I found this comment in a review of an episode of the television show “Mad Men,” A Psychiatrist Analyzes Mad Men’s Traumatized Sally Draper.
First, some background (taken from the Vulture page):
MAD MEN TV SHOW EPISODE RECAP
- It’s every teenager’s nightmare: walking in on their parents having sex. Except in Sally Draper’s case, things get even worse. In the Mad Men episode “Favors” [spoilers ahead for those who haven’t seen it], 14-year-old Sally stumbled into seeing her father, pants around his knees, making love to their neighbor Sylvia, who — just to compound the embarrassment — is the mother of Sally’s crush.
- Don later tells his mortified daughter that the situation is “complicated” — which, for him, it’s not, particularly, but it certainly is complicated for Sally.
- Even if she recovers from the humiliation, how will she trust her father again? Or anybody, for that matter? To find out if Sally will be scarred for life, or just become a giant hippie, we turned once again to UCLA-affiliated psychiatrist and Mad Men obsessive Dr. Paul Puri.
Here we have the question by the interviewer, who is interviewing a psychiatrist:
- Now that I think about it, Sally’s friends on Mad Men have all seemed more sexually aware than she is. Might this have something to do with Don and Betty’s messed-up attitudes about sex?
Here is the shrink’s response:
- It could be from her parents, in that they both keep sex in the shadows; nothing is ever talked about with the daughter. When Sally was masturbating, her mother didn’t say, “We’ll have the-birds-and-the-bees talk.” She said, “You don’t do that alone, and you especially don’t do it in public.” So there’s been a denial there,
in trying to infantilize her
- , even at this age.
- The friend we saw in “Favors” is the only person right now who is encouraging Sally’s development into adulthood , so to speak. She’s encouraging her to grow, maybe too fast for her age, but I think that’s someone to whom Sally will gravitate now.
Pay attention to this comment in particular:
- So there’s been a denial there, in
trying to infantilize her
- , even at this age. The friend we saw in “Favors” is the only person right now who is
encouraging Sally’s development into adulthood
- , so to speak. She’s encouraging her to grow, maybe too fast for her age…
- ———————–//End Article Excerpts
It would appear as though the psychiatrist, Dr. Puri, is assuming that a person does not reach true adulthood until he or she has sex. He seems to assume that those who do not have sex by their teen years or young adulthood remain “infantilized” in their adult years.
Really, Dr. Puri? You’re actually going to equate having sex to being an adult?
It’s not that I think people under the age of 18 should be having sex, but that you do not factor into your view that there are virgins such as me who are over 40 years old. I am not a child, nor am I “infantilized.”
There are pre-teens and teens who have sex, and nobody would argue that they are adults. If a 12 year old has sex with her 13 year old boyfriend, she’s still emotionally 12 years old; she is not an “adult” merely from having sexual intercourse.
The shrink needs to find a new benchmark by which to measure emotional maturity, because sexual activity and sexual intercourse are not the only ones, and may not be reliable.
Puri is not the only shrink to do this though; ever since Freud in the 19th century, psychiatrists have considered lack of sexual activity to equate to immaturity, or consider it unhealthy, in that it is supposedly repressive and makes women neurotic.
(Link): Family Guy airs controversial Jesus episode, ‘The 2,000-year-old virgin’ – Secular Cartoon Show Ridicules Virgin Status of Jesus of Nazareth – Contra Stereotype, Having Sex is Not Necessary to Become an Adult
(Link): How Christians Have Failed on Teaching Maturity and Morality Vis A Vis Marriage / Parenthood – Used as Markers of Maturity Or Assumed to be Sanctifiers – Also: More Hypocrisy – Christians Teach You Need A Spouse to Be Purified, But Also Teach God Won’t Send You a Spouse Until You Become Purified
(Link): Women Are Having Fewer Babies Because They Have More Choices by Jill Filipovic