Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Meaningful Parenting- My son, his Spermarche and his Sexuality.

"You don't have a daughter, you will not understand ".

"But why? I am a daughter too. I am a woman now but have personally experienced the journey from being a girl to a woman. Most importantly I have a son and I understand your fears and your worries very well. Because I have the same worries for my son.”

Ohh. Common. It’s different when you have a son and when you have a daughter?

Such as?

You know how it is?

No, I don't.

Well, you don't have to be constantly worried about her sexuality and what if a boy...?

But I have the same concerns- what if the girl?

‘What if’ exists both sides. Why put the burden of ‘what if’ on the boy only?
But ...
There is no But. Sexuality is for both, both have hormones, and both need to be educated and act responsibly.

The son is no infamous bull out there to slay every girl he meets and the girl has to be shielded from the outburst of testosterone. At least not in the society we live. Gone are the days when a son or a boy child was considered to roam about and do whatever he wants. The 'bull' phrase that is so often used in India to refer to son is collecting dust now.

Some parts of India and the world still reel under these dogmas but when I write here I write from my vantage point, talking to an educated and liberated audience who is on the same platform as mine. And when this audience reverberates the same old traditional sentiments- ‘you don't have a daughter, you will not understand’ I feel deeply saddened.

Let’s look at the issue we are talking about when such statements are made? It's about sexuality and the stage of adolescence. And both the boy and the girl go through this stage with their own set of turmoil and trepidation. It’s a stage of chaos, storm, and stress for both the gender. It’s a stage of newly found bodily changes and feelings thumping with energy and exhilaration too.

Wikipedia defines Human sexuality as the capacity of humans to have erotic experiences and responses. A person's sexual orientation can influence their sexual interest and attraction for another person. Sexuality may be experienced and expressed in a variety of ways; including thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, practices, roles, and relationships.

What are the biological changes that take place in a boy child as he reaches puberty?

The most important hormones for human growth are released by the pituitary glands located at the base of the brain. GROWTH hormones are the only pituitary secretions produced continuously throughout the life. And it affects the development of all tissues except the central nervous system and the genitals.

It is these growth hormones which doubles during puberty. Sexual maturation is controlled by pituitary secretions that stimulate the release of sex hormones. The famous ESTROGEN (primarily FEMALE HORMONE) And ANDROGEN (primarily MALE HORMONE) are present in each sex but in different amounts.

SEXUAL MATURATION IN BOYS- Androgens release testosterone which leads to muscle growth, body and facial hair and other sex characteristics. The testes also secrete a small amount of estrogen which explains why some boys experience temporary breast enlargement.
During puberty, young people attain an adult size body and become capable of producing offspring. And herein lies the worry for parents of both gender and not ONLY GIRLS.

Boys during this time develop primary sexual characteristics involving the reproductive organs such as penis, scrotum and testes. Secondary sexual characteristics involve the appearance of underarms and pubic hairs.

The first sign of puberty in boys is the enlargement of the testes a gland which produces sperms accompanied by changes in the texture and color of scrotum. Another very important landmark of male physical maturity is the deepening of the voice as the larynx enlarges and the vocal chords lengthen.
While the penis is growing, the prostate gland and seminal vesicles (which together produce semen, the fluid containing sperms) enlarge. Then around 13 year of age SPERMARCHE or the first ejaculation occurs.

  • Does it draw attention as much as a girl first menstruation or her MENARCHE?
  • Do parents take on the responsibility of discussing this with their sons?
  • Should parents engage in such conversation?

My boy has reached his adolescence stage and that makes me equally worried. Worried because I want him to tread this path RESPONSIBLY.

A girl menarche or the first menstruation is so talked about, hyped in some cultures and her puberty and growth are so protected and shielded, that we seem to totally forget about the fact that BOYS ALSO NEED the same understanding and care and education.

The issues of sexuality that worries a mother of a girl child, worries the mother of a boy child too. The responsibility both sides are the same. If a girl is capable of getting pregnant when she reaches puberty, the boy is also capable of making a girl pregnant and which is extremely worrisome.
Sexual attitudes and behaviors, becoming sexually active adolescents, contraceptive use, sexual orientation, sexually transmitted diseases, adolescence pregnancy, and parenthood are issues which need to be tackled at both ends. A boy can’t be running around irresponsibly and let the burden of 'sexuality and its related concerns' be on the shoulder of the girl.
If a parent is trying to protect, care and educate a girl on her sexuality, it is equally important to do the same with the boy child for it takes 'TWO TO TANGO' and you never know whose responsible behavior will actually save parents from these problems.

A responsible boy just said no to his girlfriend who said YES to sexual intimacy. He cares for her and likes her but more than that he respects her and understand what intimacy at this stage can lead to. It's not always a boy's fault or his 'bull ' attitude.
Giving attention to your boy child is equally important if not more. If we made our boy child responsible adults, we ensure that the girls don’t need to move around with fear.

Don't say then- I will not understand. I do because I have a son and he is not a bull.

To read more related articles click on the link below

My daughter, her sexuality and her first day of menstruation

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