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How Sexting Hurts Boys

Girls Aren't the Only Ones Harmed by Sexting

In the age of texts and tweets, harmless flirting seems to have fallen by the wayside. Boys are sending graphic texts and pictures to girls in misguided attempts at flirting and courting and are often seen as predators as a result, Today reports.

The casual-sex "hookup" culture is hurting adolescent boys socially and emotionally according to Catherine Steiner-Adair, a clinical psychologist and school consultant who interviewed 1,000 students nationwide for her book, The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age. She says it’s "insufficient, superficial and polarizing when boys simply get cast as aggressors and girls as victims.” Boys and girls both can suffer negative consequences from a hookup culture. "It's such a bad part of our culture to think that boys aren't also harmed," she says. "We are neglecting the emotional lives of boys."

The key to helping teens lies partly in early education. Some schools are launching classes focused on social and emotional issues, with teachers talking about gender, language, social media and healthy relationships. But the best resource to help your teen forge healthy relationships into adulthood is for parents to be available, take a personal interest, and do some “good old-fashioned talking,” Steiner-Adair says.

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juliadoherty juliadoherty 3 years
If you look at the research girls are frequently the aggressors in sexting (not to say boys don't willingly go along). However, women and girls in our culture are much more sexually aggressive than ever before and girls typically take an interest in boys earlier than boys take in interest in girls. Boys maturation in this respect often lags by a year or two. It important to talk to both girls and boys about respecting each other and behaving appropriately. It is also important to monitor the company your kids keep and the media they consume. That doesn't always mean keeping from watching shows that portray teen sexuality but watch with them and discuss what is going on and consequences. I'm shock at what goes on even on "kids" channels like Nick often very between the lines. Educate yourself about media and its effect on teens. There is a lot of great stuff out there. If you have girls (or you are a woman) go to YouTube and search Jean Kilbourn. There are also great books about how consumer culture causes us to treat even other people as consumer commodities. Lots of research on women and girls, but there is starting to be more research on boys too. A lot of this behavior and attitude is directly liked to the media we consume. Sut Jally (sp?) Dream Worlds series in another good place to start. If you can't talk to your kids because it makes you too uncomfortable give them good resources at least or enlist a relative who you trust to help. Some times a young aunt or uncle makes a great resource because the kids view them as cooler and might better hear the message.
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