Common Sense on Sexting
The mainstream has started to pay attention to the abuse of child porn charges that Harper Jean Tobin and, more recently, I have been on about. This article is not perfect, but it makes two really good points: First, that this is wildly and willfully excessive.
Should Phillip be punished? Yes. Should the six teens in Pennsylvania face consequences? Yes. But let’s kick them off cheerleading squads and sports teams. Make them do community service and take classes on sex crimes. Educate other teens on the dangers of sexting. Pay a price, yes, but these young people shouldn’t pay for this for the rest of their lives.
Second, that this ought to be a wake-up call that teen sexuality will develop, and that parents have a responsibility to shape it, which they cannot do by ignoring it:
The bottom line: We need to educate, not incarcerate, our teens and it has to start with parents.
Don’t let the culture indoctrinate your little boy or girl about sex before their time. So strike first as a parent.
As parents, if we want to do right by our kids, we have to communicate both our values and information. I’ve been saying it. It starts with telling toddlers about their bodies, so that we have the foundation to tell teens about all the other stuff — not just sexting and STIs and pregnancy, but the big thing: how to go from being a kid to being a sexual adult; how they learn to make their own decisions. It’s not a bunch of separate topics. It’s a unified whole.