Abuja - Parents have been appalled to read recently of several cases in which teens have filmed themselves, or, even worse, had someone else film them, having sex.
It has happened so frequently that parents are starting to wonder if it could happen to their own teens. At first glance, it seems like bizarre behaviour, but it can be avoided:
Tips for avoiding nasty sex tape surprises
- Sex is sex: Many teens engage in sexual activities. That’s a reality, and the reason parents should discuss sexuality in an open fashion, in conjunction with sex education teens receive in classes at school. Demystifying sex, and contextualising it as part of a loving relationship is one way of removing that illicit “buzz”.
- Abstinence is still worth encouraging and possible for teens to achieve.
- It’s inappropriate (and often illegal) to share explicit images or images of your own private body parts). If the teen receiving or sending images is a minor, criminal charges of distributing child pornography could be laid. Do check your teen’s cell phone and computer for either distributed porn or explicit picture he or she may have sent or received.
- Note: Rape is rape: Rape is non-consensual sex. Your teen needs to know the difference. If a girl is incapacitated as a result of alcohol or drugs consumption, she is incapable of consent, and if sexual assault takes place or is suspected, criminal charges may be pursued.
- Sharing explicit images is one of the behaviour patterns which indicates risk-taking behaviour and it should be addressed immediately should it occur.
- Jaded kids: Teens are often inappropriate and exhibitionistic, but, with the availability of hardcore images online, it’s much easier for teens to be exposed to extremely graphic images, and to become either less shocked by them or eager to create material equally as shocking.
- Information sharing: Teens are also not known for living beyond the moment- what may seem like stupid fun in the heat of the moment may come back to haunt them for years. Once images or footage has been shared or leaked onto the internet, it’s virtually impossible to remove. A picture or short film made as a joke could be ticking time bombs of shame- just look at the leaked celebrity sex tapes, for example.
- Drug and alcohol abuse have been shown to be factors in inducing risk-taking behaviour such as sex, unprotected sex and sex with multiple partners.
- As parents, don’t allow your child access to pornographic or age-restricted content. If you like to view it, keep it password protected or on a machine to which your teens do not have access.
- Know your teen’s friends, where they’re going to be when they go out, and who will be supervising them. Find out with whom they are interacting on social media, too, and request that they do not keep their account settings private from you, but private to others.
Communication is always necessary: Make sure your teen understands that there are negative consequences to risk-taking behaviour. Communication is a life-long skill you and your teen will develop, and one which will help to defuse problems should they occur.
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