Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sexting

So... I learned a new term today. It's called Sexting. Sexting is sending sexually explicit pictures via cell phone. I learned of it via a news story on King 5 picked up from MSNBC and the Today Show.

I haven't delved into this too much, however, what I watched today was quite disturbing. The most disturbing of which is the young woman who hung herself because an ex-boyfriend sent nude pictures of her to several people. She took them herself but that doesn't excuse the young man's humiliation of her. Shame is a powerful consequence and in this case, it cost her her life. I'm a bit curious, though as to that ex-boyfriend's reaction to her death. Did he care? Does it bother him that his actions had a direct role in the death of a young woman he had, supposedly at one point, anyhow, cared about?


In addition to that, a young man sits in prison for distributing child pornography after sending nude pictures of his 16 year old ex-girlfriend to "get back at her." As you watch the video, that young man says he's "made a mistake - a very small mistake..." Another 18 year old from Florida laments that he shouldn't be on the same registered sex offender list next to rapists and murderers and that his sending nude pictures of his ex-girlfriend to over 70 people shouldn't ruin his life.


Honestly? I'm a bit stunned and angered by the story to know quite how to react. I believe the 15 year old girl in Pennsylvania arrested for creating child pornography (she took and distributed through MySpace nude pictures of herself) might be going a bit far but while attorneys and 18 year old men are crying foul...

How do we handle the idea that 70% of the teenagers asked admitted to participating in sexting?


Why do our teenagers think it is no big deal to do this? Not just the sending pictures around but taking or allowing nude pictures to be taken of them? How is shaming another person like this a "very small" mistake? What would that young man be saying if it was 25 years from now and it was his own daughter's picture being sent around?


Have we stopped teaching our children the sacredness of their sexuality? Of their bodies? The heartbreak so many kids feel when breaking up with someone is compounded and amplified if they have had sex with that someone. I have heard it said time and again "that's just the way it is." For some things (you get cancer, you get laid off from a job, your house catches fire), that's very true. For things such as teaching respect, responsibility for one's actions, long-term consequences of actions - for that matter simple courtesy - those things or lack of them are not "just the way it is."


I know - kids are tough and teenagers are the toughest kids. They really don't have any idea of the impact their decisions can have on the rest of their lives so talking to them and telling them the dangers of what they are doing would have limited effect. Perhaps we go the other way. Are we allowing them too many freedoms with the technology we have? Do they really need cell phones? Do they need instantaneous connectivity with thousands if not millions of people at once?


Do we drill into our children from a very early age that our bodies are the ONLY thing we have that is truly ours to give away? What else can we tell them? In all honesty, almost everyone has to learn things the hard way it's just... the penalties are getting steeper and as adults/parents what is our job in protecting our children?


I have more questions than I have answers. My heart just breaks for these young women (by the way - not a single story reflected young women sending around pictures of naked young men...) and for that matter, the men (at 18 they want to be considered men, apparently, for everything except when they break the law...) who perpetuate this.


Pornography, by the way, is usually a stepping stone to pimping/prostitution and trafficking... We thought the internet was an "immediate" enough problem. Now the cell phone takes that idea to a whole new level.

Anyone else feel sick to their stomach?

Proverbs 31:8-9

1 comment:

Beautiful Pear Tree Lane said...

Yes I do, and my heart just breaks over where i see this generation going, it seems nothing is sacred anymore. I know Gods heart must really break because He sees it all. Thank you for sharing.
Blessings,
Sue