Forcing children to kiss family members 'could affect their sexual development'

When commenting on a recent survey on sexual attitudes and lifestyle Lucy Emmerson, coordinator of the Sex Education Forum in England, suggested that forcing children to kiss older relatives can lead to confusion over sexual consent in later life. She made the point that if a child doesn’t want to kiss or cuddle someone they can be shown other ways to show affection – like blowing kisses or high-fiving – that they are comfortable with.

This has caused controversy amongst some groups who feel that allowing children to say no to physical contact with relatives is ridiculous and that it undermines family bonding. Supporters of the Sex Education Forum have responded saying that the allowing children to have control over physical interactions provides the building blocks for consent in later life and fosters ownership of their own body.

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