Sexting: The New Phenomena
The term speaks for itself: sexting: the act of sending sexually explicit photos or messages through phone or computer. Though this problem is focused more on high school students who are under the age of 18, it applies just as much to college students. Sexting is not seen as a big deal amongst college students in a world independent under parent supervision.
College is seen as a sort of experiment to not only prepare for your future, but learn the true you. With the endless parties available to college students, there is the opportunity to meet others, especially the opposite sex. One "fun" night, can lead to a whole list of text messages from people you met at the previous occasion, thus leading into a text relationship with a stranger you met from that social function. Many college students like exploring new boundaries not only when it comes to their own abilities, but somehow to be a risk taker in seeing what they can get away with.
Sexting provides an outlet to lay all of your fantasies out on the table. MTVnews reports that: "68% people say things over sexting that they wouldn't say in person." This technological medium provides an alter ego to the real you, one who likes to explore forbidden territory. Though most cases of sexting are not reported, the act can be a serious federal offense, especially when minors are involved. 3 in 10 young people are involved in sexting, meaning many people do it, just that you don't hear about it because it's seen as an accepted practice.
What you may have not considered is that sexting can be very dangerous. Here are some hard statistics found on www.athinline.org: 29% of young people have been involved in some kind of sexting, 1 in 5 sextants forward the pics to other people, more than 50% of those who shared a sext shared it with multiple people, sexters are 4 times as likely to consider committing suicide.
The main targets in this situation are women. The main reason why many women feel compelled to sext is for the need to feel wanted more. If a guy asks for a sexually explicit photo, they take the time into wanting the picture to look good for the recipient. What doesn't register to many people is that any technology sent can be almost impossible to retrieve. Everyday sext pictures are sold to internet accounts to feed underground websites. As technology's expansion is seen as a great innovation, there are many counter effects as well. Phone companies have the rights to your phone's database, meaning they can track provocative pictures sent to other phones. It is difficult to consider something that so personalized as a phone can have consequences against you.
When asked if the student sexted, students who all preferred to remain anonymous first smirked, then admitted that they do in fact sext and see no harm in doing it. Sexting to them was seen as a fun game, to explore one's options in college, while others viewed it as a necessity in committed relationships, especially those involved in long distance. Those particular students said that sexting makes it easier to remain committed in a relationship and keeps the "spark"
alive from miles away.
While this may seem logical, many young people need to know there are precautions you should take before you sext, and that a sext can bring many unrepaired damages that can affect someone for the long run. Just like each individual, technology is not perfect and mistakes can happen.
Some word of advice from Parry Aftab, Internet Privacy Lawyer states, "You should deleted the sext right after you get it." Even though this seems illogical, its better to dispose of the evidence before anyone else gets their hands on it. Possible outcomes gone array can be a bad reputation, rejection from ones you really care about, emotional distress from humiliation, or being accused of a federal crime and listed as a registered sex offender when minors especially are involved.
On the website www.athinline.org, there is more information about sexting such as 3 questions to ask yourself before you sext: "Was this my idea?", "Where will this picture end up?", and "What was going on when the pic was taken?" If in any way you feel pressured into sexting, simply don't give in especially if it's for the purpose of impressing someone, or keeping someone around longer. Self respect plays a key role into those that do sext and those that don't. Debra Goldstein, co-author of Flirtexting recommends practicing safe sext: "Less is more, send something funny like an elbow or a Victoria Secret model to keep the relationship on a fun, yet more enticing level." The opposite sex is more likely to respect you more and may consider to keep you around in the long run since they see that you respect
yourself as well.
Can Online Dating Be Considered Racial Profiling?
With the innovation of new technologies, there has been a great emergence of online dating sites. Those who subscribe to these sites tend to favor race preferences similar to their kind. UC Irvine sociologist Cynthia Feliciano says, "Internet dating offers a unique lens through which to understand the process of selecting a partner and how race plays into the selection.” According to studies done by Cynthia Feliciano and Belinda Robnett, they discovered that white men preferred Asian or Latino women instead of African Americans, while white women did not prefer Asian men. “Studies point to increasingly tolerant attitudes about interracial relationships, but intermarriage rates remain relatively low,” Feliciano states.
Most biases are apparent in certain races more than others. While all races claim that they wouldn’t mind dating outside their race, the deal is there are factors that influence a person’s decision when it comes to dating, marriage, or just hooking up. The common biases include that Asian women are hypersexual, Black women are bossy, Asian men are not masculine enough, Black men are lazy, and that white women are status oriented. What all races did seem to agree on was their preference to date a white man, a race seen superior to the others, most likely due to social status in the economy.
Recent studies by researchers at UCI’S own Yahoo! Personals dating service further points out racial preference statistics on apimovement.com: “In the UCI study, of women who expressed a racial preference (73%) on Yahoo, less than 10% would bother to respond to overtures from men of Asian descent, particularly East Indians, somewhat behind Black and Latino Men. White women in particular were particularly exclusive (racist). 64% of those with a racial preference checked whites only (93% excluded Asian men). In other words, nearly one out of two white women wanted to date only whites. About 3 out of 5 men expressed a racial preference. Nearly half selected Asian women, compared with 7% selecting Black women. Men of all races will avoid black women, and all races had a degree of racial bias in terms of dating.”
Through dating sites there has been an apparent double standard that specifically caters to racial preferences. When keywords “interracial dating site” are entered into any internet search engine, the results reveal numerous websites that cater to people who have particular racial preferences.
Having an online profile gives the user the ability to state their race preference not because they are racist in any ways, but simply because they think the compatibility would match for the long run. A lot of dating choices have to do with how certain races are portrayed in the media that carries to your outlook on life. Yahoo! Personals gives some obstacles of interracial dating as well as the methods to overcome them.
1. The Traditionalists: Races who exclusively date the same races for a common cultural foundation. Resolution: Surround yourself with a diverse group of people. This opens your point of view to additional outlooks on life as well as establishing a connection with other races.
2. Stereotypes from Mass Media: The public easily absorbs over-generalized images of different ethnicities and how they interact.
Resolution: Try not to let the media influence stereotypes portrayed and instead focus on your personal opinions.
3. Offensive Family Member: Racial “jokes” add tension that makes you think twice about dating outside your own race.
Resolution: Prepare for confrontations and think of persuasive ways to respond to demand respect in your dating decision.
4. The Gazers: People who blatantly stare at interracial couples.
Resolution: Instead of assuming the attention is a bad thing, bask in it. Their opinions shouldn’t matter to you or your date.
This is my first article featured in UCI's newspaper the New U: