YouMMe Movie: Sexting
It is normal for adolescents to deal with sexual and / or pornographic content and it is part of their developmental task. Dealing with your own and with other people’s sexuality and using the possibility of the internet has become part of growing up. On the World Wide Web, yearnings and your own curiosity can be satisfied, orientation can be found or first experiences can be gained (“How does it actually work?”). There are a number of pages with pornographic content that can be accessed without access restrictions – and these are often already known to younger adolescents. Regardless of this, more and more nude photos or sexualized representations are circulating on the net, which are often uploaded and distributed (“shared”) by private individuals.
Contact with sexual content or pornography on the Internet does not necessarily lead to, for example, absurd sexual ideas or ideas about being a girl or boy. The role of adults is important here.
Young people use the internet for sexual content
- looking for information about sexuality and sex education
- on the consumption of pornography
- for flirting, chatting, data, for dating and sex contacts
The Internet as a new space of experience offers many opportunities for erotic encounters. The most frequently used variant is online flirting, which initially serves as an experimental field and later in the search for a partner. Various means of communication are used to determine whether one fits each other and to keep looking to see whether this feeling continues. Real encounters very rarely develop from these online encounters, and even less often non-binding sexual contacts (one-night stands) develop.
The word “sexting” is composed of the words “sex” and “texting”. Specially created revealing / erotic photos / videos are sent and / or exchanged via the Internet (computers, smartphones, etc.).
The aim is to get feedback from the other person about your own body / representation, to discover your own sexuality and / or to provide proof of your love to your boyfriend or girlfriend.
Young people do not always have an eye on the possible consequences, and they often regret this step later. What used to be counted as proof of love for the partner, can be used as an “evil weapon” after a separation. Since current studies have shown that girls rather than boys have discovered the “sixth” for themselves, they are also more likely to be affected by the unpleasant consequences of this “action” (e.g. through cyberbullying, further spreading and exceeding the pubic limit, etc.).
Sexting is punishable if children or young people are sent pornographic content. Children and adolescents are also prohibited from having pornographic content on their smartphones, computers, tablets.
What is pornographic content?
“A portrayal is to be regarded as pornographic if, with the exclusion of all other human references, it moves sexual processes to the fore in a grossly intrusive, stimulating manner and their overall tendency is aimed exclusively or predominantly at the lustful interest of the viewer in sexual matters” (definition of the term ” Pornography ”by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH)), for example Photos of genitals.
Talking about love, sexuality and pornography is not always easy. Especially when it comes to raising these issues with your own children.
Think about how you dealt with the topics of “sexuality and pornography” in your own past. Was the family or friends and acquaintances talking about it openly or how were they dealing with these topics? Were you able to contact your parents or other adult confidants with your own sexual issues (first time, pornographic pictures, etc.)?
As parents, you are indispensable for your growing children and an emotional support in relationship work, even if it is sometimes not so clear in daily contact. It is worth looking into the conversation. It is primarily about conveying respect for the feelings and needs of your child. A few rules that can support your family in dealing with Internet pornography are:
- Respect your child’s desire to differentiate themselves and their privacy.
- Respect when you lose authority and the circle of friends is at times closer to your child than she is.
- Stay authentic and honest, watch your own limits.
- Set age-appropriate limits for your children. Provide the smartphone and all mobile devices with a protective filter. These can severely restrict access to porn, but do not replace an argument!
- Signal willingness to talk even in the event of conflicts.
- Remember that they are idols, but do not use your life experience as a basis for know-it-all.
- Take your child’s feelings and thoughts seriously!
- If your child gets sent pornographic content,
- save the evidence on your own devices. (Photos, screenshots)
- Delete this content on all of your children’s technical equipment.
- Talk to the teachers at school.
- Inform parents of other affected children
First aid, if…
you discovered porn on your teen’s cell phone? Depending on the age of the child, it may make sense not to respond to it first. Respect your child’s privacy and stay in touch. If there are repetitions, take a stand, if possible without dramatization.
As a rule, you are not the preferred contact person. Explain gently that porn is not a suitable source of information and is also prohibited (Section 184 of the Criminal Code prohibits the use and distribution of pornography to people under the age of 18). Talk about feelings and that a real intimate relationship depends from affection, respect and also desire and that the portrayals in porn are mostly unrealistic and exaggerated. Your child may lack this distinction still.
…my child doesn’t want to talk to me about it? Accept your child’s wish! Nevertheless, you still have the opportunity to express your attitude. Make an agreement that your child, for example, contacted the counselor, the number against grief or other possible, competent contact person.