The Girl Scouts of America is issuing a warning to parents this holiday season, urging them not to force their children, especially daughters, to hug relatives at family gatherings.
In a lengthy essay on their website, the organisation argues that by telling a young girl she owes someone a hug because she hasn't seen them in a while, or they gave her a gift, sets her up for a life of questioning whether she 'owes' another person physical affection for certain actions.
"The notion of consent may seem very grown-up and like something that doesn't pertain to children," wrote Girl Scouts' developmental psychologist Dr Andrea Bastiani Archibald, "but the lessons girls learn when they're young about setting physical boundaries and expecting them to be respected last a lifetime, and can influence how she feels about herself and her body as she gets old."
Three's The Project took to the streets of Auckland on Tuesday to ask what people thought of the new missive, and responses were mixed. While some thought it was a great opportunity for kids to decide what to do with their bodies, others thought it was ridiculous.