I am quoted in the National Post on sexting

Article in the National Post describes key points of my project fairly accurately:

Ms. Hasinoff argues that … the media are likewise doing more harm than good by portraying a girl’s sexual self-expression as an invitation for sexual harassment.

Harassment, she said, could involve the non-consensual distribution of a private photo by a disgruntled ex-boyfriend, for example.

I am particularly happy that the reporter included this part:

“The media and society seem to talk about girls as sexually naive and innocent,” she said. “Then as soon as they become active, we deem them as deviant and blame them.”

Article continues:

Although child pornography laws were designed to protect children, she explained, they are sometimes used against teens and deny them a full expression of their sexuality.

Indeed, according to the December survey, girls do appear to see sexting as a way of expressing themselves sexually. Slightly more girls than boys engage in the practice, and roughly 52% of those girls did so as a “sexy present” to their boyfriend.

Girls were also more likely to send suggestive photos and messages because it is “fun or flirtatious” — not because they felt pressured by friends.

I was also really glad she used data from this survey–which the press has repeatedly misinterpreted  as finding that  “50% of girls felt pressured to sext.” But that number is how many teens thought other teen girls were pressured, not how many girls actually reported feeling pressured themselves–a much smaller percentage. Indeed, most girls reported on this survey that they did it for fun and to flirt.

And this part too:

Rather than place the responsibility on girls to protect themselves against exploitation, public service announcements like cybertipline.com’s ‘Think Before You Post’ and recent episodes of talk shows like Dr. Phil and The Tyra Banks Show should instead have focused on teaching boys to respect girls and their sexuality.

“This kind of advice denies girls actually have sexual desires,” Ms. Hasinoff said, adding that this approach erroneously links self-respect to a girl’s ability to censor her sexuality.

I was at first concerned about being interviewed, thinking that I could be misquoted and misrepresented, so I am actually really happy about how my points about girls’ sexual desires being perceived as deviant, the need to teach boys/men to respect girls/women’s sexuality, and even the problematic link that is made between self-respect/self-esteem and sexual self-censorship were included in the article.

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