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Gay Parenting 101: Don't Children Need Opposite Sex Role Models? - Mo's Journal
April 5th, 2007
02:03 pm

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Gay Parenting 101: Don't Children Need Opposite Sex Role Models?

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From:mofic
Date:April 5th, 2007 08:12 pm (UTC)
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Sex education is an interesting area. I find that a lot of heterosexual parents bring it up in connection with reproduction - the whole "where do babies come from?" bit. Of course, for our kids, where babies come from is not related to sex, so I think we need to talk to our kids about sex in different contexts. But I actually think it's better for *all* parents to do that, rather than set kids up to believe that sex is for the purpose of getting pregnant. After all, of all the thousands of times people - even heterosexual people :-) - have sex, very few of them are for the purpose of procreation. Sex has lots of functions in our lives and I think we can explain that in age appropriate ways at a variety of ages.

In terms of explaining who the parents are, we always talked in terms of family structure, not sexuality, because it's more meaningful to little kids and because it's more relevant to parenting. So we said to our kids from when they were very, very small that there are all kinds of families. And we'd say things like "Some kids have two mommies. Who do you know who has two mommies?" ("Me! and Ned and Timmy and...") "Some kids have two daddies. Who do you know who has two daddies?" and so on (yes, acknowledging that some kids have one of each :-), some have one parent, some live with grandparents, etc. It helps to have a social circle that reflects family diversity, but books can help, too. We had a number of them that showed alternative families of varying kinds and others that didn't specify (e.g. showed a father with a child, and no mention of who else is in the family) so we could fill in the blanks.

Those same explanations worked with the kids' friends, and with educating educators. One of the things I used to say in my public speaking days is that I want teachers to be just as comfortable answering "Why doesn't Susie have a daddy?" as they are answering "Why doesn't Susie have a little sister?" The answer is the same in both cases (families come in different sizes and shapes and have different people in them) and the question is really the same, too: "Why isn't Susie's family just like mine?"

Does that answer your question, or part of it? I'm not sure what you want to know about sexual orientation and/or STDs. I advocate - for both heterosexual and queer parents - not buying into compulsory heterosexuality and challenging statements that assume it ("Oh your baby boy is so adorable. He'll be quite the ladykiller soon." "Your daughter and my son are so cute together. She's his little girlfriend!" etc). And I think all children should be educated about health issues, including STDs but I also think that the scare tactics used to promote abstinence are really wrongheaded.
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From:realpestilence
Date:April 6th, 2007 11:14 am (UTC)
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I wasn't asking for myself. I was putting up a topic for your essay list-the last time I read an entry, you'd asked for suggestions to write about next. I just didn't have time to page back through your lj to find it.


I was curious as to how other parents might handle the issue. I learned from the kids at school long before my mom thought it necessary to tell me about sex. I'm still not sure my dad realizes I'm old enough for it, heh. I've learned more about sexuality in a year through lj than I did growing up. It wasn't a deliberate effort to stifle the subject, but they were very uncomfortable talking about it, in part due to my mom's having been abused.





Pesti

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From:mofic
Date:April 6th, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC)
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wasn't asking for myself. I was putting up a topic for your essay list-the last time I read an entry, you'd asked for suggestions to write about next.

LOL! Silly me. And here I practically wrote an essay in response :-).

Funny about learning about sexuality on lj. What have you learned?
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From:realpestilence
Date:April 21st, 2007 05:46 am (UTC)
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Sorry to take so long, I've been working an awful schedule & didn't have time to answer before.


The on-line community in general, and specifically lj, has definitely opened my eyes to just how many different ways of *being* there are, and of being sexual. I've read a lot, and am fairly unflappable when confronted with fiction that details something outside of my experience; but it's different when you're talking to a real person who lives a certain way, or does these things. It's harder to judge the act itself as being bad, when you know your friend X does it-and you like that person.


