If there's one thing grown-ups know about kids, it's AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD WHAT ARE THE KIDS DOING I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT KIIIIIIIIIIDS!!!!!!!!! When media sensationalism meets natural parental anxiety, we get terrifying trend pieces about how sexting is turning middle school into an unstoppable bacchanal. But does that actually reflect what the kids are doing?
I've always held pretty standard liberal views on teenage sexual activity: comprehensive sex education + frank, supportive, level-headed parenting + kids will be kids + OH WELL = hopefully nobody gets pressured or pregnant. But now that I've suddenly become a quasi-stepmom scrambling to learn how to talk to a 12-year-old, I can't help but feel kneejerk twinges of panic from headlines like "Seventh-graders sexting? It might be more common than you think" and "Sexting in Middle School Means More Sex for Preteens and Teens." Sexting? And sexing? In middle school? NOOOOOOOOOO. WHYYYYYYY. CAN WE JUST GO BACK TO THE DISNEY CHANNEL? I'LL NEVER MAKE FUN OF DOG WITH A BLOG AGAIN.