By Anna Orso
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As columnist Anna Orson reports, “As the #MeToo movement has brought forth a flood of conversations about sexual harassment and misconduct, experts have suggested the best way to reduce sexual harassment in future generations is to start better educating boys now.”
Dr. Elizabeth Robinson always told her four sons to wear their coats even when they didn’t want to, to clear their plates when they insisted they weren’t hungry, to wear something to school that wasn’t pajamas.
But Robinson, whose kids are now ages 16 to 22, has changed her parenting philosophies over the years.
Now, the pediatrician tells the parents of her patients not to force a kid to eat when they’re not hungry. Let ’em wear those worn PJs to school, as hard as it may be. It’s about teaching kids to listen to their own bodies — bodies they should learn they have control over from a young age.
“We can only be their bosses for so long,” said Robinson of Center City Pediatrics in Bala Cynwyd.
Robinson says these lessons can make conversations about sex and consent easier down the line. And as the #MeToo movement has brought forth a flood of conversations about sexual harassment and misconduct, experts have suggested the best way to reduce sexual harassment in future generations is to start better educating boys now.
Kathryn Stamoulis, an expert in adolescent sexuality, said while parents should have conversations with both boys and girls about consent, harassment, and rape, “we are doing our kids a disservice if we pretend this issue isn’t gendered.” According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 91 percent of victims of rape and sexual assault are female.
Stamoulis said parents should address consent with boys to tamp down on “male entitlement.”