Signs of SSA


#1

My wife and I have seen our 11 year old daughter holding hands with a good friend of hers. This is a totally new thing. I mean at times, she's held her sisters hand, etc, but can never really remember her holding other girls hands. So last night, my wife asked her about it privately. She really didn't have much emotion about it, just said she didn't care what other people(kids) would think, and didn't care if they made fun of her, say at the bus stop. We might be a little on edge, our neighbors daughter showed up the other night at a fundraiser holding her girlfriends hand, and introduced her as her girlfriend(she's 16). When my wife mentioned this to my daughter, she really had no reaction. She's one of those teaching moment kind of people(the neighbor). Anyone have any experience? Ask away, ready to gain some insight as to what maybe to look for, or what I could ask her. Thanks.


#2

Are you sure it's SSA or a cute thing adolesent girls do? Going on the side of caution, are you fully aware of what media your child is being exposed to? Are you fully aware of what your child's school is teaching your kid, particularly in the area of "sex ed"?


#3

Growing up, I don't remember ever wanted to hold hands with other girls. The only girl who ever wanted to hold my hand grew up into a lesbian. At age 11, holding hands is likely to be something meant to be romantic so I don't think your worries about your daughter are unfounded, but it might turn out to be nothing.
I agree with crazzeto that school might have something to do with it. In my high school, being bi or lesbian was veryrendy. She may be in a situation where the culture at her school is encouraging her to experiment with other girls. You should bring up the topic of why homosexuality is wrong without accusing her of being gay in case she is considering dating a girl.


#4

[quote="crazzeto, post:2, topic:209456"]
Are you sure it's SSA or a cute thing adolesent girls do? Going on the side of caution, are you fully aware of what media your child is being exposed to? Are you fully aware of what your child's school is teaching your kid, particularly in the area of "sex ed"?

[/quote]

No I'm not sure its SSA. I tend to think its just cute adolescense, as she stated last night she doesn't want to grow up, she's going into 6th grade. Definately not the media, she doesn't have access to the internet or TV without our permission, and they havent had sex-ed yet, other than a body talk last year. I think we're just overreacting because of the neighbor kid. But what has me thinking, is why no real reaction. Its cute she wants to hold her friends hand, she'll hold my hand, but I'm her father. She can be kinda withdrawn at times. She loves to read, and can bury her nose in a book for hours.


#5

I am a married, straight woman. I am also affectionate. My friends and I held hands all the time as young girls.

Have you been educating your daughter about sexual morality and issues such as homosexuality according to the church? If you have, there shouldn't be anything to worry about. If not, now is a good time to start. :)


#6

[quote="Whitacre_Girl, post:5, topic:209456"]
I am a married, straight woman. I am also affectionate. My friends and I held hands all the time as young girls.

Have you been educating your daughter about sexual morality and issues such as homosexuality according to the church? If you have, there shouldn't be anything to worry about. If not, now is a good time to start. :)

[/quote]

I'd call her more of a bully then affectionate, but she has her moments of affection of course.

Yes on teaching of sexual morality, had a teaching moment 2 years ago, and has been somewhat of an ongoing conversation since. No on homosexual teaching, she's only 11, an immature 11 too, but I guess that is the new 15.


#7

[quote="belmontmac, post:6, topic:209456"]
I'd call her more of a bully then affectionate, but she has her moments of affection of course.

Yes on teaching of sexual morality, had a teaching moment 2 years ago, and has been somewhat of an ongoing conversation since. No on homosexual teaching, she's only 11, an immature 11 too, but I guess that is the new 15.

[/quote]

Yeah...

I would just think that based on age I wouldn't be worried about SSA. Keep up the good work educating your daughter. :thumbsup:

As for schools, I do have experience here, and I can tell you that while you can ask your daughter about what they are learning in school, I can assure you that they are not encouraging "experimenting" and whatnot. I am a public educator-in-training, and I know how the system works around issues like these. Even the most liberal schools in the most liberal areas are required to communicate with parents before teaching on these issues.


