Sexting Has Become 'Rite of Passage' for Teens, Parents Warned
By Brandon Showalter, CP Reporter A leading internet safety advocate is warning parents about the dangers of sexting, saying that it has become a "rite of passage" among teens.
"Internet pornography has become the wallpaper of our children's lives from a very early age," said Donna Rice Hughes in an interview with The Christian Post on Tuesday.
"Here is the reality: Parents are often the last ones to know and to understand that their own children are not immune to internet dangers, whatever they are."
Hughes, president of Enough is Enough, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making the internet safe for children, noted that troubling research shows both youth and adults regard sexting as normal.
Now that prominent public officials have also been caught doing this, she believes that sending sexually explicit messages and pictures has become an unfortunate rite of passage of sorts among today's youth now that so many are connected to the internet all the time.
"When kids see Cowboys and Indians movies, what do they do? They're out playing Cowboys and Indians," she said, adding that the same principle applies, unfortunately, when they view porn.
"So, when kids see sexually charged material they do tend to act out," Hughes said.
"Young people are much more likely to get involved in sexting if they are also involved in viewing pornography online. So all of this is wrapped up together," she said, emphasizing that peer pressure often comes with sexting.