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Sexting

Mary Kassian

Mary Kassian | 04.20.09
Twitter: @MaryKassian

11 comments

(Caution: This post contains explicit material that may not be appropriate for young women.)

What do you get when you mix cell phones with a culture of Girls Gone Wild? Sexting. Sexting is the practice of young women sending text messages of nude or partially nude photos of themselves to their boyfriends or romantic prospects. It’s the newest craze. And it’s getting more and more prevalent.

A survey of 1,280 teens and young adults–conducted by TRU, a global leader in research on teens and 20-somethings–reports that one in five teen girls (22%)—and 11% of teen girls ages 13-16 years old—say they have electronically sent, or posted online, nude, or semi-nude images of themselves. These racy images are also getting passed around: One-third (33%) of teen boys and one-quarter (25%) of teen girls say they have had nude/semi-nude images—originally meant to be private—shared with them. The statistics among the young adult population of 20 to 26 year olds is even more staggering. More than one third (36%) of young adult women have sent or posted nude or seminude images of themselves.

Law enforcement agencies are struggling with how to manage the sexting phenomenon. In several cases across the nation, prosecutors have threatened child pornography charges against teens who received or sent the text messages. In Pennsylvania, a prosecutor threatened to charge three teenage girls with trafficking in child pornography after photos of themselves topless or in their underwear ended up being sent to classmates’ phones. A kiddie porn conviction could mean jail time or even registration as a sex offender. The district attorney offered that in order to avoid the charges, the girls participate in a five-week re-education program, in which they would discuss “what they did wrong” and “what it means to be a girl.” But their parents and the American Civil Liberties Union intervened. They argued that these young women had every right to send the explicit photos.

There’s so much that could be said about all this, but what’s so interesting to me, is the district attorney’s insistence that the girls needed to be “re-educated” about “what it means to be a girl.” The irony of the situation is that the actions of these girls are totally in line with our culture’s definition of womanhood. The reason they’re sexting is because they HAVE been re-educated about what it means to be a girl! They’re the first fruits of a truly feminist culture. They’ve been taught–and they truly believe–that women have the right and the power to do and be whatever they want. Women define themselves! So in their minds, they haven’t done anything wrong. Sexting is just another expression of Girl-Power. It’s nothing but a practical application of Betty Friedan’s mantra that “We (women) need and can trust no other authority than our own personal truth!”

The authors of the Sex and Tech survey conclude that teens need to think before pressing “send” and that parents need to talk to their kids about sex and technology. This is undoubtedly true. But until we present our young women with a new and beautiful vision of womanhood–a biblical vision . . . a high and noble vision that speaks to their true identity and purpose–they will continue to pursue the modern sexualized ideal, and slither further down the slippery slope. Women, it’s time to reject the feminist notion that women can define what womanhood is all about. It’s time to look to our Creator for a true definition of womanhood. It’s time to stand up for the minds and hearts of the next generation of women. It’s time for a holy counter-revolution.

Here are a couple questions for you:

Is sexting just another expression of Girl-Power?
How do we “re-educate” our daughters in “what it means to be a girl?”
How do we protect them from worldly ways of thinking?

Topics: Sexuality

Comments

  1. Many times while I work in a high school setting you see young women wearing clothing that is not modest. There are guidelines and rules but unless a student is sent to the office or home they continue to wear the clothing. Officials do not recieve support from parents and sometimes are chewed out for the interference. It is also disheartening to watch movies about kids in "high school" and see them wearing clothes that would be on the inappropriate list. We have to recognize as parents we either encourage or discourage this behavior. Talking about why a certain choice of clothes over another is better and why would help. Also talking about the pressures of having to have a boyfriend/girlfriend at early and earlier ages isn't necessary. Parents are responsible but also need encouragement by their peers to press for higher standards. Honesty from male leaders in the family about how they see the immodestly dressed young lady affects them would be a wake up call to women everywhere.
    posted by MaLinda Eaton
    on Monday, April 20, 2009 at 12:32 pm
  2. As we look at the core of any situation, what is the source?
    What do these young girls really want? All of this exploiting and attention-getting is a soul in search of love. Why do
    women dress like this? What is the core? A desire for love,
    attention, approval. There is only one source where this
    will ever be found; Jesus Christ. The world needs a savior.
    These young girls need to know there is a savior that loves
    them and they do not need to sell themselves and/or destroy themselves to get it. Jesus is the only answer.

