6 Ways Parents Can Discourage Slut-Shaming

slut-shaming

Shaming girls for their sexual proclivities starts young — super young actually. For every articulate 13-year-old who makes a YouTube video addressing slut-shaming, there are probably hundreds of girls and boys, and even adults,  who actively partake in the trend without thinking twice about it. And just so we’re all clear on our definitions, slut-shaming is defined as:

…the idea of shaming and/or attacking a woman or a girl for being sexual, having one or more sexual partners, acknowledging sexual feelings, and/or acting on sexual feelings.

This happens often in everything from real life crimes to TV shows and it is unfortunately being transmitted to our kids. Small comments about the wardrobe of a girl in their class to a peer pursuing her first boyfriend are just a couple of scenarios in which slut-shaming can occur, in both parents and kids. But if we want to instill boys and girls with a genuine respect for women that isn’t rife with double standards and sexual shame, parents need to address the complicated terrain of slut-bashing regardless of if they have sons or daughters. So even if you don’t allow the word “slut” in your house, make sure that you’re also sticking to following rules.

(photo: sandrafoo.com)

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    • Richard Louis

      It’s too bad that this site exists. You ought to repent. If you repented and believed in Jesus, you would know the truth, and throw all of your junked opinions away. Good for you, to tell women it’s ok to dress like a whore, so they can go to hell, and go there all the quicker by being raped because of how they dressed and killed. Or, do I misinterpret your stance?

      • Somnilee

        You, sir, have entirely misinterpreted the author’s stance. As far as I am confident to express, Koa believes that we should not make flash judgements on women for their style of dress, or “condemn them to hell” based on our own fallacious interpretations of their actions. Who knows why a woman chooses to dress that way? It doesn’t stop her having worth as a person.
        I hate to validate bringing religion into this but I feel I must: Jesus was friends with literal whores, Jesus saw that there was more to them than what society had made of them. Perhaps, if you want to emulate his actions so righteously, you might consider spending your time and energy helping young people achieve more than the superficial traits that have been thrust upon them, rather than attacking the women who are actually trying to make a difference.

      • Steph

        LOL.

      • LoveyDovey

        So not only have you not read the book you claim to follow, but you TOTALLY miss the point of the article- or do you in fact truly believe that a rape can be deserved? You’re disgusting.

        Either that or we’re being trolled, in which case, good for you, you got some bites.

      • Canaduck

        “Or, do I misinterpret your stance?”

        Yes, obviously.

    • CW

      Wow, the only one of these that I would actually feel comfortable teaching my children is #4. No one deserves to endure sexual assault no matter what the circumstances might be. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what the girl/woman ‘s appearance and/or behavior is, it’s the guy’s responsibility to maintain self-control and not force himself upon an unwilling victim. Other than that, I couldn’t disagree more with the rest of this post. Sex is wonderful and natural, but it is only moral when it is between a lawfully wedded husband and wife. I’d like to see the “double standard” ended by holding men and boys to a HIGHER standard rather than ending so-called “slut shaming” of girls and women. We need MORE social disapproval of promiscuous behavior, not less.

      • Leigha7

        Why, exactly, is sex only moral between a married, heterosexual couple? Please provide an answer that has nothing to do with God or religion (since not everyone believes in God or cares about religion, and you can’t demand that people adhere to the rules/beliefs of a religion they don’t belong to).

        I can think of no non-religious reasons why sex between consenting adults would be immoral, especially if said adults are in a relationship. To be honest, the only difference between a close, committed, long-term unmarried couple and a married couple is a piece of paper. How, exactly, does that piece of paper make sex magically okay?

        Honestly, I would argue that waiting until you’re married to have sex is generally a bad idea. Sexual incompatibility is a real thing, and if you wait until you’re married to have sex, you have NO idea if you and your partner are compatible. Sex certainly isn’t the most important thing in a marriage, but it is (in a monogamous marriage, at least) the one thing you can ONLY get from your spouse. If you end up being incompatible, it can seriously weigh on your marriage and leave you feeling unfulfilled with no real way to fix it (compromising can only do so much, and if it’s a physical incompatibility–which, though uncommon, does happen–compromise isn’t even an option). Seriously, go look at some people’s accounts of the situation. It’s heartbreaking.