#8

[quote="Whitacre_Girl, post:7, topic:209456"]
Yeah...

I would just think that based on age I wouldn't be worried about SSA. Keep up the good work educating your daughter. :thumbsup:

As for schools, I do have experience here, and I can tell you that while you can ask your daughter about what they are learning in school, I can assure you that they are not encouraging "experimenting" and whatnot. I am a public educator-in-training, and I know how the system works around issues like these. Even the most liberal schools in the most liberal areas are required to communicate with parents before teaching on these issues.

[/quote]

That last sentance isn't quite as true as it used to be, it's becoming more and more relitive and liberalized all the time. In washington state (I believe it was), there was an effort to begin teaching about the pleasures of sex as young as kintergarden. I've just read that in MA they're trying to put together a program to distribute condoms to kids as young as first grade, w/o parental knowlege or consent. Their logic is "all these kids are going to have sex with out parental knowlege or consent anyway"... .

Perhaps it's not the case with this school system, one would hope it probably isn't. But I would argue some caution is in order.

Edit
It's worth mentioning that in my own experience (graduated HS in 1997) I had teachers behind the backs of even the school system and certainly parents discuss condom usage and other topics, which ultimiatly only encourage sinful behaviour.


#9

I'm still a relatively young age of 23 and it wasn't at all uncommon to see girls in high school or college doing things like holding hands or snuggling under blankets together during movies. It isn't bad or wrong, just part of the culture, after all it wasn't uncommon in Christ's time for men to kiss other men on the lips, but now it would be considered a huge sing of homosexuality. At age eleven I doubt your daughter is even certain enough, or secure enough, in regards to her sexuality that she could really even tell you if she had a same sex attraction. If you are really worried about it make sure she knows that you will love her regardless of her sexual attractions, because most of the friends I had with this problem didn't tell their parents for years out of fear of being rejected by them.


#10

[quote="crazzeto, post:8, topic:209456"]
That last sentance isn't quite as true as it used to be, it's becoming more and more relitive and liberalized all the time. In washington state (I believe it was), there was an effort to begin teaching about the pleasures of sex as young as kintergarden. I've just read that in MA they're trying to put together a program to distribute condoms to kids as young as first grade, w/o parental knowlege or consent. Their logic is "all these kids are going to have sex with out parental knowlege or consent anyway"... .

Perhaps it's not the case with this school system, one would hope it probably isn't. But I would argue some caution is in order.

Edit
It's worth mentioning that in my own experience (graduated HS in 1997) I had teachers behind the backs of even the school system and certainly parents discuss condom usage and other topics, which ultimiatly only encourage sinful behaviour.

[/quote]

You are going to need sources for that, because it sounds to me like you are simply repeating political pandering and not factual information. I distinctly remember that some Liberal politicians mentioned the idea of teaching children about sex earlier, in what seemed to be an honest (and perhaps misguided but I have no ability to comment on developmental psych) hope to make sure children had the information before they started engaging in it. Conservative leaders of course always have to make the liberals seems like evil people (as liberals do to conservatives) so suddenly instead of talking about teaching young children about what sex is and its functions the liberals want to hand out condoms and espouse the pleasure of sex.

Sometimes we have to be a little more scrupulous of these things. I am sure we all know people who identify as being more on the liberal side of things, but I doubt you would honestly say you think these people want their children being encouraged to have sex as soon as they hit puberty.


#11

[quote="crazzeto, post:8, topic:209456"]
That last sentance isn't quite as true as it used to be, it's becoming more and more relitive and liberalized all the time. In washington state (I believe it was), there was an effort to begin teaching about the pleasures of sex as young as kintergarden. I've just read that in MA they're trying to put together a program to distribute condoms to kids as young as first grade, w/o parental knowlege or consent. Their logic is "all these kids are going to have sex with out parental knowlege or consent anyway"... .

