Will Children's Media Eventually Be Comfortable with Discussing Polygamy and Polyamory?
Posted on Nov. 19, 2020, 9:06 p.m. by DemonDragonJ
In recent years, media intended for children has become more comfortable with addressing the topics of homosexuality, bisexuality, and even transsexuality, which is great, as that indicates that society overall has become more comfortable with discussing those subjects, so I naturally am hoping that children's media will eventually be comfortable with discussing the subjects of polygamy and polyamory, as that will be an indication that society overall is comfortable with those subjects.
What does everyone else say about this? Will children's media eventually be comfortable with discussing polygamy and polyamory?
Not even close to bisexuality etc. in relevance
November 19, 2020 9:59 p.m.
I’m not sure if that’s something I can see being part of children’s media. The (admittedly only semi-related) comparison I’d make is that I will never expect BDSM to be part of an elementary schooler’s education. It’s not a matter of society becoming comfortable with it. It’s that if a child misunderstands the topic, the repercussions can be drastic. There’s a fine line between being polygamous and being a cheater. That line is communicating your intentions to your partner, something children are not good at. Just like how teaching a young child about BDSM could lead to them killing a partner due to not understanding restraint.
I do agree that polygamy should be socially accepted, and I would love to see it be something that teens learn about in (for example) sex-ed. But I don’t expect it to end up being as wide-ranging as education on LGBTQIA+ Your 10 year old son kissing a boy instead of a girl won’t have as big a “crash and burn” as him breaking his boyfriend’s heart by kissing another boy in front of him when he didn’t know about this other relationship.
I’d say though, I’m not an expert on child psychology, but I’d say that if you’re talking about relationships with the kid, the possibility of multiple partners should be mentioned, even if it’s just mentioned as a side note (or just given the nod of saying “partner/s”.
November 19, 2020 10:13 p.m.
It would need to be executed well in a non-cringe inducing way that doesn't spread a bunch of misinformation that sets children down a path of toxic behavior.
November 20, 2020 2:57 a.m. Edited.
RNR_Gaming, what "toxic behavior" could it teach?
VampDemigod, that makes sense; it would be better to address such subjects in media for adolescents than in media for children.
November 20, 2020 7:19 a.m.
Eventually yes (at least in part). As society becomes more accepting of non-monogamy as a valid thing, aspects of non-monogamy would creep into media. For example, more books depicting families with multiple parents/sets of parents that aren't necessarily all biological etc.
November 20, 2020 9:24 a.m.
Examples of toxic behavior would be teaching people that cheating on partners is ok just because they're polyamorous etc.
Polyamory requires informed consent of all parties involved in the relationship(s), but I've known people IRL who cheat on their partner(s) and say, "it's ok, I'm polyamorous!" Different polycules function under different rules, but generally there's an agreed upon system in place for dating/hookups etc that everyone is supposed to adhere too.
Consent is the cornerstone of non-monogamy, much like any healthy relationship. But due to the extra social balances required to manage a non-monogamous relationship, it creates more opportunities for abuse as well by opportunistic/toxic people.
November 20, 2020 9:29 a.m.
The age group you are discussing matters. How young are you talking about? Also, gender identity and gender expression are not the same thing as sexual orientation.
Mostly, I don't see anything wrong with children being exposed to conversations or media relating to identity and expression.
But sexuality seems like something that would just confuse pre-pubescent children. You would be discussing feelings and experiences they are not having yet. Which would be like explaining neurons to a 3 year old. So, they might hear the words, but not be able to point at it and say, "I understand". I would think that would wait until they were post-pubescent teens, maybe.
November 20, 2020 11:08 a.m.
DemonDragonJ, Massacar basically covered it. Consent and communication are the cornerstones of any relationship. It doesn't matter if it's one partner or seven - consent is always required. Boundries need to be set and each member of the relationship should be informed of those boundaries. Polyamorous relationships are taxing on both the body and mind; there's zero room for childish self serving behaviors. I've had poly friends and for the most part their relationships all crumbled because of their intentions and approach. Lines get blurred and bad choices get made - leading to a lot of hurt feelings and potential for STDs; inform all partners if you intend on adding someone to the relationship, explain all boundries and get regularly tested. Relationships are hard but rewarding. It's easy to have sex with multiple partners but it's very hard to maintain a healthy open relationship with multiple people - I respect anyone with the capacity to do it in a healthy way where everyone is happy, no one is deprived of affection and no one gets any diseases. There's more to it than just boning a lot of different people and it'd be important to communicate the responsibilities and the hard parts to children in a palatable way.
November 20, 2020 12:06 p.m.
Well, I remember Steven Universe had a character that represented that topic and I’m sure it’s been covered in some other ways where that character wasn’t present in that show too.
Personally, I could never see myself in a polygamous relationship, because I’ve been cheated on before and the idea of adding more people to my current relationship would drive my anxiety up to eleven.
Based on Steven Universe’s representation of the subject I wouldn’t say I felt outraged or turned off by it if I were to look at that aspect alone. And I think I’d be more okay with seeing it in other forms of media as well as kids media if it were handled the same way.
Personally, I think kids are a lot smarter than we’d ever give them credit for and I don’t like the idea of withholding stuff away from them for the sake of their “innocence.” Don’t get me wrong, I would never be up for showing sexual content or senseless violence, but there’s a lot of other topics we leave out that I think should be reconsidered and reevaluated. Having kids be aware of polygamy I think has it’s benefits, because keeping that information away isn’t going to prevent those kids from becoming adults who may end up in polygamous relationships anyways. The least we could do is provide media demonstrating what constitutes a healthy and unhealthy relationship regardless of what the relationship in question that consists of. That way if those kids ultimately end up being in such a relationship as adults they’ll be better equipped to assess for themselves if it’s something truly right for them.
This might be more controversial but I do think kids should also be more aware of the dangers of pedophilia as well. I’m currently in a non-straight relationship and seeing media portray non-straight relationships is sweet, but I feel too much talk about relationships in general can give kids the impression that any relationship has the potential to be okay. Growing up as a kid myself I remember PSA’s about stranger danger and at school needing to sit at a presentation conducted by local law enforcement on the dangers of getting into a stranger’s car as well as other interactions to avoid. Looking back on those now I don’t think they ever went far enough on convincing me and my peers about why you should avoid adult strangers you don’t know. I mean the warnings were played constantly, but whenever it came to the explanation why, it never seemed to me that it carried the same level of urgency that it was repeated as. Darn, the worse thing that will happen is I’ll find out there really is no puppy in the car. Darn the worse thing that will happen is I’ll find out there really were no late Christmas presents with my name on it in this person’s house. As an adult now I more than well recognize the importance of those PSA’s but as a kid it always felt like a frivolous thing adults obsessed about. Of course you can’t tell children flat out they’ll get molested or murdered, but there has to be some way of getting the message to stick than just, the puppies and presents are a lie trick. Kids are smart and they need to know to some extent why some adults would want to pull dumb tricks like that on them, otherwise the severity of the situation is lost on them.