Teen Sex Video Goes Viral—Who to Blame?

A 14 year old Baltimore-based girl was recently videotaped going down on a boy of the same age—the video was created by one of his friends, and in no time at all, it went viral. It blew up on all sorts of social media sites, including a hashtag with her name on Twitter. What makes the case even juicer? The footage was taken on school property.

My ex boyfriend actually sent me over this story (What a sweetie! Thanks, B!), as highlighted in an interview on NPR, the transcript of which you can read here.

In this segment, Michel Martin is interviewing Laura Sessions Stepp, author of “Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both;” Malika Saada Saar, executive director of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights; and BJ (hah! The irony) Bernstein, a criminal attorney who has represented a number of young people involved in sexual exploitation.

In this case, the girl’s name was publicized, but the boy’s was kept hush-hush to “protect his identity.” A bit skewed, isn’t it? Especially because the young girl says she had no idea she was being filmed, and if this is true, than why does she seem to be getting more of the heat than the boy getting sexed and his friend with the voyeuristic tendencies?

In the NPR discussion, Saar talks about the Lolita Effect that is going on in this particular situation; that the girl in this video received more flack than both the boy receiving the lap-love. In our society, young girls are hyper sexualized, and then blamed for the sexuality that we fed to them, called “whores” and “sluts,” and further demeaned…It’s a sick cycle.

The NPR segment also addresses the issue of child pornography—because that is what this was—when the person doing the filming is also a child. Yes, it’s illegal, but it does give it a different flavor, and the legalities are a bit more complicated. Who should be blamed? And how should they be prosecuted? And what about the fact that millions of people watched this video, despite the fact that it was illegal?

In today’s social media addled society, it’s honestly surprising to me that situations like this don’t occur more often. Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, and even blogs, can be great ways to connect with one another but they also make it all too easy to bash one another publically. In middle school, I remember nasty hand-written notes being circulated about girls in my class, myself included, and I can only imagine what would have happened if we all had open access to not only the internet, but quick-capture devices like Smartphones. Shudder.

So who, if anyone, do we blame for this situation? The teens involved, the media for spreading the story, society for both spoon-feeding us, at a young age, the whole sex=power idea and then throwing it back in our faces?  Opinions, please!

About SexyTofu

Good food. Good sex. Good fun.
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