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A summary of key ideas
The author discusses the cultural and legal aspects of teenage girls’ sexting. After media across North America raised concerns over the risks of sexting, Pennsylvania District Attorney asserted that teenage girls who could be caught sexting could be charged with pornography (Karaian, 2012). Also, the attorney threatened to have charges against all teenage girls who could refuse to attend education sessions intended to make them aware of the risks of sexting.
However, the attorney’s ultimatum was resisted by three girls, a fact that led to the first ever legal suit regarding sexting.
The girls argued that it was unconstitutional to prosecute teenage girls for expressing themselves sexually over the internet. The article borrows from previous post-structural discussions on freedom of expression (Karaian, 2012). The article also discusses two online studies that focussed on digital expression of sexuality and third-wave feminist views on sexting.
The author of the article supports the idea that sexting should be viewed as an illegal activity across the world. The author gives narratives about antagonists and protagonists of digital sexual expression. In my view, the author has relied on views and expressions made by other people. The author does not give a clear conclusion of the findings in the article.
A Well written article should analyze other peoples’ contributions to a certain topic, but it should give the author’s views in conclusion. For example, the author analyses two studies that were conducted online to assess the impact of sexting. The online studies demonstrated the pleasures and danger experienced by teenagers who engaged in sexting.
The research findings also demonstrated that a good number of teenage girls believed that they had a legal right to express themselves sexually online. This was demonstrated in the legal suit that was initiated in North America by teenage girls who stated that preventing them from expressing themselves sexually online was tantamount to denying them their constitutional rights (Karaian, 2012).
The author has clearly and chronologically discussed past events. However, after discussing each source of contribution to the topic, the author does not give his or her views. This is a weak point noted in the article.
Although the author seems to suggest that sexting among teenage girls should be banned across the world, I do not agree with him or her. Teenage girls have constitutional rights to express themselves sexually (Brown, Keller & Stern, 2009). Teenage girls use many ways of expression. For example, they communicate with their friends and family to express their sexual feelings.
In most countries across the world, there are no legal restrictions preventing teenagers from expressing themselves sexually by way of dressing. Therefore, it is my opinion that teenage girls should have the freedom of expression and trust by sexting.
We are in a digital world that relies on the use of the internet as a platform of communication. For instance, teenage girls upload their photos on social media pages as a way of expressing themselves sexually (Brown et al., 2009). On the other hand, I also understand the fact that some cultures might not allow sexting by teenage girls. In such circumstances, there should be a balance between legal and cultural issues surrounding sexting.
The author could have improved the quality of the article by clearly stating his or her views. In the current state, the article lacks the author’s contributions and views on the topic under discussion.
Active class participation
To my class members:
- Do you think sexting should be allowed among teenage girls?
- Sexting promotes individual responsibility among teenage girls. Do you agree or disagree with the statement? Give your reasons?
- Under what legal and cultural circumstances do you think teenage girls should be discouraged from engaging in digital sexual expression?
- I kindly invite class members to ask questions so that we could discuss.
The relevance of the article to my understanding
The article has enhanced my understanding of sexting in the society. Sexting is done by teenage girls so that they could express themselves. Social media and the use of the internet have promoted sexting among teenage girls in society (Brown et al., 2009).
Many concerns have surrounded the topic in the recent past. Many people have argued that sexting could lead to high levels of moral decadence in the society while others have asserted that sexting could promote morality. To my class members, do you think sexting could promote morality or moral decadence in the society?
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A young female neighbor was threatened by her parents that she could be reported to the police for uploading her photos on her Facebook account. When I read the legal suit that was initiated by the three girls in the article, I remembered how distressed my neighbor was. However, I think she did not know that she had a constitutional right to express herself online by uploading decent photos.
Brown, J. D., Keller, S., & Stern, S. (2009). Sex, Sexuality, Sexting, and SexEd: Adolescents and the Media. Prevention Researcher, 16(4), 12-16.
Karaian, L. (2012). Lolita speaks: ‘Sexting’, teenage girls and the law. Crime, Media, Culture, 8(1), 57-73.