The Fear of Child Sexuality

The Fear of Child Sexuality

by Peter Fritz Walter

All discussions about children’s pretended asexuality are but fights about words; most fears about trauma through early sexual experiences are projections of adults’ own fears and armoring against natural biological functions. 

The most devastating effects in adult-child sexual encounters do not result from sex but from fear and panic associated with engaging in a tabooed and not coded form of conduct. An analogy to this situation can be seen in the psychological reasons for drowning accidents. 

While infants can swim without having learnt swimming, older children and adults lost this ability because of the fear associated with drowning. Research has shown that lots of people who died of drowning could have been saved if they had received proper psychological training for coping with panic. 

Adults’ fear of water is irrational in much the same way as is orgasmic fear, water, in the subconscious, being associated with emotions and sexuality. 

Society is for a large part responsible for the killing of children in chaotic sexual encounters because of its refusal to socially code certain forms of behavior, and thus insert these possible relationships into its social code.

This is a collective form of irresponsibility that hits society at large in much the same way, or even more, than the individual perpetrator. Moral wars and hysteria cannot replace responsible laws and rules of conduct; in the contrary, they tend to prevent or disable such rules. This is one of the most obvious reasons why the whole spectrum of intergenerational sexuality must be coded socially. 

A social code is much more than a legal statute in that it encompasses certain forms of conduct that are socially acceptable. Social coding of this form of conduct would ensure that violence and chaotic reactions are minimized, while our present policies produce chaos, confusion, insecurity and, at worst, a new form of civil war. It has been shown by different research that there is a functional link between the repression of the human sexual drive and the upsurge of violence. It is first of all the repression of the child’s natural sexual function and the social disapproval of tactile pleasure for certain age groups that prepares the ground for domestic and sexual violence. 

In postmodern international consumer culture, violence serves a compensatory function for the frustration of body pleasure. The modern-day collective denial of emotional and sexual freedom for children has greatly facilitated the establishment of authoritarian, totalitarian, fascist and irresponsible forms of government. And sex repression has not begun with Christianity: it is a direct result of patriarchy. Even in ancient times, sexual freedom was a matter for the adult male only while women and girls generally did not enjoy sexual freedom in patriarchal society. 

If it is true, as all research shows, that violence is the result of sex repression, it is only logical to assume that every step in liberalizing sex laws is a step toward more peace and less violence. The question of child sexuality has to be considered in the larger context of the child’s emotional life. In their play, children express what shattered their emotions. By playing sexually, children can overcome their initial fear of sex as it is part of our unnatural culture and thus develop sexual maturity with less complexes, less hurt, and more enjoyment. This is one of the reasons why adults should be permissive and not punitive toward children’s sex play.

What causes child trauma is first of all the destruction of emotional bonds with peers or adults they love. This is why child trauma is often brought about through the ordained destruction of love relations as a result of law enforcement and persecution. 

Modern society is child-centered in that it has developed a certain protectiveness which is, well understood, a concern for our own future. 

The modern concept of child protection is a direct result of this concern. But we must also see that such protectiveness may well serve as a pretext for control and terror, and less democracy for the generations to come.

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