if they don’t have to view it. As a culture we remain preoccupied with penis size and penis envy. When will we begin systematically to develop penis pride in our boys and feelings of clitoral worth in our girls?"(30)

(31) 3 - Challenge to change

"If sexual experiences produce children with a healthy and direct interest in sex, what do we as parents have to fear? Our fears are as prolific as our fantasies. The monster of sexual pleasure, once loosed, might no longer be controllable [mijn nadruk]. Children would experiment together sexually on the front porch, or rape and incest would become common. Imagine if you will a trip to the supermarket with your small sexy child. How embarrassing to find him with one hand stroking a melon and the other in his pants!"(31)

"A more difficult, if less visible, area is the child who approaches an adult with obvious sexual interest."(32)

"When does the needy, innocent infant become a threat to the parent’s sense of morality? This depends upon the mother’s comfort with her own sexuality. If we fear the monster within, then we dread the monster in our child."(32)

"It’s within this essential relationship that body intimacy develops. Body intimacy is a physical and emotional link which forms between the needy, dependent infant and his loving mother. It is predicated upon the early, eager, joyful inclusion of another warm, responsive being-without reservation or contingency. Highly erotic, this bond is the foundation for all later intimacies. The mother’s emotional state is crucial during the construction of this link, for the child must find himself mirrored in his mother’s eyes. (Winnecott, 1971) If her response is eager and joyful, the infant views himself as valuable. He also derives a sense of goodness or badness from her reactions. If she babbles and smiles except when she changes his diaper, he soon understands that a certain part of his body is less acceptable than the rest."(34)

"A few youngsters do retain the open curiosity and robust humor of healthy sexuality. They owe their escape to rather remarkable parents who have encouraged and skillfully guided them. The following examples illustrate these fortunate children."(35-36)

"This ability to take risks is a prime therapy goal of the sex clinics. The woman who expects that her partner will automatically know her needs must feel resentful when he fails. She remains inert, patiently waiting, and still too embarrassed and frightened to ask. Finally she gives up and passively accepts the crumbs from the banquet. On the other hand, the sexually aggressive woman frees her mate from the responsibility of master-minding her orgasm and actively reassures him of his virility and expertise. Assertion can also provide the woman with other important benefits. The aggressive girl is better adjusted, less likely to suffer emotional disorders, develops a higher IQ, and attains greater achievement."(39)

(44) 4 - Dirty old men

[De titel slaat op de onderzoekers naar seksualiteit in het algemeen en naar seksualiteit bij kinderen. Een grapje.]

"Havelock Ellis faced rejection, Freud provoked ridicule, and in 1948 Alfred Kinsey met renewed furor with the first scientific attempt to define and study human sexuality. He included a study of childhood eroticism because he considered such a study essential to the understanding of the adult response."(48)

"In 1966, nearly twenty years after Kinsey began to publish, William Masters and Virginia Johnson demolished another, seemingly impenetrable, barrier. In the scientific laboratory, they observed and recorded approximately 14,000 sex acts and studied the humans who could or could not function."(48)

(52) 5 - Sex dysfunction in childhood

"Parents today are vastly more sophisticated than past generations. They seldom traumatize the child with threats or punishment."(52)

[Nogal optimistisch vind ik. Dit hoofdstuk geeft allerlei casussen en zoals zo vaak vind ik ze niet erg overtuigend als illustratie van bepaalde problemen of thema's.]

"The following cases illustrate how parents unknowingly contribute to the child’s low sexual self-confidence and susceptibility to minor trauma. Most of these examples are of normal children raised by well-accepted methods."(53)

"It’s tempting to blame Meg’s sexual problems on her encounter with the exhibitionist. Indeed she was “trauma- tized,” but in large part because she already felt utterly helpless — unable to flee or become angry. Adults had always seemed threatening and unpredictable. She had never seen a penis under more favorable circumstances or received any positive messages about sex. Greater confidence in any area, but especially sex, would have lessened the impact."(57)

(67) 6 - Other countries, other styles

"Austere and frightening, the concept of sex as a necessary evil and abstinence as Christ-like remains basic to Christianity and to our culture. Intercourse is publicly endorsed only in the marital bed, where it can be justified by the need to procreate. Our crotchety Christian conscience condemns behavior that deviates from this ideal. Among two hundred fifty cultures surveyed, ours is one of the three most restrictive. (Murdock, 1960) Ritual abandonment, premarital freedom, and postmarital options are not uncommon in the rest of the world."(67)

[We? Ons? Ik niet, hoor. Ze richt zich tot haar Amerikaanse publiek, neem ik aan. Maar goed, de antropologische beschrijvingen van de Inis Beag - katholiek, streng - en de Mangaia - Polynesisch, vrij - zijn prachtig met goede conclusies.]

