Friday, April 15, 2011

OMFG Texas Teen Texting Has G2G? LOL

The Texas Senate has voted to allow prosecutors to charge teens 17 or younger with a misdemeanor for sexting. Sexting is when a mobile phone is used to send sexually explicit images or messages (but you already knew that, didn't you? Perv!). Lawmakers are doing this, of course, "for the sake of the children!", who would currently face a felony charge for sending a racy pic - anyone who transmits an explicit image of a teen or child can face felony charges of possessing or trafficking child pornography. This would be downgraded to a misdemeanor and would require first-time violators and their parents to undergo an educational program about the long-term harm of sexting.

Sen. Kirk Watson of Austin says, "I don't want teens to get labeled as sex offenders for the rest of their lives for doing something stupid. This bill creates different levels of misdemeanor charges for sexting."

The issue here is not that young people may be interested in or participating in sex, but that their confusion about appropriate and healthy sexual activity (or lack of) stems from mixed messages from adults and media. These spheres of influence provocatively oversexualize young people for adult entertainment (15-year-old Britney Spears dressed up in a school girl outfit putting lollipops in her mouth for her debut "...Baby One More Time") while simultaneously demonizing their actions (her having to respond to the American Family Association by publicly announcing she'd stay a virgin until marriage).

Here's an idea - if you don't want your kid sexting with other kids, don't give your kid a cell phone. Or at least not one that can send or receive pictures. And if you're actually worried about your child's sexual exploits then maybe try talking to your kids about sex. Maybe also explain that the world we live in involves viral sensations and unintended internet fame (which means parents have to actually understand today's technology and its effect on our lives and culture). You know, parenting? Do we really need the courts' involvement?

And now, because you're dying to hear it.

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