At a time when reports on sexual assaults are surging, the Girl Scouts of America have a message for parents before the holidays.
A post on the organization’s website states, “Young girls don’t owe anyone a hug. Not even at the holidays.”
The hugs addressed in the post are clearly of a non-sexual nature, but according to the Girl Scouts’ post, this can influence how girls set boundaries in the future.
GSA said the idea is to let girls decide how and when they want to show affection.
“The notion of consent may seem very grown-up and like something that doesn’t pertain to children,” Girl Scouts’ developmental psychologist Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald said. “But the lessons girls learn when they’re young about setting physical boundaries and expecting them to be respected last a lifetime, and can influence how she feels about herself and her body as she gets older. Plus, sadly, we know that some adults prey on children, and teaching your daughter about consent early on can help her understand her rights, know when lines are being crossed, and when to go to you for help.”