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Following College Fix report, sociology dept. website offers ‘clarification’ on childhood sexual activity

Website still advises parents to let children touch other children’s genitals, but it should be done ‘appropriately’ and ‘consensually’

A website run by University of California Santa Barbara’s sociology department recently doubled down on its advice to let children engage in “sexual play” following a College Fix report on the website’s bizarre content.

SexInfo Online, an informational website “maintained by students from the University of California, Santa Barbara who have studied advanced topics in human sexuality,” offers a wide variety of articles on human sexuality. As The College Fix reported earlier this month, one part of the website, titled “Childhood Sexuality,” stated that childhood sexual behavior is “normal” and that parents should react in a “positive” fashion when they discover children engaging in sexual acts.

“If a child is performing these activities excessively or in public, parents should sit down and talk with them about how these activities should be done in private versus of trying to thwart the activity altogether,” the website read.

Shortly after The College Fix published its report, the webpage on childhood sexuality was taken down. The page was subsequently republished with slight revisions, with the webpage still encouraging parents to permit child sexual behavior.

Now, the authors of the page advise parents who discover their children engaging in sex acts with other children “should consider talking with them about how these activities should be done privately, consensually, and appropriately” as “open communication and conversations about sexual activities usually are more effective than trying to ban the behavior altogether.”

The authors also added a paragraph about teaching children such principles as “good touch” versus “bad touch” and how it is “important to teach children to respect consent from a young age (in all situations, not just sexual ones).”

Reached for comment, campus spokeswoman Andrea Estrada told The College Fix: “The students wanted to make a clarification to the article. It is posted on the web site.” It is unclear if the clarification in question refers to the new paragraph about consent or the additional material about private, consensual and appropriate child sex behaviors. Estrada did not respond to further queries.

In addition to the edits to the childhood sexuality article, another section of the website, titled “Talking to Your Child about Sex,” received a revision.

At the time of The Fix’s original report, the article read: “It is important that children understand that viewing pornography is a normal habit, and that they do not need to be ashamed of it.”

Now, following The Fix’s report, the same article now states: “[P]arents should remind their child that, although sexuality may be a new part of their life worth exploring, they should resist the urge to rely on pornography or other platforms that misrepresent normal sexual behavior.”

“[W]e do not condone underage children seeking out and watching pornography,” the authors write elsewhere, though the article goes on to state that “adolescents should understand that viewing pornography is not uncommon, and that it can be used as a healthy outlet for some people who are exploring their sexuality.”

Reached via email, Geoffrey Raymond, the chair of the university’s sociology department, refused to comment on the changed material, though he suggested that The Fix‘s reporting on the sociology department website was some sort of attempt to suppress freedom of speech.

“I will not participate in your hate campaign or your efforts to end free speech on campus,” he wrote.

MORE: Sociology department website encourages parents to let children engage in ‘sexual play’

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About the Author
Ema Gavrilovic is a graduate student at DePaul University who studies clinical mental health counseling. At DePaul, she is involved with the DePaul College Republicans as well as with its chapter of Young Americans for Freedom.

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