Bella asks the Family Guys -
"What would you do if you found out your daughter was sexting?"
I’d need to take a long, long walk on my own with some tough things to think through. Why would my beautiful daughter devalue herself like this? Why would she give what was precious to some guy in such a risky way? Didn’t she listen every time we spoke about our love, care and concern for her? Does she know what a risk it is to send text or photos, because they are permanent and might shame her years and years later?
Finally, we’d need to have ‘the talk’. “Honey, have we wronged you in some way, that you would do this to yourself? We love you, and we don’t want to see you throw yourself away. No young man is worth that. If he wants to treat you like this, he definitely isn’t worth it. Nothing is unforgivable, but you might suffer consequences that we can’t protect you from because of your actions. Let’s pray that isn’t the case. Just please, please change your mind on this and we’ll do whatever we can to help.”
As a father, I would be shocked and sad and I would ask my daughter why she was doing this. Recently, I read that a well-known American actress was sexting and then her images were hacked and splashed all over the web. Why was she doing it? She wanted to give her boyfriend an incentive to commit and remain faithful to her because work separated them for periods of time. But a boyfriend who needs this kind of encouragement is not worth keeping. Relationships cannot be built on the thrill of sexual images which encourage and stir up lust rather than love. I would tell my daughter that she is worth more to a man than sex and I would tell her that a sexual image may feed his fantasies but he really needs to befriend her. I want him to treasure her and know her, not just her body. Finally, I would ask my daughter how safe the sexting pictures would be. Would her boyfriend show her off to other men? Sex should be about love but, as her father, I fear that sexting is about something else.
Man, this is a tough question! I would not be OK with my daughter sexting. Apart from being a protective father and always wanting the best for my daughter, I know that sexting is currently illegal under child pornography laws for anyone under 18. Sexting is essentially a practice that feeds the needs of the guy in the relationship, but really does it address the needs of the girl. Generally guys are wired to be visually and physically stimulated - hence the saturation of pornography in the world today. Girls are more inclined to be stimulated by feelings or emotions. Girls may think that sending sexy pics to guys will make them fall in love with them, but in truth this is very one-sided with the guy getting what he wants without investing anything of himself into the relationship. In the uncommitted stage of a teenage relationship, sexting distorts the balance. One other thing to remember - imagine what happens if you decide to not send any more sexy pics to your boyfriend. He is no longer getting what he needs from the relationship and therefore breaks up with you. The pics that you sent him could be sent to all his mates and shared throughout the school.
I would be shocked, concerned and disappointed.
Firstly, it says to me there is something lacking in her self worth if she sees the need to send sexual images and text to others. She’s better than that. She is more than the sum of her body parts. Modesty and dignity are attractive qualities that do not dim over time.
A moment of madness can result in a lifetime of regret. Once sent, the words and images are online forever, shared and viewed countless times. Her family, prospective husband and future employers potentially all get to see her words and pictures.
Depending on the circumstances, she may be committing a crime by distributing pornography. It’s a heavy price to pay for chasing popularity.