An anonymous user of the online question site, Quora, recently posed this question to other users:
“Is it wrong for me (a mother) to sleep naked with my 16 year old [sic] son?”
Though the question only received 49 answers, this post has gone viral; one of the top replies has garnered almost 500k views at this point.
Those who did reply to the original mother all agree, “Yes, it’s wrong.”
The top-voted reply, written by user Shannon Gilles, is kindly censored: “From a US perspective, it’s pretty f*cked up…” Giles continues by explaining, in great detail, how this mother’s behavior could be charged as sexual abuse and ruin her and her son’s life.
Some piggyback off Giles’ reply by further explaining how this mother’s behavior could affect her son’s mentality for the rest of his life. The responders detail on everything from his developing sexuality to what he will ultimately perceive as being moral or immoral.
Others even go into detail about programs and practices in the Child Protection Agency, warning the mother that her behavior – even if intended to be innocent – can be misconstrued by others and easily blown out of proportion.
Most of the users are, surprisingly, very open-minded and kind in their replies.
They make sure to mention other cultures that don’t necessarily equate nudity to sex and clarify that this behavior isn’t necessarily “inappropriate,” dependent on the context.
Within the structure of American culture, however, where the distinction between nudity and sex is far more ambiguous, it’s necessary to clarify the “intent” behind sleeping naked with one’s son. Both sides must be aware and agree to this intention in order for this behavior to be “acceptable.”
The original poster, the mother, has not returned to her question to respond to any of her repliers, but the discussion continues without her.