I was speaking at a local elementary school the other night and one of the moms asked me a great question. I was talking about the sexualization of young girls and she asked me what to do about our boys. I didn’t understand what she was after at first and thought she was asking about the sexualization of boys.
Then the light bulb went on and what she was wondering about is how do we help our boys deal with these girls who look and act sexy at, say, 10? How do we teach them to be respectful and not get hooked into the girls’ inappropriate behavior – like offering oral sex like it’s a handshake? What do we say and do to help them navigate this tricky world we live in?
I have some ideas, but more importantly, what are yours? How will you talk to your boys about what life is like for our girls these days? How will you explain to your son why it’s inappropriate for a10 year old girl to dress like a 16 year old? What are you values and beliefs about what clothes, books, movies and TV shows are appropriate at what age?
I think it’s worth the effort to grapple with these questions. When our boys are given clear guidance and boundaries about what I can only imagine are some very confusing messages, they’ll do better. My hope is they’ll be better partners and better friends and, in turn, our girls will make better choices.