I know; it’s shocking. Male teens have sex. Did you know they even use their phones to try and have sex!? It’s not like we use our phones as flashlights, a GPS, and for well… literally everything imaginable. Thanks to the “Today Show we now know that “boys are sexting more than ever.” Last Thursday, they told us all about it.
Outright parental hysteria proceeded to ensue. Here’s the video:
Wait! Let’s just stop for a moment and realize that the statement, “Boys are sexting more than ever,” is ridiculous. Since when have we not been “sexting more than ever?” Now that cell phones exist, male teens, as mentioned above, do use them to try and have sex. Just like literally every material object imaginable that came before them. Anyone remember the 1986 Pontiac Trans Am commercial? Just pretend you do, if you don’t. You probably don’t… here’s the video:
As you can see, a common trend in advertising (as in real life) is men using things to get sex, regardless if it actually works. This is nothing new. I’m sure the nice gentleman in the commercial invited the nice woman into his car to drive to a nice restaurant for a date with plans to not have sex with her. And all hopes and misconceptions about how not all men just want to have sex with women aside, come on, “Today Show.” Really?
This segment is just sad. No, sexting is not a “modern day problem”; it’s not “modern” and it’s not even really a “problem.” Instead of advancing successful public education policy and mandatory sex education, the “Today Show” is building their audience on sensationalism and fear that’s not based on any reasonable or logical thinking. Shame, this could’ve been a great segment. They could’ve outlined how great it would be if male teens who are already and inevitably using their phones to try and have sex, could be taught to do so safely, through mandatory sex education classes in high schools all over America.
The “Today Show” does use factual statements such as, “gone are the days of handwritten notes saying ‘I like you'” to make a point. However, this presumes that teen males were never rude in notes or in person before the ominous threat of social media. It also presumes, wrongly, that we’re never polite to women online today.
I can’t help but mock the “Today Show’s” host, Matt Lauer, as he makes himself especially clear: “I’m not trying to be too graphic,” he says when presenting “anecdotal evidence” that is supposedly vital to the story they’re covering. I can’t tell if the “Today Show” is purposely hyping the story by suggesting it might be extra scandalous by that statement, or if they’re actually trying to be real news while, at the same time, being unwilling to cover that news in a realistic way. Maybe it’s just me, but I operate under the understanding that real journalists don’t censor facts that are vital to the story they’re covering. I may be playing into the hands of their narrative as a male teen by admitting that sexting is not at all shocking to me, but it’s not. Humans are animals and we’ve been having sex since… always.
Never mind the fact that the “Today Show” also plays into the same boring sexual stereotypes about males, females, and sexual desire advanced by the media that they so thoroughly berate in the same segment. Because obviously women don’t want sex ever and especially not female teens. And they wouldn’t ever do any of the sexting themselves.
But that’s not even the worst part. Lauer and his guests, Lola Ogunnaike and Dr. Robyn Silverman, continue the discussion with a scenario [quoted material transcribed from vide0]:
“I wanna present a scenario… according to this research and according to anecdotal evidence, a teenage boy will be sitting in a classroom, there’ll be a teenage girl he’s never even talked to, he will pick up the phone and text something like, ‘Do you wanna hook up?’ or ‘I wanna do this to you…'”
Teens would somehow have to exchange their numbers to be texting each other in the first place. That fact escaped the “Today Show’s” writers.
They then go on to talk about how terrible it is that porn exists and Dr. Silverman makes the claim that politicians are “celebrated” for having sex scandals. I’m not sure in what world Dr. Silverman exists, but Anthony Weiner is a prime example of a politician with a sex scandal and he’s not “celebrated” at all. He shouldn’t be because he cheated on his wife, amongst other reasons, but one thing is for sure: he’s definitely not “celebrated.”
Here’s the kicker: Dr. Silverman gives this advice to parents:
“Look at what texts they’re sending, look at what they’re watching…”
Ogunnaike chimes in:
“And be hyper vigilant about every form of social media that they’re using… I’m sorry, you’ve gotta be a snoop, you’ve gotta be a detective.”
This is the message the “Today Show” is sending: spy on teens. Rather than advise teens to have safe sex — because they’re going to do it anyway — spy on them and enforce abstinence. Never mind if it doesn’t work; ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ have no right to privacy anyway. I have no right to privacy.
Also appears on Addicting Info.
- You’ll Never Guess What the Today Show is Sensationalizing This Time (VIDEO) (addictinginfo.org)
- This Is What The Today Show Thinks Teen Sexting Looks Like (businessinsider.com)
- What Sexting Looks Like According To “The Today Show” (buzzfeed.com)