As a clinical psychologist who has done research on sexual attitudes in the frum community, I applaud Dr. Yocheved Debow’s persuasive and courageous call to action (“Why We Need to Talk to our Children about Sexuality,” summer 2013). By ignoring or silencing our children’s questions and concerns regarding puberty, their bodies and their emerging sexual awareness, we send a message that these topics are unacceptable. Inadvertently, we lead our children to cut off an important part of their emotional and developmental experience. Furthermore, by stifling honest conversation we deprive them of opportunities to develop a much-needed capacity to deal with the interpersonal, emotional and sexual challenges that they will encounter throughout their lives. In this instance, as in many others, the Torah’s values can directly bolster our children’s psychological and religious health.
Koby Frances, PhD
Miami Beach, Florida