        For clarification, I think that DECIDING to wait is perfectly fine, but if you’re waiting because you’ve been told it’s wrong not to, then it isn’t really your decision at all–you just did it because you were “supposed to.” And that’s just as wrong as having sex because you felt you were supposed to, even though you didn’t really want to (by which I don’t mean rape, I mean consensual sex that you didn’t really want to have, which is a horrible thing to do to yourself). What you’re “supposed to” do shouldn’t even enter into the equation. No one should have to spend their life feeling sexually unfulfilled just because they were told premarital sex was wrong. (Also, constantly being told that premarital sex is immoral can CAUSE people to feel guilty and suffer from low self-esteem and self-hatred if they choose to have sex, even though they might have felt perfectly happy with their decision under other circumstances, which is a cruel thing to do to someone.)

        The only reason premarital sex was ever considered immoral, by the way, is because of the risk of STDs and out-of-wedlock babies. Neither of those are of serious concern anymore, so there is no reason to frown upon premarital sex.

        (Side note about something else you said: Not all victims of sexual assault are women, and not all perpetrators are men. It is entirely possible for men to rape men, women to rape women, and women to rape men.)

      • mikoda

        I agree.

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    • Cheryl

      This is a great article. As a mommy blogger who talks about teens and their attitudes towards sex, I think this is a great discussion to have with kids. I plan to hold one of my ‘teen focus groups’ (because there are always lots of teens hanging out at my house) to see what they think about provocative dressing and how we can look beyond it. Empathy is important in my home and this is just an extension of good parenting conversations. Check out my blog at Urbanmommys.com

    • Cheryl

      Also wanted to give Ms. Beck kudos for approving comments that she may find personally vile on her blog and giving voice to various opinions. I know from experience that it is sometimes really difficult to do.

    • Meethu

      I think being reprimanded and shamed for certain things is a good thing, the world has come to what it is with thirteen year olds knowing wayyy more about sex than their older siblings BECAUSE of this slap on the wrist attitude. Slut-shaming is effective. Period.

    • rynoth25

      This is the same type of nonsense that “New-age” “Hip” parents buy
      into. “I let my son/daughter wear a cape, winter boots, and a pink tutu
      to school because they’re expressing themselves.” And then you wonder
      why they get beat up all the time.

      On the topic of clothes and
      behaviors here’s an interesting correlation. All the girls in my school
      who were regarded as “sluts” or dressed in a “slutty” way and had “tons
      of boyfriends” I didn’t see go to college. I saw them years later when I
      went home for a visit. They had stayed in the exact same hick small
      town I grew up in, married to or divorced from a loser and had about 3 -
      5 kids living in a trailer park. Probably because they cared more about
      sex, or cool clothes, or boys than an education, or a career, or their
      future.

      I think teaching kids about safe sex is a must, I also
      think teaching them about too much of a good thing, and the importance
      of their future is just as, if not more important. Teach them how to
      have safe sex, then also teach them how messed up their future will be
      if they have a kid at 16.

      Teach them how to conform and fit in
      because like it or not conforming is an important part of growing up. It
      has to be done because you need a starting foundation before you can
      start exploring your individuality. It teaches you what’s ok, and what
      isn’t. It teaches you how to interact with your peers and make friends.

      If
      your tutu/cape/winter boot wearing child asks you why he/she gets beat
      up at school. Any parent who says, “It’s because they’re jealous of your
      free-spirit.” or “If they can’t accept you for who you are, then you
      shouldn’t want them as friends.”

      I hope you enjoy raising a
      momma’s boy, or daddy’s girl with no social skills and zero friends who
      will probably be on anti-depressants by the time they’re 10.

      Same
      goes for your thong showing, boy-crazy, vapid, daughters. You’re the
      parent. You pay for everything they own, drink, or eat. If you don’t
      invest in your kid’s future, you’re not doing a good job. You don’t tell
      them what’s expected of them; how are they gonna know? This whole
      nonsense of “If it feels good then do it.” Needs to stop.

    • guest

      to Richard Louis comment.its not about what a women wears.its about slut shaming.what a person wears is not a sin.can you not see that slut shaming is wrong period.