“But in my eyes at that age not knowing any better, I thought it was normal behaviour between two boys”
I would firstly like to say that during this period in my life I have taken one really positive from all the negative; to see the warning signs for my own family I create and to set boundaries like; bedroom doors stay open, checking in with my kids every evening etc. This article is not only for those that have been abused but perhaps also parents that want to navigate right from wrong and to prevent anything that might not be right.
Did I think that the oral abuse was normal behaviour? Absolutely not. But at the age of 11 and after my father passing away I was in a state of.. well, nothing. My protectors were the rest of my family. Sometimes you don’t have answers for everything and that’s okay. Sometimes you can’t remember how you felt at the time or what you were thinking at the exact time it happened.
I remember a little earlier before it all started happening I was actually really interested in understanding the female body and how it worked. My mother would always say that I needed to understand the male body before I started reading about the female body. So I read a few books she provided.
I look back and consider this a possible turning point for my brother and the direction that he went later with me.
It’s really hard to find literature on what is appropriate and inappropriate behaviour between males/siblings of the same age and males/siblings of different ages. Some might consider what I am about to say to be pretty obvious, common sense or completely disagree with me but who really knows the answer?
After speaking with my sister and other psychologists it is very normal for males (school friends) of the same age to consume pornography together and during this stage learn about their own individual bodies; give or take one year in difference. This means no one is touching your body and you are only touching yours.
Siblings with great age gaps such as 11 and 17 watching pornography together is inappropriate behaviour. If, in a household, the age gap does not seem to be that large always consider grade gaps. Grade 12 and grade 6 is inappropriate, then grade 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. I think it’s a lot easier to grasp the concept of what is appropriate behaviour and not when you look at it from the grade difference.
So, in my case, the consuming of pornography and coerced fondling with my brother who was 17 while I was 11 was inappropriate. During/a little bit later though, I remember that I would go over to a school friends house and we would all watch porn together – that is relatively normal male behaviour.
See, some of you may be reading this going; “nope, that isn’t right” but at the end of the day there really just isn’t enough literature on the subject about what is appropriate behaviour between same aged males who are growing up and learning about their bodies and then the same with age gaps. I am not justifying anything that happened of course, but it’s important to note the cloudiness of judgement alongside the lack of information.
If anyone has any articles around this subject please link below.