Generation after generation, some parents (usually mothers) mentally castrate their daughters. Either actively through shame training, or passively through neglect, millions of girls are doomed to suffer the same destiny of sexual dysfunction as their mothers – often in silence. This post describes how that is possible, and what can be done to stop it.
I know a biologist (teacher and researcher) married to a medical doctor, who once told me that when she was growing up her first menstruation was a traumatic experience. Her mother had told her absolutely nothing to prepare her for the event. Since she now has an 11-year-old daughter of her own, I said: “So, of course, you have prepared your daughter to avoid that tragedy from happening to her.” To my amazement, the mother did not reply. She looked away, in silence, as if the thought of preparing her daughter for menarche had never even crossed her mind.
A week later, confident that I had effectively reminded her to do so, I asked her again if she had talked to her daughter about what was likely an imminent event. “Not yet,” was the mother’s embarrassed reply. So a few days later I gave the mother a video on sex education that she could watch with her daughter to prepare the girl. She thanked me, but I wonder if the child ever got to see it.
This was not a case of uneducated parents. While the mother was busy studying and teaching about the latest research on toll receptors, her daughter was about to be unnecessarily traumatized more than if she lived in an preliterate, pre-industrial family. A generation before, the mother grew up in a religious home, and that powerful influence remains. There is obviously a mental block preventing the mother from protecting her daughter from the terror that inevitably follows unexpected and unexplained bleeding from the vagina.
I suspect that such remarkable neglect on the mother’s part is not isolated, but rather is part of a complex mindset that includes the mother’s sexual dysfunction and, perhaps, the woman’s inability to think about why she and many other women lack sexual desire and can’t have orgasms. The challenge is, in my opinion, to help women overcome their mental block and think about how and why they are condemning their daughters to the same pathetic fate.
There are many possible ways to approach that mental block. A few years ago I read about a couple that was caught having intercourse on an intercontinental flight. Assuming the report wasn’t merely journalistic fiction, I wondered if they did it because they hoped the velocity of the aircraft would contribute to their sexual experience. When I lived in New Jersey I often saw limos racing down the Garden State Parkway toward Atlantic City, and I wondered if the owners were having sex in the back. So I suggested that a friend and I try having intercourse on a mattress in the back of my van while another couple drove us down the highway.
It was more difficult to reach orgasm while going 55mph, but we confirmed that the climax itself was longer and more intense than in a stationary bed. On the way back, my friend and I drove while the other couple had intercourse in the back. He later confirmed that his orgasm was better, but his partner was non-committal. Upon prodding she confided that she couldn’t reach orgasm at speed, and eventually admitted she usually had difficulty even in a stationary bed. She confided having no memory of ever experiencing a clitoral erection. She had hoped the velocity would make it easier to reach orgasm.
As a result of this experience and our conversations she sought help from a sex therapist, which didn’t solve the problem but opened the door to talking about mental castration of daughters, which at least offers hope for the next generation. The World Health Organization recommends that people enjoy “freedom from fear, shame, guilt, false beliefs, and other psychological factors inhibiting sexual response.” (WHO, 1986).
As far as I know, there is no cure for mental castration of the clitoris. It must be prevented. That means providing accurate, balanced and comprehensive sex education from the earliest age, and not only allowing little girls to fondle themselves, but encouraging them to do so in order to develop healthy clitoral function. You can listen to a more detailed audio presentation on Youtube: Mental Castration of the Clitoris
Mothers need to stop worrying about the supposed dangers of overstimulation and instead start talking about the danger of under-stimulation resulting in neural atrophy of the child’s relative brain areas due to lack of stimulation of the clitoris during development.
We should remember that a century ago many confused “experts” convinced parents that masturbation causes insanity, and locking devices were sold to prevent children from touching themselves. There has even been physical mutilation of the clitoris practiced on little girls in many places, including North America (1). Today there is still a lingering fear that sexual “overstimulation” is somehow bad for a child’s mental or physical health, despite the lack of any valid evidence for such a belief, and despite being discredited by the medical community for decades.
I had a debate with an Australian woman (on another blog), and she consistently refused to confront the subject of female sexual dysfunction. Changing the subject and attempting to bully me about the dangers of child sexual abuse and the threat of officers of the Inquisition knocking on my door were the only strategy she could muster.
The blog’s owner, too, although a highly intelligent woman and mentally balanced, met my hypothesis about mental castration by claiming that women don’t mind lacking sexual desire and orgasms. The happy female eunuch doesn’t need to reach “male standards” of sexual pleasure. She eventually published an entire post responding to my suggestion that she (like many women) is strangely silent about female sexual dysfunction http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/borrowing-trouble/.
But if both little boys and little girls experience spontaneous genital erections, and only boys continue to do so after puberty but girls don’t, that is not a matter of applying male standards to females. In general human physiology is slightly different between the genders, but the same standards of healthy organ function are applicable to both. Clitoral erection and orgasm aren’t necessary to live a reasonably happy life, but that doesn’t justify mentally castrating daughters to prevent them from becoming sexually functional.
Recently I met a woman who was over 40 years old, obese, and slightly handicapped, but she had a pleasant personality so I let her fondle me and she fellated me so lovingly that I got a rock-hard erection that wouldn’t die. That is an example of healthy erectile function. My erectile reflex responded to the loving stimulation despite my complete lack of mental arousal or attraction to the individual. And yet we are supposed to believe that when two-thirds of women today lack sexual desire or have difficulty reaching orgasm even when stimulated by someone they love, that’s not sexual dysfunction?
Let’s stop playing Ring Around the Rosy with the subject of mental castration. Little girls often have clitoral erections without stimulation but mature women usually don’t even with stimulation. The obvious physiological reason is lack of stimulation of the organ during development, which results in atrophy of the relative part of the brain. Why are those simple and clear facts so difficult for many women to confront? Is it not a moral duty to consider that parents and other educators may easily (through accurate, balanced and comprehensive sex education) break the cycle of mental castration for future generations?
- Robinett, Patricia. The Rape of Innocence: female genital mutilation and circumcision in the USA. Nunzio Press, 2010.