"Liberal cultures, such as Polynesian Mangaia, lend perspective to our own child-rearing techniques. In Mangaia, virtually one hundred percent of women achieve orgasm. In stark contrast, on the small Irish island of Inis Beag, the female climax is unknown or thought to be abnormal."(68)

"Inis Beag is the perfection of Christian morality. All eroticism is systematically constricted from an early age. Not only is premarital sex unknown and adultery rare, but the marital unit is extremely stable. The cost is great.
A commonly held myth is that sexual freedom for children and adolescents will create eventual adultery and thus destroy the integrity of the family. In fact, early license is not necessarily related to marital infidelity."(70)

"[Bij de Mangaia] Adolescence is the “golden age” of erotic pleasure without responsibility. Parents recognize and silently condone their children’s vitality. As pregnancy is thought to result from making love with the same man too often, there are frequent changes of partner with a tremendous increase in sexual knowledge and awareness. In fact, girls usually do not conceive until early adulthood. Pregnancy itself often inspires the couple to marry, unless either set of parents strenuously objects. With pregnancy, marriage, and other adult responsibilities, the “golden age” of sexual freedom ends."(72)

"Throughout all fifteen Cook Islands, Mangaians are judged the most independent and the hardest workers. In spite of nightly frolics in the bush, men toil throughout the day in the pineapple fields. Teachers don’t assign children homework, as they too labor past dusk. Pleasuring in no way sabotages productivity.
In Mangaia, children routinely witness adult nudity and parental intercourse. In our society, these experiences constitute “traumas,” which contribute to neuroses. Here, nudity is discouraged as overstimulating and guilt-producing. Parental intercourse is misinterpreted as “Daddy is beating Mommy.” Children react with anxiety and anger. In 1976, liberal Ann Landers writes, “Nudity among brothers and sisters should not be allowed after five years of age. Coeducational bathing should be stopped also.” Yet in Mangaia, in the farm commune and in the cramped quarters of the less privileged, these observations are routine and don’t result in emotional problems. In Mangaia, children have the advantage of repeated, diverse observations. They soon learn that intercourse is not mortal combat but an enjoyable, mutual transaction. Children adopt a matter-of-fact attitude and begin to note details for future reference."(74)

"In our country most children are reared by continuously clothed adults who always close the bathroom door. Raw flesh, like raw sex, is dangerous — very young children may run about the house nude simply because they are seen as asexual and not too smart at that. As soon as they become more perceptive, prohibitions emerge, flies are zipped, and panties hiked up in public. To wear too little, or the wrong attire, provokes shame and the fear of ridicule. Yet these same individuals are expected as adults to disrobe spontaneously and joyfully relish their naked partner.(...) Our contradictory attitudes about nudity are but one example of our unreasonable expectations toward sex. Irrationally, we expect the “nice,” fully inhibited child to turn over a new leaf and become a sensual, sexually competent adult."(75)

"The Irish of Inis Beag eliminate the woman’s climax and drain the joy from sex. It is a land of corsets and concealment. The master chefs of Mangaia concoct a gourmet feast seasoned with orgasms. Both societies shape the child’s erotic response from early infancy. So do we."(76)

(77) 7 - Enfant terrible

[Over verwende kinderen. Maar dat heeft weinig te maken met de 'sex drive' en alles met het opvoeden tot verantwoordelijkheid. Weer casussen.]