I've definitely learned a lot of new sex acts, too! *laughs* Frottage, rimming, fisting...I was all wide-eyed when I first started stumbling across the more graphic fics a few years ago. Now, I read more for plot-though of course nice sex is a pleasant bonus. *coughs* But after I've read about this position and that position for the umpteenth time, it doesn't mean as much to me as *why* they're doing it, *how* it affects their lives/friends/family, and *what* happens next.

I realized that's why I don't like most actual romance novels-I want more from the plot than cute meet/squabbling disguised as sex/falling into bed. If I demand it of my rl novels, why not my fanfic? Huh.


Mostly, I think I've learned from being involved in various fandoms and in dealing with certain friends I've met there, to discuss sexual and other matters with less embarassment. Removing the shame and guilt from sex is a major factor in getting people to handle it responsibly.


Pwp=porn with purpose! *laughs*




Pesti
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From:mofic
Date:April 22nd, 2007 01:44 pm (UTC)
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This was all really interesting to read! I'm fascinated by how reading/writing fanfic interacts with our day-to-day lives in all areas. Sex is a particularly interesting one :-). Taking advantage of lj anonymity and frankness: has it affected your sexual behavior at all? Do you find yourself not only learning about new sex acts but trying them as well?

An area where I find fanfic has really changed my life is in reading. I never wrote fiction before fanfic, and I find that I *read* fiction differently now that I write slash. I think more about how the book is structured, about plotting and character development and foreshadowing. It's not like I didn't think about those things before - I've certainly taken plenty of literature classes and I think I've always had a fairly sophisticated approach to reading and understanding literature. But I feel it differently now that I do it - I identify with the author making those decisions in ways I never did before. It really enhances the experience for me.

Oh, and speaking of reading, I've started an online book club. [Bad username: ]kestrelsparhawk] thought you might be interested. We read a book a month, taking turns choosing it, and then discuss it in email. I got the idea because a number of my friends on my working mothers list were lamenting not having time to go to a real book club. Would you like to know more? Send me an email, if so, and I'll send you the charter.
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From:realpestilence
Date:May 22nd, 2007 01:47 pm (UTC)
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Regarding my sexual experimentation, I'd have to say that involvement in fandom has affected me a little. I was going to say not at all, but I *have* since purchased a vibrator, and that's a direct result of discussion with my on-line friend jennagc; she's a former mod at my HP groups and a good mentor-sisterly influence on me. She's very good at the frank sex talk without making me feel embarassed about either my ignorance or my curiosity. That's a real gift. But otherwise, no...I'm a virgin and inclined to stay that way. Yeah, it's by choice, which is hard for some people to accept.



The book club sounds fun. I'm interested, but I can't say that I'd be able to participate very much. I work 2 jobs and between my fandom activities and my reading for 50bookchallenge, I don't know if I can pack another book a month in there. Hmm. Unless I count it towards the 50...*smacks forehead*

Yes, go ahead and send me the info, please. I'd like to look at it. That's great that you started one for yourselves-really shows you one of the best uses of lj and the on-line community. Not just for porn, hard as it is to believe! *is amazed*



I'm going to be visiting Kestrelsparhawk for about a week. We're going to Wiscon together, with some of her friends. I'll be leaving tomorrow and it's so funny-we send each other emails all day, simultaneously freaking out about housecleaning and grocery shopping and reassuring each other that it'll be all right *sobs*

I'm very nervous, about the flight and everything. *bites nails* We've been talking about this trip for a good 6 months or so, it's hard to believe it's finally here!




Pesti
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From:realpestilence
Date:May 22nd, 2007 01:49 pm (UTC)
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My email address is realpestilence@yahoo.com or realpestilence@gmail.com . I don't know how soon I'll be able to get back to you on this but I will.

Thanks,
Pesti
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From:mofic
Date:May 22nd, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
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How cool that you and kestrelsparhawk are going to Wiscon together! I know she had fun at it last year.

I just saw her Saturday night, but it was a big dinner table and we didn't get much chance to talk.

I'll email you about the book club.
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