Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sexting in Vermont

More good news from Vermont. The State Senate passed legislation exempting sexting teens from child pornography laws. (For those who do not watch Dr. Phil as often as I do: Sexting means sending sexually charged pictures of yourself over the cell phone).

It is cute to watch how freaked out American parents get at the slightest suggestion that their teenage children might be engaged in something that is remotely connected to sex. A whole set of urban myths has appeared as a result of this fear. The Dr. Phil show is especially dedicated to promoting the whole "my-17-year-old-might-have-heard-the-word-sex-this-is-the-end-of-the-world" hysteria.

Somehow, technology always ends up getting the blame for the manifestations of sexuality that some people find scary. The parents of sexting teens receive the profound advice to take away the child's cell phone. In a recent Dr. Phil episode, a young woman confessed to prostituting herself in order to pay her college loans. Who got blamed? The Craig's List. Suggestions were made to close down this website in order to prevent women from prostituting themselves. Apparently, in some people's minds teenage sexuality and grown-up prostitution did not exist before the invention of the cell phone and the Internet.

So, why blame technology? In my opinion, people who resist the idea that our society is inevitably becoming more sexually open fear any kind of change. Technology is a symbol of a changing world. Internet, of course, is particularly scary, since it cannot be censored or controlled in any way. For many of the Dr. Phil viewers (or McCain/Palin voters), the idea of change and transformation is unbearable. The fluid content of the Internet, the daily technological advances are proof that change is unavoidable.

Here is the source for this piece of good news:

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