It’s NOT “Perfectly Normal”


Elijah Schmidt

It is time to stick up for children and teens.

Sex: a highly controversial and polarizing topic for centuries. In some cultures it is heavily discussed, and in others the conversation about sex is shunned. But a new phenomenon is taking place in the United States where children and young teens are being brought into this conversation. This is wrong and morally murky, but what is actually going on?


Since 2003, TeenVogue has been publishing as a spin off of the publication Vogue. They kept printing until they went fully online back in 2017. This is a publication meant to be targeting a young audience of minors—pre-teens and teens—yet the articles that come out of this publication often have intense, provocative, and sexual content that introduces these adolescents to age-inappropriate sexual experimentation. Many think explicit content like this comes from the deep, dark corners of the internet, but major, reputable publications are making this type of grooming highly mainstream. No wonder there is a growing epidemic of kids and teens addicted to porn and sex—it’s being spoon fed to them by a prominent media outlet. And this is not a unique instance—there have been many other articles and many other publications which push the same highly sexualized content. It is everywhere, and increased social media access only makes it easier for younger and younger kids to reach inappropriate, eye-catching content—especially when it is on a reputable and well-known site. 


In addition to the media, the books inside of schools are becoming more and more targeted and sexualized. One book entitled “It’s Perfectly Normal” by Robie H. Harris, originally published in 1994 and remastered in 2021, is a prime example of a consistent grooming of children. According to the front cover, the book is rated ages 10 and up, yet it reads and seems more like an instruction manual for sex targeted at young children. 


What I cannot figure out is why this is necessary for 10-year-old children? Why are we showing this to young kids who are just growing into their bodies? And why is this not seen as grooming by this author? Robie Harris has also written similarly sexual books such as “It’s So Amazing!” and “It’s Not the Stork!”. 


Even if one does not hold the Christian faith close to their heart, it should be apparent and obvious that this is wrong. Young children are being shown nearly pornographic imagery for other purposes than scientific education, and these authors and journalists are getting away with it. 


However, not everyone is silent about this growing evil. According to WGME News, at a school district in New York, there was an uproar of parents who wanted this book, “It’s Perfectly Normal,” taken off of the school library’s shelves.


 “My concern is for unsupervised children having this book in their hands,” said Patsy Huntsman, New York parent, “It says this is not a how-to manual. Well, I’m telling you if this isn’t a how-to manual, I don’t know what is.” 

But Superintendent Lou Goscinski had a different take: “I think what we’re seeing nationwide is an assault on public libraries and public school libraries,” Goscinski said. “I think it’s part of the political times we’re in right now.” 


Most parents and people who want to protect kids, though, do not see this as an assault on libraries at all—they see it as an assault on children. There are simply certain things children do not need to be exposed to. If a movie has nudity or foul language in it, we rate it “R,” but when a book illustrates the intimacy of sexual intercourse for non-educational purposes, it is recommended for ages 10 and up. 


I did a book search on the St. Louis Public Library’s website and this book is apparently on the shelf. In fact, there are three separate versions available for hold at the library. It is mind boggling to me that this book, and aforementioned Vogue articles, are out there for kids and young teens to readily find. When will we stop enabling predators such as Robie Harris and TeenVogue from stealing the innocence of children and teaching sexual exploration to 10-year-olds? 


My solution would be to boycott institutions that give a dime to this author for her works and to make calls to your representatives urging them to do something. Kids are the future of this country, and we cannot allow them to be preyed upon.