In a world where sexual assaults have become the norm with countless incidents being reported everyday, thousands of women scream for help and try to have their voices heard. It has become crucial to open this kind of discussion. How can we raise boys to grow up respecting women, defending their rights, and never even think of acting out on assaulting women? How can sexual harassment be prevented through a healthy upbringing?
Raise them with the concept of consent/permission
A very important factor that could’ve spared us this long-time dilemma, is the concept of permission, and the simple act of ‘asking.’ When boys grow up to understand that they need to ask for permission before hugging a classmate, and gracefully accept being told no, they’ll truly understand and accept personal boundaries later on in their adult life.
Treat siblings equally
If we truly want to put an end to a patriarchal society that continues to oppress women’s rights and belittle their powers, we need to start first within our homes. Treating boys and girls equally. When a boy learns that his sister’s needs are just as important as his. That her voice makes an echo just as loud as his voice does. When he helps with the house chores and mundane errands. These matters offer a fighting a chance that he won’t grow up with a distorted view on women’s capabilities, and that he could simply exert his power over women by sexually assaulting them or by other means.
Words like sympathy and empathy come into play in such situations. The function of morality here is to train one’s mind into putting himself in other people’s shoes. Such a pattern of thinking helps them recognize that their actions have an impact on other people’s lives, and to refrain from doing to others what you’d abhor being done to you.
Normalize sex education and women’s issues discussions
Kids will learn this information sooner or later, so why not – as a parent – take the initiative to open such discussions? To make sure that your kids receive the correct details within a respectful and proper talk? Awareness about topics like rape and sexual harassment can help them place such issues on their radar. Furthermore, it will potentially allow them to grow up and not become an individual who rips off basic rights from women.
Set a benchmark
If you want your son to be a decent and respectful man, you must first set a good example for him from childhood. As a father, you should set a benchmark he aspires to reach. Setting an example of how to respectfully treat a wife, his mother, daughter, or a female work colleague will have profound results.
Raise them to respect women’s decisions
Whether she aspires to become a world leader, an entrepreneur or a housewife, boys should learn early on to respect women’s decisions. Teaching them this helps to avoid the miserable excuse of “she was wearing revealing clothes,” a classic way to blame the female victim when assaulted.