The Wild Wild Sext
There’s a whole new sexual frontier out there—one that nearly 50% of teens participate in: sexting. The U.S. court system defines sexting as “an act of sending sexually explicit materials through mobile devices.” The messages may be text, photo, or video.
Talk about it
Sexting—which relates directly to social media literacy, self esteem and privacy—is something you may want to get to before they bring it up. Once there’s a problem, it could be too late. Here are some ways to start the conversation: Nothing is private in cyberspace Even though a snapchat post lasts only 10 seconds, doesn’t mean it won’t end up for all to see (and share) forever. Brainstorm with them (because they know this technology better than you) all the ways this could happen. Not clicking “send” is hard There are so many reasons teens sext: to flirt, connect, comply. Role-play these reasons, then discuss the consequences. This can arm them with rational, well-thought-out resistance to clicking “send.” Real world principles Help them understand that just because it’s online, it doesn’t change interpersonal rules surrounding trust, respect and consent. When in doubt follow WWGT (What Would Grandma Think.)
What to know
It’s all changing so fast that the best way to keep up is to ask teens. Right now, here are some of the activities and platforms they’re using. Types of Sexting • nude or provocative selfies • body part selfies • videos showing nudity • videos of sex acts • sexual text proposals • text messages about sex Sexting media platforms •texting and messaging • snapchat • video phoning • other platforms ???