Today I would like to distinguish differences between sexting in genders: men and women, young boys and young girls, teen boys and teen girls. Give examples of my understandings. How to educate teens in sexting? Is sexting good or bad? Will future generations encourage do sexting?
Sexting is a popular phenomenon in the 21st century characterized with the advancement of smart phone technology and internet connectivity globally. Sexting involves the exchange of sexual explicit information between two parties. Sexting terminology originates from the combination of a noun; sex and a doing verb; texting. Sex means the sexual activity which may include, sexuality, intercourse or pertaining to sexual content while texting means exchange of information through messages, images or recorded video clips mostly through a mobile phone medium. Therefore it means exchange of sexual information between two parties with the aim of flirting or making sexual advances through mobile phones or computer applications like Skype. It commonly involves male and female couples genuinely or purporting to enter into a sexual relationship or a serious relationship (Mitchell et al, 2012, p 13). However with the rising of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender and Queers this practice is expanding its borders to accommodate these groups of transformed genders and sexuality. Meaning members of the same sex can indulge in sexting, with the goal of getting into a sexual or romantic relationship. Sexting in a broader context is surprisingly evolving differently with different implications amongst different age groups: mature adults, young adults and teenagers.
Few works of literature have been published to give empirical evidence on sexting influences on the various age groups but according to Weisskrich & Delevi (2011) sexting amongst mature adults is considered morally upright practice. A man and a woman conjoined in a marital status like husband and a wife are morally inclined to sexting. Sexting between a man and a woman in a marriage setting is beneficial in encouraging, building and rejuvenating intimacy between the married partners (Weisskrich & Delevi, 2011, p 1697). Sex is part of conjugal right between a married couple hence sharing similar sexual motivated images and texts only serves to protect the conjugal interest between the couples. Sexting is therefore healthy between married couples. However sexting between a married partner and an outsider is likely to result to detrimental effects like infidelity, extra marital affairs and divorces. Exchange of sexual explicit information between a married man and an outsider woman in the name of flirting is more likely to lead to actual sexual relationships, such kind of relationships lead to extra marital affairs. Therefore sexting in this category has a negative consequence. Two consenting adults wishing to date and indulge in intimate romantic affairs are inclined to employ sexting to connect intimately and build a relationship out of it.
Young adults are interested in engaging in serious relationships that might lead to marriage however sexting in this category is a sensitive practice because it might either lead to infatuations or serious relationships. Young men in this category are intrigued by the idea of sexting due to the sexual excitement associated with the social practice (Ringrose, Gill & Harvey, 2012, np). Most young men might consider sexting as an essential part of the dating process; it enhances communication between an interested party and a neutral party. A young man may want to indulge in sexting to measure if the girl is interested in a similar manner. The same applies to young ladies who indulge in sexting to connect intimately with their interested partners.
Sexting amongst teenagers poses an area of interest to parents, educators, researchers and society at large. It is a sensitive topic because of the negative consequences attached to sexting between teenage boys and girls like unwanted early pregnancies, suicides and sexually transmitted diseases like herpes (Mitchell et al, 2012, p 13). The teenage era is one characterized by sexual exploits because of the body’s physical, psychological and emotional changes associated with transitioning to adulthood. The teenagers are more inclined to sexual activities with increase in age. The increased access of teenage boys and girls to smart phones and social media platforms only means the increase in sexting due to the increased capabilities to exchange sexual explicit content like nude images and videos. The 21st century is recording a high number of sexting due to proportionate advancement of technology. The teenage girls are however implicated in sending semi-nude and nude photos more than the boy teenagers. This is attributed to pressure from the teenage boy counterparts. Leaked nude photos going viral on social media are 95 percent nude or seminude photos of girls. Therefore sexting appears to be affecting the teenage girls more than the boys (Ringrose, Gill & Harvey, 2012, np). Sexting in this category might lead to child pornography exchange of nude photos of teenagers below 16 years with adults above 16 years only serves to encourage child pornography in the long run in addition to encouraging unmonitored sexual activity. Sexting amongst teenagers should be discouraged due to the dire consequences involved.
Sexting is therefore a controversial topic in need of further research works to establish its positive and negative effects on the teenagers, young adults and adults. Sexting amongst teenagers however needs most attention because of the detrimental nature it poses for the young lives (Ringrose, Gill & Harvey, 2012, np). The increase in reported cases of young teenage girls involved in suicidal deaths due to leaked nude photos to the public should serve as a warning to the government and society in general to quickly device corrective and monitoring mechanism curb sexting amongst the teenagers. The future generation appears to discourage sexting amongst the teenagers but encourage the practice between consenting adults.
Hope you all have a good night
Thi Bao Chau Tran
Mitchell, K.J., Finkelhor, D., Jones, L.M. and Wolak, J., 2012. Prevalence and characteristics of youth sexting: A national study. Pediatrics, 129(1), pp.13-20.
Benotsch, E.G., Snipes, D.J., Martin, A.M. and Bull, S.S., 2013. Sexting, substance use, and sexual risk behavior in young adults. Journal of Adolescent Health, 52(3), pp.307-313.
Ringrose, J., Gill, R., Livingstone, S. and Harvey, L., 2012. A qualitative study of children, young people and’sexting’: a report prepared for the NSPCC.
Weisskirch, R.S. and Delevi, R., 2011. “Sexting” and adult romantic attachment. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(5), pp.1697-1701.