“Sexting” is sending messages that contain nude or graphic photos of young teens. As you can imagine, the images are creating quite a stir. Courts are issuing child pornography charges in some cases, and there has even been a suicide.
Consequently, people are starting to ask why children would do this in the first place. Why? It’s a little thing called peer pressure — or the fact that kids are younger and younger as they are exposed to socialization.
That same concept that was present when I was in high school is still alive and well today. Young moldable minds are told by their peers that they should do this or that. Or seeing the popularity that one girl gets when her sex message gets passed around the school is just enough motivation for another girl to do the same.
The tale is as old as time; it’s just the actions and stories that get changed around.
Just as we have made huge technological advances, we see consequences such as the hundreds of thousands of ads made public to us every day or kids as young as nine who have the opportunity to make a MySpace page and give in to social networking before they are able to even understand the concept of a sexual predator.
As television shows, advertising and magazines become more sexualized, graphic and readily available, kids are learning it is okay to be sexually active like their favorite television star, but not learning the consequences of their actions. Young girls are hitting puberty at younger and younger ages, so while their bodies say they are ready for sex, their emotions and minds are not.
As Americans, we are at a loss about educating our children. No longer is it acceptable to teach children abstinence-only education or sex education. We have to teach children not only the consequences they may create for themselves, but also about the dangerous things others can do to them.
I am not asking for this world to be perfect, but to withhold such important information from children is to do a disservice to future generations.
To read more about sexting cases, click here.Lauren Cash is a student in the Spring 2009 Feminist Theory class. To read more student posts, click here.