So say you were about four years old, and you were circumcised at birth while most others in your community were not. You enter kindergarten and as kindergarten children do, they compare their private parts by showing them to one another. Kids find out you’re different. You feel strange and different from everybody else (because you ‘are’ different).
One day, the kindergarten teacher brings me up to the front of the classroom, and asks to pull down my pants. She tries to pull down the front of the pants to expose my private part. At first I resist and start to sob, but she says ‘it’s okay, it’s okay’ and I then yield. She goes on to ‘explain’ my private parts to the classroom, saying something to the effect of ‘this penis is circumcised; boys will be getting them one day; it’s normal’. This was a one-off thing, and there were no sexual connotations. It was more of an explanation and a vindication rather than an attempt at humiliation, but at the time I don’t exactly remember how I felt. Would you say this is sexual harassment of a minor? The law at home says it might qualify as such, but as far as I know kids before the age of four are not abashed at showing their private parts in public because it is a natural thing for them to do. Thoughts? (From Korea)Childhood Sexual Abuse
Childhood Sexual Abuse
I am sorry this humiliating experience happened. As you’ve described it had a psychological impact on you — and more than 25 years later it is still a concern for you. Regardless of the legal definitions the psychological implication is clear — this experience was way outside the norm. This was not something that happened every day in your culture. Boys and girls were not put on display as a regular event. I can understand why the law in your country would say it qualifies as sexual harassment.