I recently read an article on TheWeek.com called "How sexting culture sets young women up to fail." I wanted to share it with any who read this blog, as well as to archive it here for possible later reference.
What follows are selected passages that effectively paraphrase the article and its message:
Media discussions of sexually explicit messages exchanged by teens frame them as a monstrous horror coming to steal our children, suggesting that nearly all teens are sexting and that most of these messages involve passing around images of young women who are nude or partially nude. In fact, as we can see, the behavior is both not as common as cited, and not as gendered as believed. But the sexist double-standard in the way that people talk about sexting still stands: Girls are the ones who shouldn't sext because they might look slutty, they might not know where their pictures could end up, and they could look desperate.
. . .
The problem here isn't that sexually curious young women send pictures of themselves, and it shouldn't be. It should be that people respond to sexually explicit images and texts with censure, in a way that feeds a sex-negative culture that harms women.
. . .
This research illustrates that the real problem isn't sexually explicit messaging, which is simply a normal expression of adolescent sexuality. It's how we're raising our boys, and what we're telling them about girls.