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It is necessary to note that the introduction of new technologies has had an enormous impact on the way people interact with each other. The issue is that some of the negative aspects are frequently overlooked, and this is a space that is poorly regulated. Parents cannot control everything that is going on the Internet because the privacy of their children may be affected. Adults also can be affected by similar issues, and this problem needs to be discussed. Sexting is not well-understood by the population, and many women and girls may be traumatized or abused. It would be beneficial to analyze the way such activities are viewed by various writers to get a better understanding of the scope of the problem.
Sexting and Adolescents
Ringrose et al. discuss the issues that teen girls may have to deal with if they are introduced to such activities and are not well-informed on this subject matter. They can learn many questionable behaviors if they are not careful. For instance, they may think that they are valued only for their beauty. Moreover, one may believe that it is impossible to maintain relationships if such pictures are not being sent. Girls that were interviewed told that there have been instances when boys have asked them to send nude photos, and they thought that there is nothing wrong with it. It is entirely possible that some of them have accepted such requests because they did not understand that it may cause problems. Another aspect that needs to be highlighted is that boys have suggested that they think that it is likely that young women want to have sex with them if they participate in sexting and have a desire to meet in real life (Ringrose et al. 317). It is quite evident that it could lead to potential complications, and a misunderstanding may be especially problematic.
The problem is that many males do not think about the feelings of those girls and only interested in getting those pictures. Such relationships are quite troublesome, and this experience may have a long-lasting impact. On the other hand, some may suggest that boys also have to deal with issues when texting. For instance, a girl may ask one to send a picture of his genitalia, and then show it to everyone else to shame him. Leakages of such photos are not treated as seriously because they are being taught not to worry about the appearance of their bodies. The issue that is worth mentioning is that many girls are pressured to send those pictures because everyone else does it (Burkett 838).
They may not even enjoy the process, and they should not be forced to do so. It is such a significant problem because adolescents do not have access to necessary information, and such activities may not seem wrong or illegal. However, they may be charged because of the possession and distribution of a particular kind of child pornography. It is understandable that such an approach may not seem reasonable because it has not been proven that they had any other intentions, but this is how the judicial system works. It is viewed as a crime even if they did not understand that it was against the law. The society should be responsible in this case, and it must protect children from such situations. Furthermore, it is necessary to develop particular guidelines on how sexting may be managed.
Hasinoff explores a possible association between sexting and sexualization. Many feminists have different views on this issue, and it would be beneficial to compare these positions. Some suggest that females can protect themselves from possible violence if they dress and act appropriately. However, one of the crucial aspects that should not be overlooked is that objectification is perpetrated by boys and men most of the time. The fact that they see particular pictures in the media makes them think that it is reasonable to treat women as objects (Hasinoff 109). It is possible to state that such activities enhance this idea and complicate the situation. Many men may think that females are obligated to send such pictures. The situation becomes especially problematic when boys make threats and demand more pictures. Furthermore, it puts them in a controlling position, and one may not know what to do because of such psychological abuse. Young women may deal with severe depression and could be anxious all the time. Most adolescents view it as something fun and not dangerous, but it is not the case in many instances. Also, conversations with their friends may make them think that it is something that everyone does, and one should not be worried.
Another aspect that should be taken into account is that boys are likely to show these pictures to others. They like to collect them, and it certainly can be viewed as degrading to women. The reasons behind such behavior are rather understudied, but it is possible that the situation is caused by the objectification of women (Renold and Ringrose 249). Also, another issue that needs to be highlighted is that girls may be traumatized when boys send them inappropriate pictures, and it is frequently done without any warning. Moreover, both sides should participate in the discussions because they do not know how to behave appropriately. A possible solution to this problem is to ensure that pictures are moderated before being delivered. It is understandable that one may suggest that privacy is broken in such cases. However, the safety and well-being of children are at risk, and the ways in which such an approach may be implemented should be discussed. It will require enormous amounts of resources, but it is necessary because child pornography should not exist from the perspective of ethics. Another point that is worth mentioning is the level of anonymity on the Internet, and it is possible to mislead someone. The fact that adults may appear as adolescents are disturbing because it leads to pedophilia, and it becomes especially worrisome when a child sends a naked picture because the consequences of such interactions can be severe.
