Many people assume that as a childlover, I must appreciate the move in society towards the sexualization of children, particularly in the news media. They think that I must derive some sort of benefit from the encouragement of increasingly sexual behavior amongst children as well as the marketing of increasingly provocative clothing for children. Unfortunately, just the opposite is true. The commercialization of sex and the elevation of a child as a sexual object are precisely the opposite of that for which I strive.
The Hypocritical Society
I find it astonishing the amount of child sexualization that society has accepted in light of the repressive attitude the same society takes towards sexual activity by young people. It is disingenuous to allow the constant flow of sexual images and messages reaching young people today and then push to teach abstinence to these same young people in the nation’s schools and churches. It is not even necessary to watch television to be exposed to these messages. Advertising is full of images that sexualize children, and many films targeted at youth have blatantly sexual themes.
At first blush, this may indeed appear to be a boon for amarsi by those who do not understand us. It is, however, very counterproductive to our cause. The primary reason is that the main message emerging from modern media is that sex is a commodity and that sexiness is a method by which one can obtain what he/she desires.
Sacred versus Profane
While the site of a young provocatively dressed girl does indeed arouse me, my goal is not to obtain the girl for merely sexual purposes, but to become her friend and her lover. Sexual activity is not my primary focus. My primary focus is establishing a relationship with the girl, to enter her world and to reveal to her my world; to see the world through her eyes, and enable her to capture a glimpse of the world she does not yet know. Sexual activity with her is then the physical expression of the emotional and spiritual bond that has grown between us, an intimate affirmation of the trust and respect that we feel for each other.
One of the primary objections raised by those opposed to amaros is that young people are not sufficiently equipped to cope with the deep emotions related to sexuality. I would counter that young people are very much a product of their environment. If their environment constantly reinforces to them that gratuitous sex is acceptable, even desirable, then it is very unlikely that they will understand that sexual activity can be a profound spiritual experience. If their environment demonstrated to them that sex can be a positive and enriching experience with somebody that you love, rather than teaching them that sex is ‘dirty’ or ‘nasty’, then they are much more likely to develop a healthy attitude towards sexuality.
Ignorance Is Not Bliss
The real danger to young people today is that they are unable to reconcile the blatantly glamorized sexual media images they receive with the current of repressive attitudes towards sexuality that they receive from society. Yet more damage is done by withholding practical information from young people. A lack of information is not a deterrent. Especially in a world awash with sexuality, we should expect that children will experiment with their sexuality. Instead of telling them to stay away from something that they find exciting and know to be immensely pleasurable, we should provide them with as much knowledge as possible so that they can distinguish themselves between sacred and profane love.
If young people are not emotionally equipped to handle sexual relations, it is not their fault. It is our fault for not guiding them correctly. Proper role models, open discussion and a more positive attitude towards sexuality would empower young people to make sensible choices about when and with whom to become intimate. Society has tried for long enough to deny the universality of sexuality, and like St. Paul has gone about persecuting those who have more enlightened views towards sex. The road to Damascus is nigh.