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Children and Baby Ear Piercing - A Barbaric Social Custom?
Member Name: Lilysun
Date: 08/05/12, updated on 08/05/12 (88 review reads)
Advantages: In my opinion there are no advantages to piercing a child/babies ears
Firstly and most importantly what follows is in no way meant to offend whoever reads it but rather is a reflection on my opinions and will hopefully encourage some lively and healthy debate, free of unnecessary insults.
Ever since I had my daughter who is now aged 9 years, I have held very strong beliefs about what my rights and responsibilities as a parent are and much like a doctor I believe in the old adage 'first do no harm'. It is therefore with bewilderment that I observe young in fact very young babies sporting metal in their ears. I struggle to understand why a parent would willingly do that to their child - Do I have the right to physically alter another adult's physical appearance without their permission? The answer, of course, is ultimately no and only if I am prepared for a lawsuit. If it is unacceptable for me to do this to another adult then in my opinion I have no right to do that to a child even if it is my own child.
In all honesty I believe that to pierce your child's ears without their mature and educated permission it verging on criminal. I say this because in this day and age where human rights and children's rights are so very important and people are well informed that this procedure remains so socially acceptable. In reality it is socially 'frowned' upon to smack my child's hand if she decides to harm another child for example (I do not believe in smacking children full stop), so I find it baffling that I can puncture a hole in my child's body without any such recriminations. And to be brutally frank the very fact that the equipment used is called a 'piercing gun' means that it should not be allowed anywhere near children and babies. Alongside this it is a procedure that does cause pain and I can recollect being quite frightened as an 8 year old when I had my ears pierced; it must be very disillusioning for a young child/ baby to go through an experience where their parents are allowing someone to inflict pain. I also pose the question: How can you effectively explain to a baby what they are about to be exposed to? Can a young child or baby ever completely understand why this practice is deemed acceptable?
I personally will not make that decision for my child. I will not be responsible for altering her body for the rest of her life (I do not wear earrings and had mine pierced at the age of 8 - the holes in my ears remain!) I will however allow her to make that decision for herself when she is rationally and emotionally ready to do so; at the end of the day decisions such as these are her right to make. I feel that there is a dual responsibility for making changes to the custom of children's piercing. Firstly there is a need for tighter legislation regarding this matter; organisations that allow this procedure to be carried out on babies and children have an ethical responsibility too in my opinion. But most importantly there needs to be a shift in how easily society accepts this custom - it is sadly an encouragement of children being seen as 'fashionable' accessories and it leaves me worried about the de-humanisation of children's rights.
Yet again I will reiterate that I am not trying to cause offence but rather open up this topic for debate!
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Summary: Topic for Debate