Today in gender double standards, I present the not-so-new frontier of sexting. A fresh study found that tween and teen girls are sluts if they do sext and prudes if they don’t. Same judgement, different interface. Yay for the resilience of sexism!
Recently, Julia Lippman and Scott Campbell, two University of Michigan researchers, led a sext study by interviewing 51 young adults, ages 12-18, according to The Atlantic. The pair found that boys described girls as “sluts” and “insecure” if they did engage in sexting and “stuck up” or a “prude” if they didn’t. On the other hand, the girls said they sexted because they “desire approval and social acceptance,” not because they’re deranged attention-seeking whores. In addition, the boys acted as if the girls just randomly sent them sexts, as opposed to the more likely scenario which is both kids were interested in the conversation or that the boys had asked for a photo or two.
Here are a few snippets from the boys in the study:
A 12-year-old boy: "One time this crazy girl who liked me sent me a nude picture of her for no reason... [she] was just insecure."
An 18-year-old boy: "This is common only for girls with 'slut' reputations. They do it to attract attention...[it’s inappropriate, but] it’s the fault of the girl who sent them. That she is being seen like that."
A 14-year-old boy: "I have received some pics that include nudity. Girls will send them sometimes, not often. I don’t know why they think it’s a good idea but I’m not going to stop it...I like classy girls so I don’t like them as much anymore it makes them look slutty."
Boo. You know what would be awesome, if everyone was taught that sex is a natural human function and that shame and judgement don't need to be assigned any time there’s an erotic feeling, and that includes sexting kids.