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“Grow up”: Parent slammed for shaming daughter, husband at family gathering

Commenters criticized an anonymous parent online after they told their daughter and her husband to “be more respectful” after several public displays of affection (PDA) at a family gathering.

The original poster (OP), or u/family_gathering_, posted about the incident in Reddit‘s popular “Am I The A**hole” where it received nearly 4,000 upvotes and 1,600 comments. The post can be found here.

Users slammed a parent online after revealing they asked their daughter and husband to stop kissing at a family event.
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Where is PDA Acceptable?

“Generally speaking, it’s safe to steal a quick kiss on the street just about anywhere in the Americas (that’s North, Central and South America),” said an article by Steph Koyfman on Babbel Magazine. “Mexico and Latin America are both places where PDA is generally even more out in the open than in the United States.”

According to a study published in the Journal of Sex Research, “Of the 155 female and 194 male college students who completed the online questionnaire, 32% of the women and 37% of the men reported having done this, often before entering college.”

Where is PDA Frowned Upon?

But other countries, including Dubai and India, have strict affection laws which can result in jail time. In Dubai, public kissing is illegal and in India, individuals found guilty of “obscene acts,” including kissing, can be thrown in jail, said the article in Babbel Magazine.

“Often, there’s a direct link between the dominant religion and its values around modesty,” Koyfamn said. “This is generally true in Buddhist, Islamic and Confucian cultures. In Japan, it’s not so much a religious taboo as it is a cultural one—people here tend to be more reserved.”

‘Am I The A**hole?’

In the post titled “AITA for telling my daughter she and her husband should be more respectful?” OP said they attended a family gathering a few days ago at their sister’s house with their daughter Holly and her new husband John. The post neither clarified where the family lives nor which cultural or religious affiliations they hold.

At the family gathering, OP said Holly and John “kept touching” and holding hands. She also said John kept kissing Holly.

“It wasn’t anything crazy, just a few pecks on the cheek but I thought it was a little inappropriate to be going on like that in a family gathering,” the post read.

OP’s sister told them that Holly and John were “setting a really bad example.” OP then told Holly that she should be “more respectful” of everyone at the gathering and that John doesn’t need to kiss her in public.

“Holly was furious, saying that she and John aren’t doing anything bad and we need to grow up,” the post read. “They ended up leaving the gathering early and I haven’t spoken to her since then.”

Redditor Reactions

Nearly 1,600 users commented on the post, many calling out OP for being offended by the newlywed’s public affection.

“YTA. Holding hands and kissing on the cheek? How is this offensive?” one user commented.

“Holding hands and kissing on the cheek?!?! The horror!!” another user wrote. “You’re so right, no one should ever see healthy displays of affection. Can you imagine what the world would turn into if too many people started holding hands with the person they love?”

“A husband kissing his wife and hand-holding is fairly standard. Especially for newly-weds,” another wrote.

“Based on what you described, you’re just an uptight prude, and so is your family,” another user commented. “And exactly what is the ‘really bad example’ they’re setting? That married couples might actually like and care for one another?”

The Journal of Sex Research also shows that some people who partake in public displays of affection are motivated by enhancing their own image, demonstrating happiness in a relationship, or causing envy or jealousy among peers.

Science also says that PDA validates how a partner feels about the other person and can even lessen the production of the stress hormone cortisol while oxytocin–also called the “love hormone”–skyrockets.

Newsweek reached out to u/family_gathering_ for comment.

In another viral Reddit post, users supported a woman after her brother and dad made it “clear” they would want “nothing to do” with her if she divorces her estranged husband.

Another woman was supported by users after telling her dad and siblings that they aren’t in their grandparent’s trust, and a man was backed for revealing to his family that his “sister” is his biological mother.

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