Letter of the Week: 'How are we raising our male children'?
- Credit: ARCHANT
In the wake of the death of Sarah Everard, a view I'm not hearing expressed enough is the need to examine where such violence towards women begins.
How are we raising our male children? What kind of culture do we surround them with? Subliminal messages are powerful. What do they learn as they grow up, about what's acceptable and what isn't? We can all sometimes resort to sloppy language or tell jokes that can imply certain behaviour is acceptable - and children absorb this.
But what alarms me the most is how common it is for young males today to have easy access to pornography via their phones, much of which portrays sexual violence towards females. This is not about supporting censorship, but asking what do our young boys see portrayed as 'normal' before they've even had a relationship? This is a great concern among experts in the field of adolescent sexuality and psychology.
Is there an equivalent quantity of easily accessible pornography showing female sexual violence towards males? I very much doubt it.
It's at least as important to focus on prevention, as it is on damage-limitation and punishment. Every parent of a male child has a part to play. It's never too soon.