How would you react if I were to tell you that you should participate in sexting? The typical response would be full of disbelief and confusion. Although a familiar topic of conversation to many teens since the upbringing of the application Snapchat, rarely is it ever seen as positive behavior.
Sexting has been seen as a normal part of a teenager’s sexual development and helps them discover and explore their sexualities. Some may argue that sexting is correlated to sexual activity, which is true, but actually the percentage of teens who are sexually active has been declining, along with adolescent pregnancy over the last two decades. Sexting has a negative correlation with risky sexual behavior, such as unprotected sex, and with the lastest advancements in medicine, majority of young women receive Gardsail. This will protect them against HPV in the case that they do engage in risky sexual behavior. But instead of having parents making this a concern, Rey Junco, fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, encourages that it be a passageway into conversation with their teens about their sexuality. When sexuality becomes an open topic between children and their parents it can also reduce risks of risky sexual behavior and help build a healthy parent-child relationship.
When it comes to sexuality, it is treated as some forbidden fruit to anyone in their teens or younger. This is what I find confusing. Sexualization is so prevalent throughout media that it is almost shoved down our throats, but once a child catches on and begins to explore his own sexuality he is shunned. This is especially a problem for young women. People jump to the conclusion that girls create suggestive images of themselves on their mobile phones because they are imitating what they see in mass media. It is never considered that sexting may be a choice to express oneself sexually.
While sexting can be seen as beneficial to teens, it is illegal for those under the age 18. While seventeen states have lowered the charges for cases involving sexting, many people mostly fear the cost of their reputation. I believe that sexting would be much more prevalent if people could be assured that their photos would be safe. This could have led to the creation of the application, Snapchat, which claimed the title of “greatest tool for sexting since the front-facing camera.” People’s worries may fade a little when they discover that 2 percent of sexters – of adolescence sexters have had their photo shared with someone who didn’t want to see it. While sexting may still cause someone over the age of 18 their reputation or job in the case of a photo leak, it is strongly encouraged by psychologists. Sexting allows for intimacy to become mobilized. It can serve as a similar function in romantic and or sexual relationships to maintain an intimate sexual copresence that reaffirms attraction and affection while two partners are physically apart. Sexting has also been seen to increase sexual communication between partners and help them discuss their sexual desires in new ways. So don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed to explore your sexuality, especially in the form of sexting, but still be conscientious about who you’re sending photos/videos to and the problems it may cause.