"These are the “enfants terribles.” They are crafty and well aware of their parents’ weaknesses and their therapist’s limitations. Reared with copious love and minimal responsibility, they expect everything and are furious when denied anything."(77)

"These children are assertive, uninhibited, and erotically responsive, and each of these traits can contribute to later sexual competence. Yet the sexual response is relatively unimportant. These children are selfish in every sphere. Relationships are predicated on how much they can get, with total disregard for the feelings of others. This hedonism is not only objectionable, but it precludes any true reciprocity, Fortunately, children do respond to sensible limits and even minimal effective guidance. Sexual responsibility can be taught just as are other kinds of responsibility. For instance, the child of four can be expected not to grab food from other plates or to masturbate openly on a cable car. Our expectations change as the child grows. It is appropriate for a four- month-old infant to squall if suddenly denied the breast, but totally inappropriate for three-year-old Henry."(81)

"With other drives, we routinely encourage pleasure while we teach. For instance, we urge children to savor the aroma of hot turkey and the taste of freshly baked brownies. At the same time we help them to use a fork properly, and to ask for the blessing. We may intentionally lose a game of slapjack to impart the thrill of effective assertion, yet instruct the child not to slap younger children. We impart little enthusiasm about sex, nor do we condone children’s natural eagerness. Yet we do lay down a host of “don’ts” and “not nows.” Thus we restrict sex without ever having developed its basic enjoyment. How can we expect children to enjoy sex without experiencing it? Once pleasure is firmly rooted, training can begin."(82)

(83) 8 - Sex is work

[Intimiteit ontstaat niet goed als het accent al gauw op de prestaties van het kind komt te liggen. Prestaties worden beloond, het genieten van je lijf niet of wordt zelfs bestraft.
Later komt dat terug. Er ontstaat een overgang van verliefde intimiteit naar georganiseerd samenleven gericht op werk en mensen begrijpen maar niet wat ze missen. Seks als plicht vervangt seks als plezier.]

"Adult intimacy is the ability to blend with another’s mind or body and “let go” of many adult constraints. This presupposes comfort and trust — that the other person will not misuse or reject us. If we are unable to trust, we create emotional distance and avoid intimacy."(83)

"However, sex is distinct from intimacy and each can exist separately."(83)

"By rights, intimacy should evolve slowly over the years, to reach its full richness in old age. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Intimacy is a will-o’-the-wisp that gradually slips away after the honeymoon, to return, it is hoped, after retirement or when the children are gone. In its place are buttons to push, calls to make, and deadlines to meet. Work rather than love becomes the primary goal.(...)
This pattern, in which intimacy diminishes during the productive years, is also rooted in childhood. A great many parents provide the infant with the basic experience in intimacy through body contact, warmth, and snuggling, but demand a high level of performance once the child can think and act by himself. They reward the child for tying his shoes, but not for playing in the sandbox."(84)

"The work ethic teaches that business must come before pleasure, and utility before beauty. Sex as a duty to one’s mate remains high on the priority list, while sex for pleasure slips toward the bottom. Even play becomes work as the golf course is used to make connections and lunches to cement deals.(Kahl, 1957)"(85)

"Many well-educated young men and women make a transition from being young, liberated, and zesty to being old, useful and tired. Marriage is likely to have occurred someplace in the process. Still in their twenties, and fresh from training, the graduates enter the business or professional world. With more money and connections than ever before, they command a variety of erotic experiences. Paychecks are invested in Club Méditerranée rather than house payments. Evenings are spent dining by candlelight, and going to concerts and plays. Stealthily, concepts such as stability, security, and responsibility enter. Painstakingly, youth begins to retrace the parents’ footsteps. After several years, the metamorphosis is complete, and the young couple looks and acts startlingly like their parents. Filet mignon by candlelight becomes meat loaf at six p.m. so that the children can finish their homework. Leftover sexual sophistication scarcely intrudes upon the air of tired harassment. This marriage is primarily useful — it provides an acceptable neighborhood and the most advantageous social contacts. (Cuber, 1974) The children are raised properly, attend the best schools, and take piano lessons."(86)

"Socrates reportedly described a similar pattern more than two thousand years ago. The process begins around the time when the child first enters school. He develops a conscience and learns to live by the rules of his parents. Responsibility, punctuality, and production are clearly underwritten as essential. Eroticism and sexual experience are curiously omitted from the list of desirable values. [mijn nadruk] He notes that sex is an uncomfortable or worrisome area for his parents. At best, they seem lukewarm or ambivalent. Yet this is the format which inevitably must become his own, and he has little choice about the matter. These same values persist beneath the turmoil of adolescence and the relative sexual freedom of young adulthood. With very few exceptions, these principles resurface after marriage or a firm commitment. Priority is given to production and punctuality while sex interests lag. This again becomes the erotically impoverished portrait presented to the next generation. Thus the inhibited child grows through a period of sexual freedom which he then must renounce in order to become an inhibited adult who will rear an inhibited child. That this is indeed the case is shown by a study by Wake in which thirty percent of mothers acknowledged that they themselves had had premarital sex. Yet only three percent approved of this behavior for their daughters, and only nine percent for their sons."(87)

(93) 9 - Slum sex

[Dit hoofdstuk gaat precies over wat de titel ervan zegt. En dat is een macho-wereld etc. waarin er weinig sprake is van genieten. En ook al is alles zichtbaar voor kinderen, het is seks geassocieerd met machtsuitoefening, en met rollen die beide seksen in stand houden, met geweld en onderdrukking en gebrek aan tederheid. En dat nemen de generaties erna over.]