Perhaps it's not the case with this school system, one would hope it probably isn't. But I would argue some caution is in order.

Edit
It's worth mentioning that in my own experience (graduated HS in 1997) I had teachers behind the backs of even the school system and certainly parents discuss condom usage and other topics, which ultimiatly only encourage sinful behaviour.

[/quote]

I'm afraid I agree with Sebast. I am in Washington State and in the public education system of that state. What you are referring to was a program that was put together and was talked about being implemented, but never was. Also, these programs require parental information. You have to tell the parents in writing that the unit will be taught and the parents can then write back to opt their child out.

As for condoms, I can't talk about other states, but here in Washington they discussed having them available in K-8 schools, but again, it was shot down.

I graduated HS in 2003, and even then schools weren't handing out condoms, but they did tell you where you could get them. They also encouraged open discussions about sexuality with parents.


#12

[quote="PatrickSebast, post:10, topic:209456"]
You are going to need sources for that, because it sounds to me like you are simply repeating political pandering and not factual information. I distinctly remember that some Liberal politicians mentioned the idea of teaching children about sex earlier, in what seemed to be an honest (and perhaps misguided but I have no ability to comment on developmental psych) hope to make sure children had the information before they started engaging in it. Conservative leaders of course always have to make the liberals seems like evil people (as liberals do to conservatives) so suddenly instead of talking about teaching young children about what sex is and its functions the liberals want to hand out condoms and espouse the pleasure of sex.

Sometimes we have to be a little more scrupulous of these things. I am sure we all know people who identify as being more on the liberal side of things, but I doubt you would honestly say you think these people want their children being encouraged to have sex as soon as they hit puberty.

[/quote]

Condoms for first graders sans parental knowlege
education.gaeatimes.com/2010/06/24/school-board-chair-says-massachusetts-town-will-reconsider-allowing-condoms-for-all-kids-4797/

Oregon passes sex ed legislation:
oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1242692708185370.xml&coll=7

Another article on Oregon Sex Ed
opb.org/thinkoutloud/shows/sex-ed/


#13

[quote="Whitacre_Girl, post:11, topic:209456"]
I'm afraid I agree with Sebast. I am in Washington State and in the public education system of that state. What you are referring to was a program that was put together and was talked about being implemented, but never was. Also, these programs require parental information. You have to tell the parents in writing that the unit will be taught and the parents can then write back to opt their child out.

As for condoms, I can't talk about other states, but here in Washington they discussed having them available in K-8 schools, but again, it was shot down.

I graduated HS in 2003, and even then schools weren't handing out condoms, but they did tell you where you could get them. They also encouraged open discussions about sexuality with parents.

[/quote]

I mis-identified the state, I mainly remembered it was PAC-NW... Sex-ed is getting to be highly liberalized.... In my own experience, abstiance only was viewed very negativly, something which teachers made little effort to hide from students.

Perhaps you have a different individual experience, but fears that schools are starting to tend to teach how to have sex, rather than just about it are becoming more and more real every day.


#14

[quote="crazzeto, post:13, topic:209456"]
I mis-identified the state, I mainly remembered it was PAC-NW... Sex-ed is getting to be highly liberalized.... In my own experience, abstiance only was viewed very negativly, something which teachers made little effort to hide from students.

Perhaps you have a different individual experience, but fears that schools are starting to tend to teach how to have sex, rather than just about it are becoming more and more real every day.

[/quote]

I'm aware of this, it's one of the many reasons I want to be an educator. To be a voice of reason in the insanity.

I will say that studies are showing more and more that abstinance only education is more effective than people realize, and this is starting to be accepted. Also, it should be noted that non-abstinance only programs emphasize abstinance over everything. I just finished my course that went over who to teach comprehensive sex ed since it's a requirement in my state. I did this in a highly liberal school, and still I was shocked at how pro-abstinance it was. I can tell you the guidelines that are given.

