Ever since her book, Not That Kind of Girl – a collection of non-fictional essays – was released in September, Girls star Lena Dunham has had to defend herself against accusations that she “sexually molested” her one-year-old sister when she was seven.
The actress was accused by blogger Ben Shapiro in Truth Revolt, who cites a passage from her book where Lena describes asking her mother if her sister’s vagina looked like hers and proceeds to check for herself.
While the story is a little unsettling, is this kind of curiosity not simply part of growing up? It’s normal for young boys to play with their penis and to flash it at girls, not in a sexual way but rather in a boys being gross kind of way. And the same can be said for girls who are curious by the female form and how it differs from males.
While touching, exploring and trying to understand certain aspects of the body is a stage that every child goes through, there is the line that they shouldn’t cross.
Here are three tips to help you handle any inappropriate actions from your child and to understand when a line is crossed.
Explain what is not ok
It is important you explain to your child that inappropriate touching is not ok without them feeling like they have done something wrong. There is nothing wrong with being curious but they need to know touching other people’s private parts is not ok. Explain how they are private and that they are not for other people to look at.
The importance of age
Age is important when knowing if a line has been crossed. A child over the age of nine or ten is well aware that they shouldn’t be touching anyone or being involved in activities that involve nudity, but someone under seven is usually simply being curious.
Are they aware of what they are doing
If they go out with the intention of hurting someone or have been asked to stop by the other party then all innocence is gone and you need to take swift action. Once they become aware of sexuality and are exploring that rather than simply being body curious, then it has become something else.