This post is a copy of a Letter to the Editor I sent in to my local newspaper The Standard Examiner. I wrote this in response to an article about parents complaining that their children are taught about “breasts, how babies nurse, and penises.” I’ll let you guys know if it gets published.
To the parents who complained to Davis County School District about their fifth graders learning about breastfeeding. First off, really? Shame on you if your fifth grader doesn’t already know what breastfeeding is. It’s as simple as telling them “Some babies drink from bottles, some babies drink from breasts.” Only in a sociality like ours that has sexualized breasts to such a degree that we have have people thinking breastfeeding is sexual. Every few weeks I read about another mom being kicked out of Target or being forced to nurse her baby in the bathroom at Ikea. Breastfeeding is not sexual! Many moms don’t even try to breastfeed because they think it’s yucky (which they wouldn’t think if they didn’t think it was sexual) and those poor babies are put at a higher risk of a range of diseases including asthma, obesity, childhood leukemia, SIDS, diabetes, ear infections, etc. A study published in the journal Pediatrics earlier this week found that 911 less babies (in the United States) would die each year if breastfeeding rates were higher. By talking with these kids when they’re preteens, we’re getting it set in their minds that breastfeeding is good before they are anywhere close to having babies. Maybe those same kids will grow up without the preconceived notion that breastfeeding is sexual and hopefully that will save lives.