Monday, November 12, 2007

Insight from "Our Babies, Ourselves" on cosleeping & sexuality

I'm reading Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent, by Meredith F. Small, and want to post about interesting items as I come across them as well as do a general review/recommendation at the end.

P. 124 has this tidbit that ties into my last post:

"Adults may sleep together because their relationship is sexual, and intimate, and bed is the place for sexuality and intimacy in America. Moreover, interdependence between a couple is seen as the contemporary ideal. But children are not part of that intimacy or sexuality, nor are they considered part of that interdependence."

This highlights American (Western) culture's disconnect with touching in the form of innocent, familial touching and the jarring transition from touching a baby to touching a spouse, as I mentioned before. It makes me wonder if other cultures don't have that transition and discomfort from switching between, for instance, sleeping with a child to sleeping with a spouse.

By the way, I'm not entirely happy with my choice of the word "innocent," because it's not as if sexual touching of an appropriate partner is "guilty." I just mean it in the sense of nonsexual touching in the case of people who are not sexual partners. Maybe "appropriate" is better?


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