"My internship and pediatric residency was in a poor section of Chicago, noted for its high rate of drug abuse, illegitimacy, and violence."(93)

"Sexual matters were often discussed, although sexual pleasures appeared to be rather peripheral. The making and breaking of relationships, the anger at men who didn’t seem to care, and hope for one who really would afforded the most conversation and relief from boredom. Little was expected from men and little was received.(...) She [een van die vrouwen die ze bezocht - GdG] preferred aggressive, assaultive men and couldn’t tolerate a “fag type.” In spite of partners’ misuse or indifference, and their own anger or depression, a few women reported an excellent erotic response. Even then, sex had little impact on the bleakness of life. [mijn nadruk]"(95)

[Ben ik de enige die de tegenstrijdigheid ziet? Vrouwen zeggen van één kant dat ze een man willen die geïnteresseerd is etc. maar in de praktijk willen ze een 'echte man', geen gevoelige man. Met dat laatste houden ze dus de rolverdeling in stand waarvan ze zelf alle nadelen ondervinden. En dat is niet alleen zo in deze sociale wantoestanden die de auteur beschrijft. Het is onbegrijpelijk.]

"These children were well acquainted with sex. They witnessed the advent of new boyfriends and listened at the apartment door. Tiny living quarters and thin walls added to their expertise. Some slept with their mothers even after an “uncle” or a “fiancé” came to stay. Erotic activities in the hallway were an intriguing substitute for toys. Because of apathy or by intent, older children often went without underclothes. Soggy diapers dragged about the knees of others. Children soon learned to stimulate themselves and others. One enterprising four-year-old was observed proficiently penetrating his five-year-old sister. Others wriggled atop one another, groaning and grunting in succinct imitation. Descriptive words were used, most often incorrectly. When I questioned one boy about a term he used while pummeling another, he was puzzled and then happily defined it as “mother’s dirty butt.”
Once children entered school, they were exposed to the mysteries and the perils of the alley. Boys soon began to join the junior echelon of infamous older boys’ gangs. They remained away from home for hours, gaining acceptance through feats of prowess, such as fighting with a rival junior gang member, pilfering from the corner grocery, or grabbing a girl in the garage. Sex play was a pallid term for what existed in the alley. Coitus commenced as early as age four, although ejaculation was generally absent until after age ten. Most young girls returned home directly after school, observing their mothers’ admonitions and their own better judgment. A few ran with the boys, buying protection and acceptance in the gang through sex. Far from being valued, they were assigned derogatory nicknames, were callously used as community receptacles for semen, and sometimes beaten or abandoned. The sex act itself was brief, at best a barter, at worst a rape.
There was no question that these children received early and continued erotic stimulation. Yet the boys used sex more for power and proof of masculinity than for pleasure. Status was achieved through daring exploits, strength, and a frequently functioning phallus. The hit-and-run act took less time than recounting the exploit to other males. Sex was often equated with dirt, and the girls so used were debased and disparaged. The cautious girls who remained at home were more respected and were sometimes awkwardly courted.
In the slum sex and anger are companions from earliest childhood. The toddler observes its mother used, abused, and abandoned by her consorts. Occasionally she abuses her mate. The child himself is the recipient of abrupt physical punishment and is abandoned daily in the hallway. Once there, he is subjected to a series of sexual and aggressive assaults, until with growth, he becomes the master of the corridor. The microcosm of the hallway later becomes the macrocosm of the alley.
Boys and girls soon evolve separate roles: the victor and the victim, the one who grabs and the one who withholds, the protector and the protectee, the policeman and the pilferer. Masculine prowess is highly esteemed and heavily reinforced. Little boys who participate in girls’ play are ridiculed by both sexes (Rabban, 1950), and beaten by other boys. Dehumanization is the price. The sex act, in itself an aggressive denial of tenderness, becomes the medium of exchange between the two camps. The girl who gives in earns instant ersatz popularity, but lands at the bottom of the social heap. If she resists pressure and withholds, her value increases and she may marry relatively well within the class. (Kerckhoff, 1974) Better to be safe than sorry. Unfortunately, the pattern of withholding and the expectation of abuse is not easy to unlearn. Nor is it simple for the macho male, who for years has “got down on a pig” in the alley, to recapture compassion."(95-97)

