Saturday, August 8, 2009

Doll Gets Fox News Health Team up in Arms

First of all, folks, it is a DOLL. A doll makes the news these days?

Oh it does if it is a breastfeeding doll, that apparently is the equivalent of:

"introducing sex education in first grade instead of seventh or eighth grade"
I have so many problems with this statement, let alone the more asinine claims by FOX News' Managing Health editor that a DOLL could possibly promote earlier pregnancies, or better yet, traumatize young girls.

First of all, breastfeeding is more about human nutrition than it is about human sexuality - but once again a man, a man with a conservative bias being that he works for FOX News, makes the topic all about sex. Sorry, Dr. Alvarez but you are part of the problem. So much work has been made to de-stigmatize breastfeeding, in public or otherwise, and you immediately play upon the fears of your conservative audience by saying essentially that anything breast-related = sexual promiscuity.

Second, any mother who has ever breastfed a baby with an older sibling has probably already seen their older child "nurse" their dolls. I have. It's not a new concept, you know, that children model their parents' behavior. I've even seen friends' older sons nurse a baby doll when their mothers have a nursing baby in the household. Does that mean they are going to be confused about their anatomy growing up? No, it's called imaginative play - something we seem to have forgotten about in this hysteria.

Third, unless I missed something, no one said ANYthing about this doll being used for educational purposes in a school setting, so how is it like introducing sex ed to a first grader? Moreover, why wouldn't you introduce some age appropriate sex education to your children at that age, or even earlier for that matter? I am not promoting a public-school campaign at that age, at all. Despite being conservative re: sexuality, I'm not a fan of school-based abstinence only programs as

...scientifically sound studies of abstinence only programs show an unintended consequence of unprotected sex at first intercourse and during later sexual activity. In this way, abstinence only programs increase the risk of these adolescents for pregnancy and sexually transmitted illnesses, including HIV/AIDS.
No, as a Christian believer I feel that it is *my* duty to educate my children about sex in an age-appropriate, biblical, and open fashion. It starts early, too, because if we don't establish an open conversation about sexual topics when they aren't embarrassed, what guarantee do we have that they'll approach us with their questions during the height of self-consciousness and doubt of parental authority? We've already read the first two books in the Story of Me series with LMNOB and Punkinhead, and they're not "traumatized." Nor are they displaying signs of wanting to run out and have sex/a baby at the first chance they can get.

But I digress....back to the breastfeeding babydoll. For me, the only thing I take issue with the manufacturer is the name. Bebe Gluton = Gluttonous Baby. WTH? Kind of a mixed message as breastfed babies tend to be smaller, and more self-regulating with regard to feeding only when hungry, than their formula-fed peers - but whatever, right?

And back to FOX News' article....the fact that they cite Eric Ruhalter's lame attempt at humor, equating a breastfeeding babydoll to something as inappropriate as babydolls dealing with alcoholism and/or incarceration, shows me that they are simply perpetuating the sexualization of breasts and stigmatizing any functional, natural usage of them, real or imagined.

It just drives me bonkers - this one or the other classification of breasts. They are functional, life sustaining, beautiful and sexual. As God created them to be.

© 2009 Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved


  1. Agreed.

    What more is there to say?

  2. Yep. 'Nuff said.

    Oh! And, next time I come to Colorado we are getting together. For sure!

  3. Okay, that newscaster has his timelines and fluids mixed up!

    Breastfeeding comes months after sex.

    My kid are older now, but I'm going to buy (at least) one of those dolls.

    I agree with everything you said.

    My friend told me she was taught about condoms in school in first grade - boys and girls put them on bananas. Then it wasn't a big deal to be all 'ewwww' about condoms later in life. (this was 20 years ago in a midwest subburb)

    Anyway, my daughter is six she knows almost everything - she asked, she was ready, I told.

  4. *applause* This whole thing is so absurd. The doll is CUTE, for crying out loud. And as you said, children who have seen someone nurse will imitate nursing on their own, without a baby doll who makes the sounds.
    Great post!