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Published On: Fri, Mar 2nd, 2018

#MeToo and anti-bullying activists should be outraged at the new sexting study results: ‘normal’ behavior

Sexting is the practice of sharing sexually explicit images and videos of yourself or messages online, a practice which is on the rise among teenagers. Check out nearly every article covering a study’s findings and the word “normal” is included: “A quarter of teens are now sexting — here’s why researchers say that’s pretty normal” and “New study shows one in four teens are sexting; relax, experts say, it’s mostly normal” are just two examples.

Fox News’ headline was outright disgusting: “Not sexting? You’re weird, study says.”

photo/ Gerd Altmann

The message from the press: Sharing or receiving child pornography is normal parents, don’t worry…don’t stress and certainly, don’t question the intellectual minds developing sex education tools to normalize this behavior further among our youth.

According to new research published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, a meta-analysis of 39 existing studies involving 110,380 participants ages 12 to 18, found that nearly 15 percent of teens had sent a sext and approximately 27 percent received one.

There were no significant sex differences in the rate of sending or receiving sexts. Between 1 in 8 to 1 in 12 instances involve involuntary, nonconsenual sharing.

“Sexting is becoming a more common practice among youth; therefore, age-specific information on sexting and its potential consequences should regularly be provided as a component of sex education,” the study stated, concluding that “The prevalence of sexting has increased in recent years and increases as youth age. Further research focusing on nonconsenual sexting is necessary to appropriately target and inform intervention, education, and policy efforts.”

Sexting pornographic images to others, and forwarding those images is MORE COMMON, at a YOUNGER AGE, is INCREASINGLY NONCONSENUAL and the press labels this all as “NORMAL”?

Sorry, “MOSTLY NORMAL.”

The #MeToo activists should be coming unhinged.

“If we look at things like sexual behavior with teens, if it’s consensual and both teens wanted it and are OK with it, you are not going to see the negative psychological health. If it was nonconsensual or coerced, that is where you see the negative mental health problems, and we see the same thing with sexting,” study co-author Jeff Temple, a psychiatry professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch told CNN. (Emphasis added, The Dispatch)

If the teens are ok with it?

Very Well Family noted last year that “Sexting has some serious consequences not only for the person taking and sending the photos, but also for the person on the receiving end. As a result, it is important to talk with your kids about these consequences. Not only should teens be made aware of the emotional consequences of sexting but the legal ramifications as well.”

Emotional Consequences include:

  • embarrassment and humiliation, particularly because the image is no private
  • this often opens teens up to bullying, especially cyberbullying.
  • when a sexual image becomes public, friendships will dissolve
  • friends often distance themselves from the person being targeted because they fear they also will be bullied
  • images shared with a mass audience can cause immense guilt and shame
  • Girls who take nude pictures and then send them to a boyfriend, are at risk of being objectified (HELLO #MeTOO)
  • As bullying, ridicule and embarrassment escalate around the sexting, teens can start to feel hopeless and become depressed

Then there are legal consequences as many can charge both kids who send the photos and kids who receive the photos, resulting in possible jail time and probation if convicted of charges related to child pornography, teens that sext also run the risk of having to register as a sex offender.

The Olympian wrote that “the study’s authors wrote that their work lent itself to push for more education and understanding around teenage sexting, instead of more punitive measures,” quoting the study: “Consequently, efforts and resources to criminalize sexts should be redirected to educational programs on digital citizenship and healthy relationships.”

Parents and schools are now expected to NORMALIZE SEXTING (a form of child pornography) and be redirected to sex ed classes. To what end?

Are we to believe they will teach against SEXTING or just tell the kids that they are NORMAL?

“If you find out your child is sexting, understand it’s a fairly normative behavior; it doesn’t mean your kid is deviant or in a life of crime,” study co-author Jeff Temple told the Chicago Tribune. “It means they’re interested in their sexuality and sex.”

It also means that they may be humiliating themselves or someone else, contributing to the bullying crisis in schools, objectifying bodies (particularly girls) and breaking the law.

If society continues to treat sex as a transaction, allowing elicit images and content to younger and younger children, that emotional consequences list will only grow and create havoc on our culture.

Shame on the hypocrites in the media for their headlines and approach to covering this study. Shame on the researchers for attempting to normalize illegal behavior “because everybody is doing it.”

Ignoring science and the consequences of actions will end badly for all of those involved.

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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