    Jesus reminds me not to judge these people but to see them as lost sheep; desperately searching for light.
    posted by Michele
    on Monday, April 20, 2009 at 1:22 pm
  3. Mary,
    This issue so grieves my heart to see how young girls are degrading themselves, by sending their young, once innocent bodies out for the world to see, they are being posted even on the internet.

    On the news it has been reporting so much about this issue and how it is rampant among teens. How this should sicken parents with teenagers right now, they are all in danger of the immorality, even if they did not willingly want to be a participant.

    Teens need to be made aware of the consequences this could have on their lives indefinitely. And you are not kidding a "HOLY COUNTER REVOLUTION" is a must.

    Mothers of teens also need to stand up and be godly women and be modest themselves I have seen so many women even in the church that do not dress in a way that is appropriate. Fathers need to stand up and tell their teen daughters, No! You are not leaving this house dressed that way!

    Parents have been to lenient on their youth and are not teaching them to respect their own bodies for it is the temple and should be kept pure for the right one that God has saved for them.

    I believe this is an issue were the law enforcement needs to step in and put a stop to it, before if ruins alot of young peoples future. Even employers are now checking reputations of idividuals online to see what kind of individual they are, and nude pictures pretty much speak for themselves.
    posted by Tambra Lucas
    on Monday, April 20, 2009 at 1:52 pm
  4. Right now I'm most concerned because I have a son and a daughter. For my son it is scary because there are very indiscreet girls at school who like him and who will be behaving towards him this way making his purity almost impossible. For my daughter it is scary because the tide will pull her in this direction. As a parent, I am scared and finding it an uphill battle to instill pure values in my kids. Any resources you can share to help in that endeavor are greatly appreciated!
    posted by lina
    on Monday, April 20, 2009 at 3:03 pm
  5. I totally agree. Just go to a department store, I was at one with my daughter recently. My daughter was trying on banquet dresses, another teen also had her mother with her. The girl walked out wearing a very unflattering, immodest dress, her mother was just raving about it, on how much it showed off her fabulous body. I turned and saw the mother, she was dressed the same way.

    Fathers play such a critical role at this stage in life. My husband was so pleased to compliment our daughter on the dress she(we) picked out. It was modest and classy. He also bought her a corsage and put it on her wrist. She went to banquet with a group of girls and had a wonderful time.

