OK – I went for the cheap headline – the quick sex-sell – but I got your attention, didn’t I? Now listen up.
I deleted my MySpace account months ago, sickened by the whole sex-market solicitation aspect of the so-called social networking site. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not a prude, and many people would say my political bent is extremely to the left; but the same people who cry invasion of privacy are the exact same individuals who are shocked when their soft-porn photos and suggestive emails are published for the world to see. These days it’s called sexting – using a digital form of communication, cel phone, text message (SMS), or the Internet to “flirt” with blatant sexual innuendo or nude or semi-nude photos.
Sadly, sexting is being blamed for the suicide of an Ohio teenager who was devastated when her ex-boyfriend distributed a boudoir shot of her all over the Internet. The case of Jesse Logan has been in the headlines recently – the poor girl’s Mom found her hanging in her bedroom. She had been victimized by other girls calling her slut and whore. Other girls, mind you, who probably send the same suggestive emails, texts and photos to their boyfriends, also not thinking about the ramifications of when the relationship goes bust (and they always do!)
This raises so many issues, both legal and societal, when we have a society baring it all in the great human dumping ground of cyberspace. The friendships are digital, the emotions are instantaneous and the consequences can be perpetual. And believe me, it is not just teens and young adults who are doing it. There are spouses cheating on their wives or husbands, sexting online with people they have never met, soliciting sexual fantasies with who knows what or where. These are just stupid adults, right?
In Falmouth, Massachusetts, six boys, aged 12 to 14, may face child pornography charges for passing around a nude photo of the 13-year-old girlfriend of one of them. Now, the laws on child pornography are definitely in place to protect innocent children from child pedophiles, but I think the real crime here is that a 13 year old boy was taking nude photos of his pubescent girlfriend in the first place. Where has childhood gone? This is way more than playing doctor or boys thumbing through Playboy magazine. Is it a wonder the strict Mormons or Muslims look down on the debauchery of Western society?
Shouldn’t the teen girl also be charged with a crime? If the boys are convicted sex offenders they will carry that label for the rest of their lives. Young brothers and sisters who live with them or young cousins who visit will not be allowed near them. At what point do parents start taking responsibility for what their children are doing? At what point do parents stop buying cel phones for 10 year old children or giving teens cel phones with cameras? When do parents start parenting? Then again, if Mommy is cheating on Daddy with her cyber boyfriend, what can we expect?
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