I am a girl and I remember as early as 4 or 5 years old casually feeling slight sexual feelings that were immediately followed by shame and guilt. I was on my bed in my room and had already had doctrine ingrained into me that I was bad for feeling those feelings. Feeling like you’re not a good person at such a young age is absolutely abusive.
Then when I was 14, I discovered masturbation and felt severe shame and guilt, like I wasn’t going to go to heaven which was all a result of Bishop’s interviews and church teachings about masturbation being a sin. I suffered with lower self esteem in my teens because of this. It’s not a sin and the church needs to stop abusing its members and controlling their lives by controlling their sexuality. I believe this practice of controlling others by controlling their sexuality is rooted in the church’s polygamous beginnings when they shut women (and men!) down by controlling their sexuality, and has continued because the church doesn’t know how to exist if they can’t control people in this abusive way. It is APPALLING and needs to end NOW.
Then when I was 18, I remember in my first singles ward, my bishop got me confused with my sister somewhat, and when I discussed things with him that were none of his business in the first place, he quickly assumed I had done some things that I had not. The whole experience was so embarrassing and shaming that I didn’t have the words to correct him and he proceeded to put me through a repentance process that was completely inaccurate and unnecessary. It was abusive in many ways and looking back I can’t believe I went through that. When I moved my records to fiance’s singles ward when we got engaged, that Bishop even made it a point to call up my new bishop and tell him he didn’t think I was worthy to get married. I then had to talk with my new bishop and he said I was fine to get married. How incredibly ridiculous that I had to go through that. I hope no one else has to go through similar trauma.