    By the way, we do not have texting in our phone package.
    posted by Barbara
    on Monday, April 20, 2009 at 3:15 pm
  6. Sexting is really an attempt by young girls to seek power and love. They have been fooled by the larger culture to think that their bodies are merely biological sex machines that make men crazy. We live in a materialistic world that reduces humans into bodies without acknowledging thier souls. Women have always been the main focus when it comes to purity--that is sad. And men have been fooled into thinking they can't control their "God-given" desire to lust after women--after all isn't that how God made them? Of course it's not, but we tend to like to justify sin with bilogical answers (or scientific ones).
    As a mother of four boys I have tried to speak openly about human sexuality and the beauty of sex within a marriage relationship. I have told my oldest son about the dangers of pornography and how it grieves God's heart. What young girls need are strong female role-models who use their bodies, hearts, and minds to worship God.
    Also, just as a side note,I think we as parents need to realize that our kids are getting married later (than in Biblical times) and yet their bodies are maturing the same--if not faster sexually. I think we are fooling ourselves by thinking that our children should get their lives in order (get their degrees) before they get married. I personally got married in college and still was able to finish my degree. God honors purity before human success.
    posted by Lisa
    on Monday, April 20, 2009 at 3:20 pm
  7. In so many of these cases I believe it's the parents of all these children that need to be educated, leave the "re" out of it, so they can adequately equip their daughters and sons with the armor they need to rise above the pressure in which they are under to "fit it". We have grown up thinking that our daughters are supposed to be princesses and our sons princes. Just yesterday I was sharing with someone that my daughter is the only granddaughter on either side of the family and the person's comment to me was "so your daughter is everyone's princess". No my daughter is not a princess and does not appreciate being referred to
    as one. That's exactly the point I am making, our daughters are not princesses. they are God's creation. They are not set apart in some other fantasy world where the sexiest, wealthiest one gets the prince or the corner office with a great view. Educating our children about sex and relationships and who they are according to God's word doesn't start when they are 10-12 years old anymore, unfortunately it starts the day they are born by being the example God wants us to be. We, the parents, not the parents of their friends or their friends themselves, but we have to show them by being their example. Like I said my daughter is 15 and has no desire at the present time to be in a relationship with a young man. I have prayed from the day she was born that she would wait on God's timing and wait on who He has waiting for her. I have also prayed for the one God has created especially for her and that he too will wait on God's timing. It all starts with prayer and being the example.
    posted by Ellen Zell
    on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 7:37 am
  8. Mary,

    I don't think women started defining themselves (they may have thought they were) but instead they allowed twisted men to define them. They took the bait and believed the lie that evil men have always set forth--pleasure and power before purity.
    Unfortunately women have attempted to gain power by acting like evil men. I say evil because not all men treat and view women in such a derrogatory fashion. However, men do rule the world (we in the US would like to think differently, that we are equals) and unfortunately those who rule the world get to define what is right in their eyes. As you have seen in our own country women in the pursiut of power have become as evil as men--power corrupts. Women have been sold a bill of false goods. Believing their bodies to be a source of power over men.
    I think of the sex trade industry (men enslaving women for sex) and how millions of women are being treated like garbage everyday. Why would our young girls choose to treat themselves like garbage? Enslave themselves? Because democracy allows each man or women to be his or her own oppressor. Men were deceived early on that women were mere propery and sex objects. How sad for our young girls to follow down this man-made road of self-destruction.

    Lisa
    posted by Lisa
    on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 9:29 am
  9. www.pureinheartconference.com is part of the solution calling mothers to engage in this battle for the heart of their daughter. Come and see and experience His grace and mercy and keep planting seeds of purity (God's holy word) into their hearts - the battle is the Lord - but he does expect us to use the weapons of warfare - prayer and His sword and plant often and water those seeds with our prayers and (tears if necessary).

    Let's not grow weary in doing good - God promises us a harvest of righteousness - so don't give up or in to the physical battle - rest and know that God is on the throne and will bring the victory. Do your part and trust that God will do the impossible. For His glory!
    www.nancylincoln.net
    posted by Nancy Lincoln
    on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 11:59 am
  10. How do we protect them from worldly ways of thinking?

    In the area of modesty perhaps it has to start with older women, mothers learning what that worldly way of thinking is.

    I had a conversation with a Christian lady, who has been an adult for some time that didn't believe form fitting clothing was immodest. Her understanding was immodest clothing was based upon the bareness factor.

    I was so taken back by this lady's understanding. It made me wonder how professing Christian adults define modesty.

    Do we understand/accept how disrespectful immodesty is to Godly men? Do women understand the disrespect to themselves when they dress this way? Do women really understand what is going on in a man's mind when they dress this way?

    Perhaps the bigger question is what is the desire of our hearts?

    I'm grateful for the reminder of Nancy Lincoln to do my part and trust God to do the impossible.
    posted by Beth Bembeneck
    on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 9:18 am
  11. One thing I would like to say about this; it is not just the young girls, the teens. But older women are doing this as well. Even in their thirties and forties. This is when technology goes bad, and the media/society to make yourself happy, with no regard for self.
    posted by Rox
    on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 3:07 pm

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