Sexual Messages | Sexting Signs, Causes & Consequences
Sexting is defined as the act of sending nude/semi-nude pictures of yourself or sexually explicit text messages via an electronic or handheld device. Teen sexting has assumed dangerous proportions, with an increasing number of teenagers believing that sexting won’t cause them any harm and that the harmful consequences apply to adults. Unfortunately, the reality is different. According to a recent study conducted by the NSPCC, teenage girls are under an increasing pressure from peers to share sexually explicit photos of themselves. While no parent wants to believe that their teen is indulging in sending sexualized messages/photos, it will help to be aware of sexting signs. As a parent, you can save your child from sexual exploitation and child-pornography offense.
A Few Tips & Signs to Exercise & be Aware of to Detect Sexting
- Talk to your child politely about the risk of texting. If they seem non-interested in communicating about the topic, this could mean something is wrong. They may be hiding something. Make sure you make them aware of the legal troubles of sexting. Some US states consider sexting as child pornography (Child Pornography Wiki Page), and the child can be labeled as a sex offender and charged with felony, casting them as social pariahs and limiting their employment opportunities.
Do you find your child extremely protective of their cell phone? Such secretive cell phone use could invite danger. It may indicate that they are engaged in sexting. If you doubt your child is abusing their cell phone privileges, you have every right to set rules for the use of the device or you could apply cell phone parental controls if the child is out of control. Surprisingly, teens are under the impression that they have control over the production of their images.
- Monitor your child’s cell phone usage if you suspect they are sexting. You might like to use parental controls provided by your cell phone provider or buy a third-party application that allows you to monitor outgoing text messages on your kid’s cell phone. Try to find the sexting causes that have been instrumental in such activities of your teenager.
- Check your child’s Facebook page to observe the type of messages they are exchanging with their friends.
Be Informed & Aware of Sexting
Teen girls are more likely to fall victim to sexting. The sexual objectification of girls risks dehumanizing them as sexual objects that can be shared around through electronic devices by young males. Parents are responsible to provide their teenagers with moral guidance, educating them to respect women so that everyone, including females, can enjoy human rights. Let your child know that their dignity is in their hands, and that they have a responsibility to care for their dignity. Parents should continue to have a regular conversation with their teenager about the dangers of sending nude messages or pictures if they identify sexting signs in their child. They should be informed that once a message is shared with another person, they lose the control over the message and that porn images can keep circulating in the Internet world for years, bringing disgrace to the child.