Open dialogue between parents, children need of the hour, Psychologists on Bois Locker Room row

By Sahil Pandey

New Delhi (India), May 8 (ANI): After the expose of a private online group on social networking site in which school-going boys in Delhi allegedly sharing objectionable pictures of minor girls and discussed techniques of raping women, psychologists have highlighted the need for an open dialogue between children and parents is the need of the hour.

After screenshots of the highly misogynistic chats of the group 'Bois Locker Room' by some of Delhi's school going boys on Instagram were leaked online earlier this week, experts suggested that the mentality of considering women as inferior has an impact on young minds, and encourages them to exhibit it in their behaviour.

"This incident shows the mentality of males to objectifying women and considering them as lower species has not changed. Although we talk about women empowerment, we have not imbibed the values in our children. Children observe their parents being indifferent towards women," said Doctor Arti Anand, Consultant clinical psychologist Sir Gangaram hospital.

Dr Anand suggested that such children should be punished while adding that the parents are equally responsible for such acts.

"These children come from affluent families and parents also try to save their children instead of taking them to a counselling session. These children should be interrogated and parents should be taken into account as parents are equally responsible," Dr Anand said.

"They can do crime and get away with it and it is a dangerous condition. Children have all the information and they don't have the fear. They believe that they will be saved. They should be given adequate punishment," she added.

Delhi-based psychologist Dr Aroona Broota also echoed similar observations and remarked that children pick up the man-woman equation from the family and the availability of the obscene material which depicts sexual violence shapes the attitude of the child and they need to be evaluated.

"The children observe and learn about the relation between two genders from the house and how parents treat male and female child and when a child has access to media where there is explicit content which shapes up the attitude and when you have the intention of gang rape then you are mentally sick and you need to go through diagnostic. These children need to be tested and evaluated," Dr Boota said.

Talking about how the problem needs to be tackled in the future, Dr Anand mentions that parents should communicate openly with the children and keep a check on whom is he engaging with and they should also be cautious of his own behaviour in front of the kids.

"Parents should communicate with children. They should keep a check on whom children engage with and need to communicate with the child on what is going on in his/her mind and understand what are his/her values, interests, and attitude. Children observe parents and parents must be cautious regarding how they conduct themselves as it comes from the family," she added.

Dr Broota advised that imparting sexual education and gender sensitization to the child is essential for the overall development of an individual.

The chat room, exposed on Sunday by a girl targeted in the grisly group chats, has drawn massive anger, shock, and disgust on social media. Class 11 and 12 students casually discussed "gang-raping" girls in screenshots of chats that have gone viral on Twitter and other social media forums.

It is believed that some of the participants were as young as 13, which has seeded a debate on toxic masculinity and objectification of girls starting in schools and the need for greater control over the internet activity of children. (ANI)