martes, 6 de diciembre de 2016

MercatorNet: Kids are ruining their lives with sexting, but meet the woman who thinks it’s OK

MercatorNet: Kids are ruining their lives with sexting, but meet the woman who thinks it’s OK
Kids are ruining their lives with sexting, but meet the woman who thinks it's OK

Kids are ruining their lives with sexting, but meet the woman who thinks it's OK

In which we learn, again, not to listen to the intelligentsia.
Carolyn Moynihan | Dec 6 2016 | comment 

Brits are worried about the effects of internet porn on children. And so they should be. A London Times investigation this year revealed a sexting epidemic among schoolchildren, with tens of thousands sharing explicit imagery online over three years.
Many of these kids were only 12 and 13. One child protection expert told The Times that nearly half of schoolgirls have regretted sending images via Instagram and Snapchat, and there has a been a surge of calls about this issue to a child helpline.
The National Crime Agency reports that four young men have committed suicide this year after being persuaded to expose themselves online. They were among hundreds blackmailed, including by international criminal gangs. Intimidation is a regular part of the sexting scene.
More and more teenagers have mental health problems such as depression, anorexia and self-harm. Gender confusion is rife, especially among girls who believe they were “born in the wrong body” – the result of online contagion, says a senior doctor at the Tavistock Clinic, a psychological service. (A refreshing piece of realism, by the way.)
You get the picture. Indeed, it will be familiar to most of us in the developed world. So what’s the remedy for this poison pouring into the minds and souls of children?
Government ministers are demanding that social media giants and tech and mobile phone providers come up with new ways to block explicit images from users under 18. In fact a previous government persuaded major internet providers to implement a “default block,” but according to Times columnist Janice Turner (Dec 3rd) “most households decided to keep adult content.” She adds, “Parents placed their own porn pleasure over child protection.”
Well, maybe. We need to know a bit more about that. But this apparent choice by parents is part of Turner’s case for a different approach. It rests on three premises: parents are pretty hopeless on the whole; kids are pretty smart on the whole; and teachers are the smartest of all. Teachers therefore are the ones to entrust with the protection of children from the worst ravages of porn.
That's right, from the people who helped bring you safe sex, the STD epidemic and rape culture on campus, we can now expect a new miracle.
How? Through “excellent sex education”.
No, it really wasn't excellent before, but now it will be much, much better, instructing children in "not just the timeless rudiments but the ever-changing online sex-scape”.
Translation: Not just pubertal changes and the biology of human reproduction. Not just the decades-long (failed) experiment of telling kids how to actually “have sex” while remaining “safe”. Not just the more recent repertoire of “consent” rituals. (Not, under any circumstances, moral literacy founded on the religion underpinning British culture -- “however much the religious complain”-- and nothing, thank you, about marriage or motherhood or fatherhood.) Nope; now we need teachers to discuss all the filth and fetishism on the internet with the children and guide them along its dank passageways.
After all, the kids (being so smart) will always outwit any controls, and “if schools don’t teach children how to navigate their emerging sexuality, an infinite range of websites will.”
On the other hand, if school sex-ed only tags along after the ever-changing and ever more disgusting websites, teaching kids to “navigate” the pernicious content, what is gained? Nothing. But for the young people who would have avoided it, something precious is lost: a fighting chance of keeping their memory clean.
Behind this approach is the self-justification of a generation who lost the plot about sex and made up their own badly flawed one. Unfortunately, too many of them seem to be writing columns, if not in the teaching profession itself. Their defeatist, go with the flow attitude is summed up in this paragraph from Turner’s piece:
“Teachers are already bored and exhausted from patrolling the internet, deciding which images require parental or even police intervention. Schools know that sexting is now simply part of modern courtship, a shared intimacy, a bodily billet doux. And yet a 16, when you can legally have real sex, you may be prosecuted for sending erotic images of yourself.”
Courtship? Intimacy? Billet doux?! This woman is talking about 13-year-olds sending pictures of themselves to the internet that they will regret for the rest of their lives, not Jane Austen characters on the threshold of marriage. The idea that we can accept sexting as simply a cultural change in which there is no intrinsic harm shows how poisonous the advice of the educated class can be.
An “excellent sex education” would present something completely different: a vision of sexual love focused on marriage and children and prepared for by self-mastery and self-giving. In other words, an introduction to the noble values and the virtues that really do protect young people and give them a fighting chance of future happiness.
It would give young people a standard against which to evaluate and judge popular culture and the darker spaces and habits of the online world. In this context explicit and dark matter would be dealt with -- as it must -- in an age and culturally appropriate way.
And it would come primarily from parents, who are by no means all hopeless at their task. Schools should see their first task in this area as educating those parents who are inadequate, not simply replacing them in a role that is theirs by right and duty. It’s parents who have to care for the kids who get depressed and anorexic from exposing themselves sexually, and who are left to grieve when their child takes her own life.
“We can’t cover their eyes; we must teach them to make sense of what they see,” says Turner.
Wrong. “We” can cover their eyes to a much greater extent than we do, if we resist ugly and harmful cultural trends instead of giving in to them. And when kids are assaulted by pornographic images we do not want them to “make sense of” them, but to "see" just how false, degrading and ultimately senseless they are.
Carolyn Moynihan is deputy editor of MercatorNet.

Free speech is being assailed from all directions in France. Islamic terrorists gunned down 12 staff at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last year for criticizing Muhammed. Millions of people, including government ministers, filled the streets of France supporting the right to think for oneself and to speak freely.
There has been much less to-do over the government’s move to shut down pro-life websites. The Socialist women’s minister, Laurence Rossignol, says “freedom of expression can’t be confused with manipulating people.” She claims that their helplines are run by “anti-choice activists with no training who want to make women feel guilty and discourage them from seeking an abortion.”
Perhaps pregnant women just need some information – which the government is unwilling to give them. Check out Chiara Bertogli0’s comment

Michael Cook 

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