A post about a 20-year-old woman being told to “cover up” while walking around her sister’s home has gone viral on Reddit, where it received over 10,000 upvotes.
In the post, user GiantDirtRida, who is 25, said she and her husband have a 4-year-old. Her 20-year-old sister Julia lives with them because the couple’s home is close to her college.
The user wrote: “Julia likes to leave the bedroom in a big shirt and underwear, or just a robe, or walk around the house in her sports bra, booty shorts.” She told the sister that it “wasn’t appropriate” with a young kid in the home.
A stock image of a woman wearing only a white shirt and underpants while walking around a room. A Reddit post about a woman who was told to “cover up” while living in a home with a 4-year-old has sparked debate.
iStock / Getty Images Plus
While Julia the sister was not walking around the house naked, early childhood exposure to nudity and parental sexuality (“primal scenes”) may have an impact on children’s risk of sexually transmitted disease (STD) transmission later in life. This is according to one 18-year longitudinal study of 200 male and female children published back in August 1998 in the peer-reviewed journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.
The study found that “boys exposed to primal scenes before age 6 had reduced risk of STD transmission or having impregnated someone in adolescence.”
In contrast, “girls exposed to primal scenes before age 6 had increased risk of STD transmission or having become pregnant,” according to the study.
The user in the latest viral Reddit post wrote that she had told Julia her sister “nicely” to change but “she keeps doing it.”
When the sister was told to “cover up” again the other night, the poster wrote that Julia “got angry” and accused the poster of being worried that her husband would “sexualize” her.
The user explained: “I told her that is definitely not the case, but there was a young child in this home and it wasn’t appropriate, she needed to cover up before leaving her room… I basically said you could run around your room naked for all I care, but once you leave the bedroom you need to be covered.”
Jennifer Kelman, a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), is a family therapist for the JustAnswer website. She told Newsweek that the older sister “absolutely” has the right to ask the 20-year-old to “dress appropriately” once she leaves her bedroom.
Kelman said: “The younger sister was out of line with the inappropriate comment about the husband sexualizing her. It is the older sister’s home as well, so it is up to the younger one to respect their wishes.”
The therapist said being upset by the request to cover up is not warranted and the younger sister should “simply understand that being dressed appropriately around the child and the husband is the right way to go.”
Moving forward, Kelman added that the family should discuss expectations. “If the younger sister is not happy with the boundaries, perhaps she should look for a different living arrangement that suits her.”
Susan Groner is the author of Parenting With Sanity & Joy: 101 Simple Strategies and founder of The Parenting Mentor, a provider of parent coaching sessions. She told Newsweek: “Since the 20-year-old is living with her sister—which is generous of the couple—she needs to follow her sister’s rules, even if she thinks they are unreasonable.”
Groner said that the older sister should also be clear about what “covering up” means, be it sweatpants and a T-shirt or something else.
The author added that “odd as it may seem, siblings, parents, in-laws, etc need to go along with the wishes of the parents as long as nobody is getting hurt.”
Several users on Reddit sided with the younger sister in the latest viral post, while others wrote that it’s within the original poster’s right to set her own house rules.
In a comment that got 23,300 upvotes, user Visual_Humor_2838 posted: “I think you’re within your rights as the homeowner to make this request—your house, your rules.
“But I agree with her that this doesn’t seem like a big deal. I think it’s weird that you’re worried about your child seeing their aunt in athletic wear. Are you going to keep your 4yo [year-old] away from pools where there could be women in two-piece bathing suits?” the poster added.
PlanktonOk4846 agreed, writing: “That’s basically my conclusion as well. It’s weird to use the 4 year old as an excuse, and OP [original poster] is definitely sexualizing both her sister and her kid, but at the same time it is primarily OP’s house.”
User bbboozay wrote: “Yup. Her house, her rules fair enough. We all get it,” before adding, “You don’t want your kid to grow up sexualizing situations that are most certainly not that….continue to do this.”
Reddit user dirkdastardly posted: “It’s just a question of individual comfort level. I think OP is being disingenuous, though. This isn’t about her kid. This is about her being uncomfortable with it. She needs to think about why that is.”
User chelledees commented: “Bodies are just bodies until we make it weird or if it’s legitimately inappropriate then there would be a concern for sure…”
Newsweek has contacted the original poster for comment.
If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via [email protected]. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.
Discovered on: 2023-02-21 12:54:20
Source: Woman’s Reason for Telling Sister To ‘Cover Up’ When in Her Home Blasted