Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sex & Tech

A new study from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reveals that 21% of teen girls and 18% of teen boys have sent or posted nude or semi-nude images of themselves. Among young adults (20-26) the figures are even higher – one-third of participants surveyed have posted or sent racy images of themselves and almost half have received them.

With the culture that we live in today, I’m not particularly surprised by these findings. Last year, naked pictures of High School Musical Star Vanessa Hudgens surfaced and recently Cheetah Girls star Adrienne Bailon had a similar incident. These are two celebrities that young impressionable teen girls look up to and idolize. They go to see their movies, memorize the songs they sing, shop for the clothes they wear. And now they’re taking naked pictures of themselves too – just like their favorite celebrities.

And then there is the slew of celebrities whose sex videos did little to derail their careers but instead increased their popularity and fame - think about Pamela Anderson, Paris Hilton, and Kim Kardashian. What if teens start making their own sex videos and begin circulating them around school or posting them on youtube or facebook?

We need to teach young girls to respect their bodies and learn the consequences of their actions. If a picture or video is leaked it is with you forever. This is a hard lesson to sell when sex is everywhere in our culture - even our good old “friend” Jennifer Aniston this month graces the cover of GQ magazine with nothing on but a men’s tie around her neck (and that’s just the cover). But we need to try or we will be very, very sorry.