“Send Nudes” is Not Acceptable

I like information based upon data (studies and research) when I can find it. Technology and social media is so new, relatively speaking, that there isn’t a vast pool of data to pull from. This article, based upon a study by Sara Thomas of Northwestern University, outlines an excellent point…and one I bet a lot of us (including myself) are missing: Tell kids (boys in particular) not to ask for nudes from others (girls in particular per this study). I’m sure many of us are telling our kids not to send nudes, but are we telling them not to request them equally?

This study reports that two-thirds of 12-18 year old girls were asked to provide an explicit picture. A quote from this article: “Teenagers are drafted into a sexual culture that rests on a harmful premise: on the heterosexual field, boys typically play offense and girls play defense.”

Asking a girl for a nude puts her in a difficult situation. She will want to please her boyfriend, but also does not want to compromise herself. Followed by comments like “everybody else has pictures of their girlfriends,” this can be very stressful for a young girl. Using a picture already acquired as a weapon of pressure for sending more transfers into the concept of sextortion. See the folks at the Cyberbullying Research Center for more on that.

Make sure to read this article and the points made by a study that was conducted. We need to give kids options to handle these situations. We also need to set rules and expectations for our society that we do not request these images from someone. End of conversation. That is the law, that is the rule.

There are some excellent books cited below the article to start some well needed conversations. I just ordered three of them from Amazon.