Apparently, if we’re not thinking about sex, we’re talking about sex. If we’re not talking about sex, we’re engaged in sex. If we’re not engaged in sex, we’re thinking and talking and planning, on becoming engaged in sex. Whew – no wonder I’m so tired!
According to sexologists, anthropologists, psychologists and sociologists, (and other …ists, I’m sure), a common denominator amongst humans is the degree to which they think of sex.
Given that we all seem to have this supposed preoccupation with sex – is it any wonder then, that the Internet, and its associated connected devices, have become a common outlet for erotic fantasies.
The meshing of sex and tech, has generated a Pandora’s box of problems, and associated issues, that need to be resolved socially, legally, and morally.
One of these problematic issues, is the issue of sex, tech, and teens; more precisely – teenaged sexting.
It’s an issue that has been a focus of attention in the news recently (today in fact, on CNN) – at least here in North America.
And, in typical fashion in matters dealing with sexual issues, law enforcement officials, in many areas, have abandoned common sense and regularly charge teenagers who exchange consensual nude photographs of themselves, with the production, dissemination, and possession of child pornography
So, is this just one more example of “officialdom’s” hysteria, and overreaction on sexually related issues? Or, is sexting, particularly teen sexting, a real problem that requires the harsh application of punitive measures to eradicate?
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, weighed in on this issue in a recent survey; a survey which seems to indicate that teen sexting is a problem. You should be aware that additional independent statistics suggest; 28 per cent of parents are sexting fans.
15 Percent of teenagers who have sent or posted nude or seminude images of themselves say they have done so to someone they only knew online.
48 Percent of teenagers say they have received such messages.
71 Percent of teen girls and 67% of teen boys who have sent or posted sexually suggestive content say they have sent or posted this content to a boyfriend or girlfriend.
21 Percent of teenage girls and 39% of teen boys say they have sent such content to someone they wanted to date or hook up with.
44 Percent of both teen girls and teen boys say it is common for sexually suggestive text messages to get shared with people other than the intended recipient.
36 Percent of teen girls and 39 % of teen boys say it is common for nude or semi-nude photos to get shared with people other than the intended recipient.
51 Percent of teen girls say pressure from a guy is a reason girls send sexy messages or images; only 18 % of teen boys cited pressure from female counterparts as a reason.
66 Percent of teen girls and 60% of teen boys say they did so to be “fun or flirtatious”; their most common reason for sending sexy content.
52 Percent of teenage girls used sexting as a “sexy present” for their boyfriend.
44 Percent of both teen girls and teen boys say they sent sexually suggestive messages or images in response to such content they received.
40 Percent of teenage girls said they sent sexually suggestive messages or images as “a joke.”
34 Percent of teen girls say they sent or posted sexually suggestive content to “feel sexy.”
12 Percent of teen girls felt “pressured” to send sexually suggestive messages or images.
Apart from the legal issues, which can have grave lifetimes consequences, teenagers engaging in what they may consider harmless fun, run the risk of having to deal with the outcome of present day “harmless fun” in the future, which could impact their lives in ways not yet considered.
Think Before You Post, an online resource from The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, designed specifically for teenagers, should really be a required component of everyone’s online education – not only teenagers.
The following tips are included on this online resource for teenagers to think about.
Use webcams or post photos online only with your parents’ and guardians’ knowledge and supervision.
Ask yourself if you would be embarrassed if your friends or family saw the pictures or video you post online. If the answer is yes, then you need to stop.
Be aware of what is in the camera’s field of vision and remember to turn the camera off when it is not in use. Checkout our recent article on web cam safety – “Big Brother” isn’t the only one watching you. “Uncle Nasty” is out there prowling the Internet too!”
Be careful about posting identity-revealing or sexually provocative photos. Don’t post photos of others — even your friends — without permission from your friends’ parents or guardians. Remember – once such images are posted you give up control of them and you can never get them back.
Recommended parental resources:
Text Ed – The LG Text Ed program will tackle pressing issues such as tween and teen sexting, managing children’s phone usage, the importance of self-esteem in a wireless world, recognizing potentially harmful and hurtful mobile phone behavior, and other concerns facing parents and their children.
Cyber Summer Safety Challenge for Kids & Teens – The Cyber Summer Safety Challenge was developed to get parents, teens and kids to start a dialogue about Internet safety, social networking, online threats and what they can do to protect themselves and their computers.
If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.