Sean Swope commentary: Preserving innocence and parental rights, defending children from early sexualization


In the swiftly changing landscape of the digital era, the early sexualization of children has emerged as a distressing issue. Such sexualization not only robs children of their innocent years, but also threatens their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. 

As a community rooted in traditional values and family-centric ethos, we have a particular responsibility to address this problem. One crucial aspect of our response lies in respecting and bolstering parental rights.

In our community, we understand the vital role that parents play in the upbringing of their children. They shape their children's values, morals, and perspectives, creating a nurturing environment that encourages their growth. 

As such, we must champion parental rights in all conversations about children's wellbeing, empowering parents to shield their children from premature sexualization.

One of the cornerstones of parental rights is the authority to guide the upbringing and education of one's children. This extends to important subjects like relationships, modesty and self-respect. When these rights are staunchly defended, parents are better equipped to navigate their children through a culture steeped in sexualized influences.

A significant source of early sexualization is the media. By protecting parental rights, we enable parents to oversee their children's media consumption. This includes the freedom to limit exposure to inappropriate content and guide their children in making discerning choices about what they watch and interact with online.

Preserving parental rights also includes safeguarding the freedom of parents to engage in open, age-appropriate dialogues about media and sexuality. This empowers parents to correct misrepresentations in the media, fostering a healthier understanding of relationships and personal boundaries.

While we uphold the primacy of parents in raising their children, we also acknowledge the role of community support. Schools can reinforce this by integrating age-appropriate education that promotes respect for oneself and others. 

Moreover, as a community, we can advocate for stronger regulations against sexualized content involving minors in media and advertising. We can also support legislation that bolsters parental rights and safeguards children from early sexualization. 

Finally, the defense of our children from the damaging effects of early sexualization starts with the protection of parental rights. 

By empowering parents in their role as their child's first educators and advocates, we ensure that our children can enjoy a wholesome childhood. Our collective efforts in this endeavor speak volumes about our commitment to the future of our community — our children.


Sean Swope is a Lewis County commissioner.