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"Mad Men" Tackles Taboo Topic of Childhood Masturbation

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Guest blogger Christina Montoya Fiedler: Another riveting season of "Mad Men" is in full swing, and one recent episode is still being talked about in mom circles. A few weeks ago, little Sally Draper was caught "touching" herself at a friend's house. She was sent home in the middle of the night, and her mother, Betty, was less than pleased. In fact, she slapped Sally across the face, telling her that touching oneself is something only "fast" girls do. She then assumes there is something "wrong" with Sally and sends her to a psychiatrist the very next day.

Talk about scarring a child for life! Yes, times were different back then, but that was ridiculous!

"Children start to masturbate very early," said Angela Wilder, a Los Angeles-based clinical psychologist and the mother of two daughters, in a statement to CBS News. "[Parents see kids] as young as 2 or 3 ... massaging their genitals."

Shaming a child for natural behavior is the absolute worst thing you can do, says Wilder. "If we teach our children early on that their bodies are their own to touch, it enables them to better distinguish a 'good touch' from an unwanted 'bad touch,'" she notes. "That ability to distinguish comes from being comfortable with one's body."

The most important point to drive home, of course, is that the act is not acceptable in public. Any other discussion on the topic is often based on a family's religion or family values.

Moms, what did you think of Betty Draper's reaction?


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