(100) 10 - The angry erection

[Ook in de middenklasse bestaat er seks als uitdrukking van vijandigheid.]

"Sex and anger may become fused in middle-class homes also. The best neighborhoods and the nicest schools have youngsters who use sex as an expression of hostility. The harm is produced not by overstimulation but by specific patterns of parenting."(100)

(112) 11 - Keep it in the family

[De angst voor incest maakt dat ouders niet weten om te gaan met (hun reacties op) de kinderlijke expressie van seksualiteit. Incest is de meest verboden vorm van seksueel contact, maar is niet altijd schadelijk, zegt Yates op p.113: niet als kinderen jong zijn, niet als het zonder dwang gebeurt, wel als iemand al adolescent is en de maatschappelijke normen al in haar of zijn hoofd heeft. Desondanks: het is in het algemeen niet zo dat ouders de beste seksleraren zijn voor hun kinderen.]

"Many parents avoid dealing with their children’s eroticism because of conscious or unconscious fears of incest. Many fathers recoil in dismay at a partial erection while wrestling with a daughter, or—even more disquieting—with a son. Yet children continue to rub, hug, and feel parents. Parents react by limiting the amount and kind of contact. They shun kissing children on the lips, remain fully clothed when youngsters are about, and avoid prolonged physical contact. Kissing becomes a conventional gesture—limited, predictable, and safe. This is necessary, at least for the comfort of the parents."(112)

"Do early sexual experiences erode children’s morals, increase criminal behavior, and promote indiscriminate lust? These are commonly held assumptions. Data from other societies indicate that these dangers are grossly exaggerated. But what of our own culture?"(112)

"While incest can lead to serious problems, it is not always harmful. Finch, 1973; Sarles; Yorukoglu, 1966; Rassmussen, 1934; Bender, 1952; Schlacter, 1960) A study of incest aids in our understanding of children’s sexuality."(113)

"According to Weinberg’s study of 203 cases, 78 percent of incest occurs between fathers and daughters or stepfathers and stepdaughters. Eighteen percent is between brothers and sisters, and one percent between mothers and sons. The remaining three percent are multiple relationships.
Sibling incest is least often reported and is usually handled within the family. Incest between prepubertal children commonly follows a pattern of normal sex play, leading eventually to heterosexual intercourse with no particular emotional damage. Fox found that brothers and sisters who experiment together before puberty are less likely to be sexually attracted to each other after puberty. Recent studies of Israeli kibbutzim and of Taiwanese children also indicate that early social familiarity reinforces the incest taboo. Mutual sex play among siblings does not prove harmful, and could foster a robust, healthy, nonincestuous stance later in life. (Weiner, 1962; Riemer, 1940; Fox, 1962)
Mother-son involvement is the most malignant form of incest. Prohibitions against such relationships are the strongest of all."(114)

"Between the near normal sibling incest and the highly pathological mother-and-son incest lie the majority of cases. These are the father-and-daughter or stepfather-and-step- daughter liaisons. The relationship usually exists for an average of three years prior to discovery. Occasionally molestations are reported immediately by a shocked daughter or her irate mother, but this is the exception. Many unions are never revealed. In the liaisons that persist the whole family is involved in a tangled conspiracy. All members of the family are aware of the activity but avoid acknowledging it. (Sarles, 1975; Poznanski and Blos, 1975; Kaufman, 1954; Riemer, 1940)"(114-115)

"When incest is forced amid tears and beatings, eroticism and anger become linked much as they did with Cathy in the last chapter. Yet Jane is fully orgasmic while Cathy’s response was seriously impaired. Jane clearly describes intense early erotic stimulation, while Cathy was unable to recall any self-stimulation or sex play at all. Incest is not ordinarily accompanied by brutality — seduction is the common route. Ready rationalizations by a respected father and enjoyable sensations pave the way. The young child who doesn’t know that incest is immoral is both flattered and fascinated. It feels good and gets better with practice. Incest becomes a private game, a “secret” from the mother."(118)

