It's only 12:30pm and I've already encountered a couple of things online that lead me to believe that a growing segment of today's kids are surprisingly sheltered.
The first incident involves an article I wrote on Helium.com several months ago. Helium often has debate titles that people can write under. One day back in March, I decided to write an article about why I feel we shouldn't have separate schools for kids who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered. I kept my article fairly brief, noting that high school is a tough place for anyone who doesn't "fit in". We don't create "separate but equal" facilities for other groups who feel oppressed by cruel people in school. Why should we do it for people who aren't heterosexual?
Well... today, I got a respectful email from a young man who read my article and feels that as a homosexual, he should have had a special place to go to school, where he wouldn't be treated badly because of his sexual orientation. I started to think about it and still came to the conclusion that it would be a mistake to separate homosexuals from heterosexuals. After all, this fellow feels that he's been treated badly because he's different. If he gets a special school because of his sexual orientation-- which, by the way, is none of my business-- he's really going to be treated like he's different and set apart. What's more, I'm guessing that a special school is not going to solve the problem. I bet he would find that people in the special LGBT school would divide into cliques among themselves. That's how people are.
It seems that once again, I've run into someone who laments being "special", but yet feels like he should get "special treatment". It doesn't make any sense to me. Separate but equal didn't work in the 1950s and 60s and I don't think it would work now. What struck me about this guy's email is that it revealed that he hadn't really thought much about the issue. He'd only thought about it from his rather narrow point of view... a point of view that supposedly came from someone already in their mid 20s.
The next issue that came up involved porn. A mother on a certain Web site for mothers wrote that she had blocked Amazon.com from her computer because her son is almost 8 years old. She realized that Amazon sells lingerie and worried that her son would see women in their underwear. This woman went on to say that she was going to make it her mission to see that this kid was sheltered from seeing any erotic images whatsoever before his 16th birthday. And she said she was planning to talk to friends and relatives about her goal and let them know that her boy wasn't allowed to do anything at their house that might expose him to seeing someone in their underwear.
I'm thinking this lady is going to fail. Sexual imagery is everywhere, even if you don't watch TV, read magazines, or look at Amazon.com. It's on billboards. It's on people who don't dress modestly. It's in music and in movies and books. Sex is a part of life. Growing boys will be exposed to it on some level, even if it's only in their imaginations.
But... to each their own, I guess.