Sexting: Lawmakers Still Don’t Understand Teenagers
From the Huffington Post:
Sexting: Schools, Legislators Debate Punishments For Offenders: The popularity of sexting has sent parents, school officials and legislators scrambling to figure out how to address the issue.
…The New York Department of Education has also moved to ban sexting. The rules would mean 90-day suspensions for students caught sexting. Students could get in trouble not just for messages sent during school, but at home as well.
If you give teenagers phones with cameras on them, they’ll send naked pictures to each other. They’re teenagers and are exploring their sexuality, largely in a complete vacuum because society just can’t let go of the institutionalized ABSENCE of practical sex education.
We will never control the teenage sex drive with laws. Period. Anyone fool enough to think otherwise hasn’t been properly laid in far too long.
Educate them. Actually TEACH them about sexuality, instead of leaving them to learn from the internet because you’re too intimidated (by the most natural act of our human existence) to talk about it with the children for whom you proclaim love.
Prohibitionism won’t work any better with sexting than it does with alcohol, because it’s just another societal hypocrisy.
“Don’t do this, kids…this is BAD. We’ll put you in jail and stuff. When you’re a little older it’s OK, but not NOW. When you turn 18 you go through a magical transformation and suddenly naked pictures are OK. Then when you’re 21 booze is magically OK.
It seems all our learned lawmakers are too blind or feeble-minded to realize the most basic truth of adolescence. Teenagers most desperately want one thing: To be treated like adults and to do adult things. Age based prohibitionism is like waving a red cape in front of a bull.
It’s why the US has horrendously elevated rates of alcoholism in comparison to the rest of the civilized world. We prohibit instead of teaching. We say, “It’s OK, just not for YOU. You’re not a grown-up yet.” It’s a bullshit contradiction that can only possibly make sense to those too old to have any meaningful memory of what it’s like to be young.
This is simply a continuation of an old legal hypocrisy. In most states the age of sexual consent is 16, yet if a 16-year-old takes a picture of themselves having sex they’re producing child pornography and can be charged with a felony. To this date no one has offered me even a half-baked explanation as to how it can be illegal to photograph a legal act.
The New York School Board is going to suspend students for 90 days based on text messages they sent at home? Really? Do we even have constitution anymore? I know she’s worn and tattered, with a bunch of eraser marks from the last couple decades, but I really thought there was some shred of it left. No school board has that sort of power, and to insinuate otherwise is hubris worthy of public floggings.
Kudos to those such as Pam Lampitt for attempting to use an educational solution. Unfortunately, before we can have any real reform in the way America handles sex education, we’re going to have to get some for our lawmakers; and that’s an uphill battle if ever there was one.