Do Children Have the Right to Remain Innocent?

In a society where everything can be hyper sexualized, do children have the right to remain innocent to those aspects of adult life and what can be done to safeguard these rights?

Jori Reiken

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Children have the right to remain innocent of certain aspects of adult life. This right is a developmental right as children have the right to learn as they grow up. They do not need to know some aspects of adult life until they are older or ready for that information. Throughout this course, children’s rights have been outlined as protective and teachable to children. Children’s rights grow and expand as they get older and more mature. For example, children have the right to education, but within their education, children learn in a manner where they build on the information as they go through life. First, they start off learning the alphabet, then how to write basic words, then learn to write sentences…etc. These steps allow for children to understand and experience the different levels before jumping into the end result, in the previous example, writing an essay.

To safeguard this right of remaining innocent in certain aspects of adult life, adults around the child have to be aware of what messages they are exposing the child to. Taking the documentary as an example, exposing children to crop tops, bras, and sexualized experiences, might seem fairly normal in today’s age, but is potentially very harmful to children. By stopping purchasing these products, these normalized products will no longer be profitable for the companies who make them, causing them to change what they market to young people. Although, this type of action takes many people to make possible. A smaller initiative that parents or other adults in a child’s life can take would be to teach children to be respectful. As many products and media are heavily sexualized even when they are being marketed to children, it is important to normalize feelings with children and teach children how to deal with these feelings in a respectful manner. Previously in the semester, it was discussed that when children were taught in a rights based classroom, they would respectfully call out when someone was infringing on their right to education. This system, or a similar one could work when explaining sexuality and consent to children. When teaching these topics, teachers could use consent to explain that you do not have to follow what is…

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