Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Won't somebody please think of the children!"

When reading Foucault's The History of Sexuality, all I could think of was this quick clip from The Simpsons. A large portion of our reading focuses on the repression of sexuality in children, as it becomes generally accepted that it is unnatural for children to be sexually aware or active. Foucault speaks of German secondary schools in the 18th century that taught sex to children in the least sexual way, to ensure that there was nothing perverse in their understanding. The children were able to talk about sex without any embarrassment because sex became solely scientific. Children are separated by gender early on, due to a fear that any sexual experimentation should happen between them.

Children and sexuality is a major issue in our culture. We all know the joke about kids asking their parents where babies come and the awkwardness that follows. I also remember the whole scandal of hugging at school and the debate over whether it should be allowed or not. Here's an article from the New York Times about banning hugging, it's a bit old but it serves its purpose.

In this clip, the the wife of the town's reverend asks in outrage if anyone will think of the children. I forget what this is in reference to, but really it doesn't matter. I believe her comment is supposed to be random and out of context and the ridiculousness of her exclamation highlights the extreme to which concern over children has reached.


  1. There was totally a hugging ban in my high school. A think a guy in my grade organized a protest day where everyone would just hug each other at random times whenever authority figures were around. It was hilarious, but thinking about it in terms of comparing small children and high schoolers, it is kind of ridiculous to think about.