"Incest does not necessarily produce damage. Rasmussen reports on fifty-four women who had incestuous relationships between ages nine and fourteen. Forty-six are functioning normally in the community and seem unaffected by the experience. The girls I have evaluated who were young, uncoerced, and initially pleased with the relationship remain emotionally unscathed, even after protracted incest. However, they may be devastated by the social consequences after discovery. [mijn nadruk] They are fully orgasmic, sexually competent, attractive, and sometimes seductive. Guilt is a relatively late occurrence, often not appearing until early adolescence. When guilt does occur, it is nowhere near as shattering as when incest commences in adolescence. When these girls move out into school and the community, they swiftly form gratifying liaisons with more appropriate males. They retain a taste for older partners, such as foster fathers, male teachers, doctors, and policemen."(120)

"When the outcome is foster placement, the transition may require the relinquishment of pleasure. Society expects its children to be asexual and the foster home may be totally unprepared for a sensuous child."(120-121)

"Incest that commences in adolescence is different and devastating. Unlike the younger child, the adolescent girl has already comprehended and incorporated the moral standards of society. [mijn nadruk] She admires her father and derives her moral values and self-esteem from the stability and mutual respect she perceives in the parents’ relationship. The girl views her father’s seduction as a traitorous act, a betrayal of her mother and of all women. If she feels pleasure she is debased and depraved. Profound guilt, depression, and helpless rage result. Fatigue, insomnia, headaches, and suicidal gestures occur and grades may drop precipitously. She may become compulsively promiscuous or refuse to date. Bitterness and frigidity may follow. (Sarles, 1975; Schlacter, 1960; Kaufman, 1954; Tormeys, 1972)"(121)

"There is an important lesson to be learned from noncoercive father-and-daughter incest. Early erotic pleasure by itself does not damage the child. It can produce sexually competent and notably erotic young women. Childhood is the best time to learn, although parents may not always be the best teachers."(121)

(122) 12 - Sex and sacrilege

[Over seks en religie en ove seksuele voorlichting. Yates blijkt niet tegen religie en erg pro-kerk. Ze is positief, maar ja, dit is dan ook 1978. Ze zou denk ik verbaasd zijn over de desastreuze invloed van religie / rechts / kerk wanneer ze vandaag de dag zou kijken naar de problematiek.]

"Sex doesn’t deserve such notoriety. A natural function becomes a poison on one hand and an antidote on the other. Eroticism is the most fun but hardly the most significant or crucial of human needs. No one thinks of sex as the boat sinks, or even while elbowing through a mob at Macy’s."(125)

"The church continues to provide much needed structure and direction throughout all stages of growth. Religion not only defines acceptable behavior, but provides role modeling, values, and exercises through which a child can identify himself as a valuable person. The church provides consistency and strength of purpose in a rapidly changing, increasingly ambiguous society.
Religions of tomorrow will be more sophisticated and realistic. Sex will decline in importance, to take its place amongother essential values that contribute to the integrity and stability of the family. Sex and intimacy will no longer be confused, and religious leaders will devise methods of shaping both so that they may eventually be used to strengthen the marital bond. The harsh, punitive, guilt-ridden approach to sex will fade. Sex will be seen as inappropriate at certain times rather than sinful or dirty. Masturbation and sex play will be accepted as healthy parts of childhood. The concept of oneness with God will be extended to describe, on a lesser scale, the ability to fuse with another of God’s products."(127)

(130) 13 - What next?

[Tussentijdse conclusies.]

"If children are allowed and encouraged to experience erotic pleasure, won’t they talk more about sex, experiment with each other, and begin making love at an earlier age? Of course they will. But the changes will scarcely approach earthshaking proportions."(130)

"Yet encouraging our children’s erotic development is scary. It depends on one basic assumption: that sex (like vitamins) is constructive and desirable. If so, then we want our children to experience plenty of good, nourishing, healthy sex. This does not mean any and every kind of erotic experience, for some are highly destructive. Incest has emotional and social consequences. Sex to exploit or degrade a child is vicious. Restricting a child to quasi-seductive, subliminal sex in his own house provokes enormous rage. We need to protect our children, but not protect them out of the entire arena."(131)

(133) Part II - Enriching the child's sexual response

[Vanaf hier allemaal hoofdstukken die aangeven hoe je je kind kunt stimuleren zich te ontwikkelen op seksueel terrein of minstens hoe je kunt voorkomen dat je die seksuele ontwikkeling afremt. Vanaf hier wordt het een zelfhulpboek, niet bijster origineel of interessant. Ik vat het allemaal niet samen, geef alleen een paar citaten.]