  1. Be sure that parents are informed of your curriculum.

  2. Teach kids about those things required by state: contraception and ways to stay "safe" from STIs

3, Emphasize time and time again that the only way to truly be safe is to practice abstinance. Emphasize again and again that sex is a huge resposibility and should never be done until one is "ready" and to be "ready" is to also be ready for consequences. Students should leave your class understanding sexual health, and why waiting for sexual relationships is the only way to truly stay healthy.

And keep in mind, this was the extreme liberal approach.


#15

My best friend and I would hold hands and say "I love you" to each other when we were thirteen...after we'd spent hours talking about the boys we were crushing on. I'd say not to worry about it too much ;-)


#16

OP, if your daughter really has SSA, you're not going to stop it by telling her how to act around her female friends. She is going to have them, no matter what her orientation is. Besides, even some of the most heterosexual women will brush each other's hair, hold hands in public and drape themselves all over each other while watching TV. This is particularly true between the ages of 11 and 15 or so.

You might try this tack: That is, to tell your daughter that although her friend is a very nice person, after a certain age it is not entirely polite to be too affectionate with your friends and family in public. It is kind of showing off your relationship, like eating cake that no one else can have. Showing off your relationships invites jealousy, and a middle-school girl doesn't need that to contend with.

Also, if people are very public about their affections, they ought to know that everyone will also know when they are on the outs. If she gets mad and does not want to hold her friend's hand, every one of their other friends will know they're having a fight. These two friends won't be able to keep their private matters private. Instead, their inner lives will be an open book. She ought to know there will be days when she doesn't want the whole world reading that book, because some of the world will decide it is their job to butt in and either fix things or take sides. Who wants that?

IOW, propriety isn't restrictive. Propriety gives autonomy. It is how you keep your business your business, and not anyone else's.

This will put you on better ground for the more likely scenario: that is, when she's sixteen or seventeen and hanging all over her boyfriend. When you tell her to cool it then, it won't be about not liking him. It will be about having a sense of propriety that you started teaching her when she was eleven.


#17

I do have to agree with others that this isn't necessarily a SSA thing. When I was in college, I snuggled with friends watching tv or studying and there was nothing sexual about it. It was just about relaxing and sometimes in our chilly dorm about keeping warm. :D But I think you should think about EasterJoy's idea.

EasterJoy: That's a great way to handle this. It starts them out on a path that will help when she's dating later.

Melissa


#18

I think it's a very VERY dangerous thing to go labeling the act of two young girls holding hands as SSA 'behavior'. If your daughter learns that loving your friends and holding hands is something homosexual people do, then it's not going to be much of a leap for her to label herself as one.

YOU are seeing this as SSA behavior, she is feeling affection for her dear friend. Actually forming close friendships is a sign of a very emotionally healthy child.

You know what I think of when I hear of girls holding hands? Anne of Green Gables. Anne and her best friend would hold hands all the time. When you are 11 and have really close friend, you can feel very intensely about them and love them, and an innocent expression of that is just that, innocent.


#19

Thanks for the responses. We jumped to conclusions because of our neighbor, and behavior that was unusual for our daughter. When one of our neighbors house's burned down, for weeks I kept thinking ours was next. My daughter has never really been much of an affectionate person, but most of her friends are, and I think she is just trying to be more affectionate and loving in an innocent way. I regret starting the thread, but appreciate the input. Peace to all.


#20

[quote="belmontmac, post:19, topic:209456"]
Thanks for the responses. We jumped to conclusions because of our neighbor, and behavior that was unusual for our daughter. When one of our neighbors house's burned down, for weeks I kept thinking ours was next. My daughter has never really been much of an affectionate person, but most of her friends are, and I think she is just trying to be more affectionate and loving in an innocent way. I regret starting the thread, but appreciate the input. Peace to all.

[/quote]

Well, if you were able to get some peace of mind then no need to regret starting the thread. It's always good to get an outside perspective.


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