A new study has revealed that a whopping 80% of girls ages 12-18 have been asked by teenage boys for nude photos of themselves.
First of all, gross.
Look, I am no stranger to the concept of human sexuality—it’s natural! Good, even. But guys, this is no longer natural sexual progression. It’s harassment. And it continues to lay the groundwork for a rape culture that’s already well enough established, thankyouverymuch.
And lest you think I’m overreacting, let me assure you: I’M NOT.
Because the girls who said they’ve been asked for nude pics also said that the requests are often accompanied by bullying, harassment, and threats to end existing relationships or exploit already-sent photos.
Double freaking gross.
So how do we combat this disgusting trend? We change the game.
Psychologist Lisa Damour said, “Teenagers are drafted into a sexual culture that rests on a harmful premise: on the heterosexual field, boys typically play offense and girls play defense.”
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Meaning boys customarily act inappropriately and girls are expected to try and deflect the habitual comments and advances and threats and so on.
But I’ve had enough of just telling our girls to not do what boys tell them to. (Though obviously we shouldn’t throw that play out just yet.)
It’s time we turn that male-dominated offense on its head and stop accepting the idea that “boys will be boys.” Our number one play should be raising boys who respect themselves and women enough to never make a sexual request that would disrespect another person. And never EVER coerce them if you didn’t get what you asked for in the first place.
Damour calls these kinds of rules “behavioral speed bumps.” And they won’t totally eradicate the problem immediately, or even ever. But they will hopefully decrease these sickening instances as we attempt to raise more generations of real MEN—ones who start acting like they know what it means to become one, long before they are old enough to be called one.
“Laying out high and equitable expectations for young people as they begin their own romantic lives can only be a step in the right direction.”