In Gordon Davidescu’s excellent article — Tznuis and the National Football League — we shared a fascinating conversation in the comments stream about Jewish law and children and the age of sexualization of the female body.

Here are some of the important bits of our conversation:

ME: Are female Jewish children allowed to sing live in public?

GORDON: I believe so. We do not consider that singing to be sexual.

ME: You wouldn’t be able to listen to that female child sing, though, right? Or does she have to become an adult first before she is banned from being heard singing?

GORDON: We can listen to female children singing because we do not consider the singing of children to be sexual. I don’t know if I would say that she is banned from being heard singing (live), but rather that we as men are banned from listening — after all, women may listen to other women singing.

ME: Understood. I’m just asking for the age when a singing female is no longer allowed to be listened to by Jewish men because, it seems, the intention of the singing becomes sexualized by the men instead of just being entertaining, right?

Taking a wider view of morality and virtue and sexuality and children aging into their adult bodies — where should we set the bar for proper, expected, sexualization and inappropriate precocious puberty?

Is sexuality merely a number of age, or does biology play a more fuzzy role in determining when a threshold should be been crossed from childhood into the Age of Sexualization?

4 Comments

  1. It’s interesting now with all of the growth hormones in food making children into biological adults before they are adults mentally. We should let kids be kids and stop with the beauty whore pageants and everything else like that taking its toll on children today.

    1. That’s a fine point, Gordon. The environment is changing our children biologically — so the old notions of “age of maturity” and other, marked, metered, goals are becoming harder and harder to abide because the advancement of individual children is so wildly different today in direct comparison with each other.

  2. There needs to be a minimum age for legal reasons, but that doesn’t mean the emotional state is ready for any sort of sexualization. Direct parental watching and intervention are keys.

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