Ever eager to push the Overton window a little further towards the perverted and the extreme, a pair of Florida Atlantic University professors are now encouraging parents to teach their teen children the art of “safe sexting.” In an article published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the researchers insist that while sexting is only practiced by approximately 14-23% of teenagers, it is incumbent on parents to explain to their children how they can send naughty pictures to their significant others without exposing themselves to too much risk.
“Youth who engage in sexting open themselves up to possible significant and long-term consequences, such as humiliation, extortion, victimization, school sanction, reputational damage, and even criminal charges,” the authors write.
Only a rube would conclude that it might be a good idea to tell their kids, um, NOT to engage in this behavior. In today’s landscape, we’re all far too advanced and evolved to ever set such limits on our kids’ healthy and productive sex lives. Therefore, it’s up to parents to guide their teens towards wiser sexting practices.
The researchers believe in setting up education for these teens so that they know how to “sext” more safely. This might include “teaching youth about the possible consequences” of their actions,” yes, but also “equipping them with the knowledge to minimize harms that may result.”
A condom for the iPhone? Well, not exactly.
The researchers say that parents should tell their kids to only send racy pictures to people they “know and fully trust.” They suggest that parents should encourage their children to “consider boudoir pictures” instead of explicitly nude photos. Because, naturally, a teen girl who can’t resist the pressure to send sexy pictures will be able to easily resist when her boyfriend says, “Okay, now send one without the lingerie.” Makes perfect sense.
We’re sure you’ll be surprised to learn that the professors want to bring this instruction into the public school classroom.
“This would fit best in a comprehensive sex education curriculum,” Patchin said in an interview with Campus Reform. “The strategies might also be conveyed by parents who might be concerned about their kids’ online behaviors.”
Look, we don’t envy any parent trying to raise a teenager through these puzzling times, but we’ve got serious doubts about the merits of teaching them “safe sexting.” Maybe it would be wise to aim higher and teach them a sense of self-respect and morality that’s just a bit more meaningful than what they’re learning at school and from the media. Just sayin…