It’s Vanessa Hudgens' fault.
While we can’t say for certain that Vanessa’s racy pics to then-boyfriend Zac Efron (who later sent the pics to costar Corbin Bleu... and the rest of the world) were the catalyst for the nation-sweeping sexting epidemic, we can say she was the first person we can remember laying it all out over SMS.
Ever since then, it seems like it’s been all downhill (or uphill, for those receiving) from there.
In a recent study reported by Metro UK, sexting is now the new “first base,” as naughty pics, like first kisses and instant messages, have officially become part of the adolescent hook-up culture.
Jeff Temple, associate professor and psychologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and author of the study due to be published in The Journal of Pediatrics, warns that experimental behavior among adolescents isn’t necessarily new, but the medium through which kids are experimenting is.
He warns that because photos and texts can be shared, it’s an unsafe way to begin experimenting.
The study surveyed 1,000 adolescents in Southeast Texas on their history of sexting, sexual activity and other behaviors. The results found that at least one in four teens was sexting.
This amount trumped the amount of kids who have actually conducted in-person sexual behavior. So... kids are sexting before they’ve even had sex.
What mixed-up world do we live in when kids who haven’t had sex are talking like they have?
Since when did it become acceptable to catch your 14-year-old sending nude pics before she even knows what she’s sending? Shouldn’t first base be sharing a milkshake and a dry kiss on the mouth?
Isn't it hard enough to be a teenager? Isn't it hard enough to figure out what push-up bra to wear and what color braces to get?
When did middle schoolers have to learn how to craft the perfect "sext" before learning to spell some of the positions they could be describing? When did emojis and lols stop being enough?
Whatever happened to meeting your crush after school and sharing a pack of Oreos left over from lunch? What about the movie date where an arm around the seat was enough drama to keep you content for weeks?
What happened to the locker flirtation that involved a peck on the cheek? What ever happened to simple, old-fashioned first base? Unfortunately, it’s all part of the technologically progressive world in which we live.
We’re seeing the terrifying results of what technology does to not just how we communicate, but how our children experience the milestones of life and sex.
We are altering the course of “normal” social interaction and creating portals that experimenting adolescents shouldn’t have access to. We’ve created a world where it’s acceptable for a man to see a woman naked before he takes her on a date.
We’ve created a culture in which nude pics are obligatory and first kisses are replaced with sexts.
We’re changing the way people get to know each other by making it normal for people to tell before they kiss. All I know is my kids aren't getting a cell phone until they are old enough to spell c-o-n-t-r-a-c-e-p-t-i-o-n.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It