Girl Mag Watch
Important articles on the dangers of sexting and pressures on girls to deliver oral sex
There are two really important and timely articles in this issue. ‘The Sext files’, is straightforward and honest with readers about the risks of sexting. A recent GF survey found one in four readers have sent a sext. Personal stories are told of girls pressured to send sexual images, threats used to get a girl to send more pictures, images being shared with other without consent.
Kids Helpline, the Australian Federal Police, and Cybersmart all agree there is no safe way to sext, as once an image is sent, the sender loses control of it. “Girls can be embarrassed, bullied and socially outcast, which can affect friendships and grades at school, and can also lead to mental health issues”, says Gretchen Martins from Cybersmart. Readers are reminded that if a male pressures them to send a sexual image, this is not the kind of man who respects them, nor someone they can trust. They are also given a run down of where the law stands in relation to sexting – illegal if under 18, because they cannot legally consent. Taking and distributing images of under-age girls can represent the production or distribution of child pornography material which can carry a penalty of 15 years. Practical advice is given on what to do if you are asked to send a sext (“Remember the social and legal consequences and remind yourself that it’s just not worth it.”), If you’ve sent a sext (tell a trusted adult), and if you are sent a sext (delete the image, don’t forward, tell trusted adult).
The second significant piece is on the pressure on girls to deliver oral sex. A 2011 study by thefound 37% of Year 10 students and 57% of Yr 12 students had engaged in oral sex. Girls describe an unspoken expectation that they will deliver oral sex when asked. Some describe giving in after multiple requests, even though they don’t enjoy the experience. Jodie, 16, is one of them. She felt used and regretted giving in. “If I’d stood my ground, I would have been better off”, she says. “Whatever the reason, girls seem to be working off the assumption that they need to trade sexual favours to please guys. Girls deserve better than this,” says Girlfriend. Indeed they do and I commend GF for saying so. Read more here.