Sexting and Adults
Wysocki and Childers attempt to analyze the causes of sexting and the feeling that people had during and after the process. The results of the study indicate that close to sixty percent of adults have participated in such activities. Also, it was found out that more than half of the individuals questioned were sending pictures. It was noted that females were doing it much more often (Wysocki and Childers, 236). Such results suggest that women can be pressured by males and may have issues related to low self-esteem. It is also stated that nearly forty percents of people are anxious that they can be caught. An article by Jewell and Brown explores how sexting is affected by gender stereotypes. It is suggested that there is a direct correlation between the ideas that men view women as sex objects and their behavior. Moreover, it is mentioned that females that think that males are primarily focused on sex also act differently. The data received indicates that women that endorse stereotypes related to gender roles are much more likely to send pictures (Jewell and Brown 598).
The influence of society is enormous in this case, and objectification of women for many years has led to issues related to the perception of oneself. It is necessary to understand that sending pictures is not the only problematic aspect of sexting, and messages also should be analyzed. It is understandable that the process may be quite fascinating, and it helps to explore sexuality without being physically vulnerable, and it may be done at a safe distance. Another benefit is that it may be utilized to understand sexual preferences of the partner. Furthermore, it can be a good thing for the relationships, and such benefits should not be overlooked. However, it becomes quite troublesome when derogatory terms are introduced. One may try to make the process as exciting as possible, but it is not an easy task to find the right balance most of the time.
Another possible objection that one may make is that many females enjoy the experience and are equally interested in the reaction of the partner. Moreover, it would be unreasonable to limit the ability of individuals to participate in such activities. Another point that should not be disregarded is that many complications may occur in case one posts such pictures on the Internet. For instance, it may not be an easy task to identify the person with available technologies and photographs also have to be studied. Police officers do not know how to react in such situations and what measures should be taken. One should not avoid sexting, but it is also imperative to understand associated risks. It would be reasonable to send such pictures only to a trusted person because the impact of leakage may be long lasting, and one may not even know if it has happened.
In conclusion, it is evident that sexting can be quite problematic in some cases, and the most significant issue is that many individuals do not know what course of actions needs to be taken to protect themselves and their dignity. Most feminists are quite concerned about the situation for many reasons. It is a relatively new trend, and the society does not know how to react yet. One should not live in constant fear because naked pictures have been leaked on the Internet. The most attention should be devoted to the education of women in this area. It is necessary to provide both females and males with all the required information, and various perspectives should be considered. It is paramount to ensure that suggested tips are appropriate, and new issues are not introduced. Overall, it is possible to state that this area is understudied, and it would be beneficial to explore psychological reactions and how related risks are perceived by women of different age groups.
Burkett, Melissa. “Sex(T) Talk: A Qualitative Analysis Of Young Adults’ Negotiations Of The Pleasures And Perils Of Sexting.” Sexuality & Culture 19.4 (2015): 835-863. Print.
Hasinoff, Amy A. “Blaming Sexualization for Sexting.” Girlhood Studies 7.1 (2014): 102-120. Print.
Jewell, Jennifer A., and Christia S. Brown. “Sexting, Catcalls, and Butt Slaps: How Gender Stereotypes and Perceived Group Norms Predict Sexualized Behavior.” Sex Roles 69.11-12 (2013): 594-604. Print.
Renold, Emma, and Jessica Ringrose. “Feminisms Re-figuring “Sexualisation”, Sexuality and “The Girl”.” Feminist Theory 14.3 (2013): 247-254. Print.
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Ringrose, Jessica, Laura Harvey, Rosalind Gill, and Sonia Livingstone. “Teen Girls, Sexual Double Standards and “Sexting”: Gendered Value in Digital Image Exchange.” Feminist Theory 14.3 (2013): 305-323. Print.
Wysocki, Diane K., and Cheryl D. Childers. “”Let My Fingers do the Talking”: Sexting and Infidelity in Cyberspace.” Sexuality & Culture 15.3 (2011): 217-39. Print.