(135) 14 - Getting the roots

"Some parents won’t wish to change anything. Others have closed this book already, with a sense of mild revulsion. If you feel that encouraging eroticism is immoral, unwholesome, or against religious principles, this book is not for you. If you’re certain that sex can erode the family, take over the child, or limit his achievement, then read no further."(135)

"Most of the chapters that follow recommend certain approaches or tasks designed to develop eroticism in the child. Some may seem distasteful or disgusting. No one exercise, or even series of exercises, is essential to the erotic health of the child. Elect only those suggestions which are comfortable for you. The others are valuable in initiating the rethinking and exploration of your own perceptions. Your attitude toward children’s sex is crucial, and like it or not, you communicate that attitude to your children every day."(139)

(140) 15 - Building blocks

(148) 16 - Infant stimulation revisited

(166) 17 - Sex and the potty chair

(175) 18 - Have you got what i got?

(188) 19 - Oedipus accentuated

(200) 20 - How to play ping-pong with no table

"Tina’s mother comments, “I guess I can be thankful because Tina’s never had a problem with sex; in fact, she hasn’t shown any interest at all. I didn’t have to tell her not to play with herself, or to watch out for certain boys.” Whenever I hear a statement like this, I know absolutely that the child does have a problem. The theory that a child isn’t sexual is simply untrue. Tina has already dealt with the issue of sex, and her erotic response has already suffered. She responds to a world of sexual silence."(200)

(214) 21 - The endless transition

"Adolescence is the time between puberty and the assumption of the adult role, whether by marriage or through entering the job force. It begins with an incredible expansion — in growth, in ability to reason, and in libido. Hormone production increases enormously, yielding sexual and aggressive urges which frighten “nice” youngsters. Girls are ashamed as breasts enlarge and pubic hair sprouts. It’s as if their bodies proclaim the feelings they’ve tried to hide. Even the mother is banished from the bedroom when the daughter decides to undress. Boys are intrigued by the relative size of each other’s genitals and are forever making unfavorable comparisons."(214)

[In dit citaat zie je toch ook weer een hoop standaard gedachten en waarden en normen. Alsof die schaamte voor je veranderende lijf natuurlijk is. Dat is het niet, het is allemaal cultuur (opvoeding, allerlei instituten als scholen en sportclubs, de media.]

"Parents of teenagers are in a quandary. Nothing they do seems to turn out right anyway. Many become stricter because there’s so much more to restrict. One parent comments, “To hell with sex education — I just hope I can get through without strangling her!” Somehow it’s worse for girls to be sexually active than for boys. Parents caution, “Watch out for those smooth-talking jocks,” “Boys are just out for you-know-what,” “Guys have to learn to respect girls,” and “Boys are more interested in sex than girls are.” As parents become more upset, the comments get stronger. “Girls who play around get venereal disease,” “Boys don’t respect girls who give in,” and “You don’t want to do something that leaves you feeling dirty, do you?” are not uncommon. Further efforts range from a heart-to-heart talk to virtual imprisonment in the house. The battlefield is now well marked. Parents are less concerned about the boys. A few wild oats are expected. However, parents may worry that the youth will forget his studies once he finds out about sex or that some loose woman will trick him into a hasty marriage via pregnancy. Sex is viewed as many things other than normal and healthy."(216)

[Ook al zo cliché.]

"The girl without a firm erotic foundation has at best a fragile response. Shyness, shame, and formless apprehensions are enough to sabotage pleasure. She needs to know that an insufficient response isn’t unusual, but that it does constitute a problem, for which there is definite remediation. She may need to develop her erotic response through masturbation. Only the most comfortable of mothers can impart this information without anxiety. Fortunately, instructions are available in books such as Becoming Orgasmic by Heiman, LoPiccolo, and LoPiccolo. The mother can purchase the book and offer to discuss it or to provide lubricants and mechanical devices if the girl wishes. If there’s no lock on her bedroom door, get one."(223-224)

(229) Epilogue

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