Wow, I just ran across this new article about sexting and I was surprised to see that the great sexting debate might not be some fleeting, momentary, absurd moral panic. It appears to be an absurd moral panic that has some staying power.
Apparently some polling data is showing that a larger number of older teens (16, 17) are doing sexting than their worried parents might have thought.
Now it remains to be seen if more anti-sexting laws will be pushed once again.
But where is the great surprise in all this? And quite frankly, I scratch my head over the sort of outrage and paranoia this is inspiring. I mean, let's see now...teenagers, kids going through puberty, are going to start experimenting with sex and exploring their sexuality. Who da thunk it? You know what? If you got anywhere close to a passing grade in high school biology class, you would think this sort of behavior was perfectly normal and expected.
Or perhaps the the kids of the folks in those morality groups like the Family Research Council or the Culture and Media Institute or the Parents Television Council might not be doing anything like this. You know, those people who have their kids sign the virginity contracts (and whose kids are having sex and getting pregnant at the exact same rate as all other teenagers who don't sign the contract and don't go to alcohol-free dances where you're supposed to stand at least a foot away from your partner and leave room for Jesus).
But, then again, who ever got pregnant from a "sext" message? Or caught a social disease from one? There are quite a number of other statistics on the sexual behavior of "these kids today," and they are also more likely to be engaging in safe sex activities than ever before. If a teenager is going to be having sex today, it is more likely that they will be using condoms than ever before. And, again, if sexual experimentation merely involves the cell phone, you don't even need to be worried about a leaky condom or a missed birth control pill.
So, with all the risky ways teenagers can explore their sexuality, texting might actually be the safest and best alternative.
And, of course, if today's parents, those creaky old squares, are giving too much static, junior can always remind them that grandma dropped acid and had sex with three guys at Woodstock.