Mother’s Day is a holiday celebrated nationwide. With it comes an important issue: the stories we tell children. As a society, Americans are very skittish when it comes to the topic of sex. As a result, many families do not have healthy, open conversations with their children about sex.
Because there isn’t that open conversation, many families either avoid the topic altogether, or come up with stories to explain away questions. One classic myth is that of the stork — one that the majority of Americans are likely familiar with.
As kids get older and begin exploring the internet, many of them discover the truth of where babies come from by watching adult videos, which serve as very poor examples of love and relationships.
In general, children have — as the cliché goes — very active imaginations. As such, when they go from hearing that they were brought to their parents via stork delivery to learning about sex from the internet, they could end up creating any number of absolutely absurd theories in an attempt to reconcile the truth with their parents’ lies.
Children could end up weaving a tale around childbirth which is shrouded in darkness and deceit. Yes, we appreciate mothers for what people refer to as the gift of life, but kids ignore the hidden facets of motherhood.
Kids can be easily deceived and confused by the “stork story,” and could draw wild or disturbing conclusions about this. Maybe babies coming from storks and babies being produced through sexual intercourse are not mutually exclusive. Maybe the truth is much darker, and far more interesting.
Perhaps babies are conceived out of intercourse, and then brought to humans by storks. This raises a question most dare never ask: Where does the stork get the baby?
Maybe the stork doesn’t obtain the infant, but rather, bears the child. Perhaps all children are the spawn of human/stork romance.
After nine months, the stork carefully swaddles the baby, then delivers it to the hospital room, where it is placed into the mother’s arms.
The child is then raised, unaware of the truth of its conception. The child may be told of being delivered by the stork, but never the truth of the womb from which they were born.
Because of the nature of the taboo surrounding human-animal relations, the truth of the stork is watered down.
Yes, that example is positively asinine, but hopefully — one day soon — we will finally become culturally and socially open about where human offspring really come from. Children need to learn about sex in an honest and healthy way. Instead of feeding kids myths and waiting for the internet to sort things out, parents should take the initiative and discuss the topic themselves with their children.
Lucas is a PPE major in University of Washington Tacoma, and he is graduating with a Bachelor’s in philosophy. His primary interests are philosophy, politics, and law. He is currently working as a teacher at a secondary school while preparing to attend law school immediately following graduation.