On Friday, the State Assembly introduced the “Cyber Crime Youth Resuce Act,” which would create an “educational reform program” to teach the youth about the dangers of sexting. Which, on the one hand, makes a lot more sense than prosecuting teen sexters as child pornographers. On the other hand, well,
The program would teach children the potential legal consequences for sharing sexually suggestive or explicit images. And it would lay out the impact that such graphic materials could have on their relationships and career. And it would also stress to them “the nearly unlimited ability of an infinite audience to utilize the Internet search for and replicate materials.”
That sounds like something teenagers will totally listen to, right? What high schooler isn’t mostly thinking about their future career? I mean, I think we can all agree from our vantage point as (semi) adults that sending your high school boyfriend pictures of your tits is a terrible idea. But from what I remember about being in high school, not only is something being a terrible idea not a deterrent to doing that thing, it is actively a reason to do it.
I guess they’ve got to do something, and this is better than sending those sexting dumb-dumbs to jail. But I do find it funny that all these programs in the vein of educating kids about the dangers of x assume that the reason kids sext/huff paint/drag race their cars/eat only McDonald’s is that they don’t know that these things are bad for you. Everybody knows it is stupid to huff paint. The point of being 16 is that you do it anyway.
Anyway, I don’t think we really have to worry because I suspect having nude photos of yourself online is going to go the same way as tattoos. Eventually everyone will have one and it will stop being transgressive at all, and today’s high schoolers at thirty will wince at the pouty sex face they were making in their high school sext photos the way people in my generation now wince at the barbed wire bicep cuff or kanji tramp stamp.
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