May 29, 2012

Stranger-Danger Message Puts Kids at Risk

The arrest of a man who's confessed to killing 6-year old Etan Patz in 1979 has gotten people abuzz about the dangers of strangers. "Stranger-danger, remember?!" I overheard a mom warn her daughter at the playground on the beach this past weekend. But children are rarely abducted by strangers. In fact, the vast majority is abducted by family members. Likewise, in 90% of all instances of child sexual abuse, the offender knows the child. Nevertheless, the stranger-danger message continues to feed a fear instilled culture. But it does not help protect children. Reports NPR:
Fear doesn't work. Don't simply tell kids to avoid talking to strangers, because they'll encounter lots of them, whether it's bus drivers or parents of other children. Teach them how to interact with strangers — and also when to feel wary around people they already know. Trying to supervise kids constantly may be less effective than teaching them how to look out for themselves.

May 21, 2012

Separate Beds Make for Happier Couples? {featured read}

Our paper ran a feature this past weekend on how separate sleep keeps the peace for couples. Apparently, about 25 % of all couples already do sleep in different beds or bedrooms, and it makes good sense to me. Different reading-in-bed habits. Snoring. Oven hot bodies. Squirminess. And more. For me, whether I share a bed with my husband or not at night has nothing to do with the quality of our sex life. On the contrary, separate rooms might spice things up. And allow us both to indulge a bit more in our own idiosyncratic preferences. Had we the space, I'd vote for it.

I'd like to hear what you all think. Check out the article with input from various separate-bed couples and tell me what you think in my comments section below.

Featured read: A separate sleep keeps the peace

May 14, 2012

Teen Sexuality, Becoming a Feminist, and Riot Grrrl {featured read}

Tomas Moniz of Rad Dad 22 has written a powerful essay on becoming a feminist, teaching his teenage girls about sexuality, and in general navigating class, race, politics, and warped attitudes to fathering. I heartily recommend the entire piece. Below is an excerpt.

The other day I found myself exclaiming to my two daughters, sixteen and fourteen respectively, don’t have sex until you’re in your twenties, but here are some condoms. 
I’m not sure if there is a better example of sending a mixed message.
I should explain.  The other night I discovered my oldest daughter had spent the night with her boyfriend. 
Now, I have consistently brought up sex with them and with their older brother who now lives on his own with a gaggle of twenty something young men in West Oakland.  And I have consistently been rebuffed, scoffed at, silenced by their stares, punctuated with a rolling of the eyes or a sigh of exhaustion.
‘Dad, please…..’
But I don’t let it stop me.  I know I’m not someone they want to confide in, and I actually cringe thinking about it if they did.  But I want to approach the discussion of their bodies, their rights, sex in general differently than the terse warning I received from my father to keep my dick in my pants or the silence around the subject from my mother.

May 7, 2012

Are You Celebrating May National Mastrubation Month?

The Examiner featured an article last week on why we still need to celebrate National Masturbation Month in May. It's a good read: Is May really National Masturbation Month?

And if you have kids, here's a link to my article on how to talk about masturbation with kids.

Observing national masturbation month last year, Love, Sex, and Family produced this little video, featuring me and my husband; co-founders of Love, Sex, and Family. Enjoy May! Solo or together.

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