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Are Teenage Girls Confusing Sex with Healthy Love?

After reading the title, you might have just had that pit in your stomach at the thought of your daughter having sex and wondering, “are they just normal teen girls feeling all the same things that many girls do in high school, or are they hooking up because of the enormous pressures to feel accepted and loved?”

Our culture has spent years on engaging in online activity – interacting via texting, photos and videos, online chatting, and alarmingly, has caused an incessant amount of insecurities in not only what girls think of themselves, but an untenable questioning of how they’re portrayed by boys. Some of the research shows that 40% of kids as young as 10 are exposed to online porn, which basically means not only are pre-teens having access to sneak peeks at an earlier age, but the pre-pubescent girl is exposed to sex and sex videos without understanding anything beyond the pure sexual physical acts.

Are you squirmishly uncomfortable yet? I’m just getting started here. Girls acting impulsively, and reciprocating or initiating nudes, or posting sexy videos and photos to gain the attention of boys and likes means we have a serious problem. Not only is this generation exposing themselves in unknown territory, but not knowing where these posts are being shared or who they’re being passed around by could permanently damage their reputation and ultimate college and career life. Beyond their reputations and online profiles are the deep rooted self-esteem issues that consume their minds and social-emotional well-being. How can girls create real life meaning and understand healthy love relationships when their actions are based on sexualized images or boy pleasing?

The fact that girls are self-consumed with their looks, focusing on feeling sexy and wanting to look just as hot as the other girls on Instagram and porn videos creates a mixed emotional landscape, thinking sex equals love. This early exposure to casual hookups is beyond their normal thinking.

What can we do about this epidemic of sexual risks that leads girls into thinking that these behaviors are the norm because peers are doing it or because it feels good in the moment, or because they think the boys will like or love them more? How can we stop our generation of girls from following a damaging path of self-destruction? We can’t live in a bubble. We can’t go to Point Nemo.

We CAN talk about romantic love, and what healthy relationships are composed of. We can talk about how girls are sexualized and portrayed. We can talk about age appropriate behaviors and consequences. We can talk about values and morals. We can talk about how technology can destroy their emotional and physical well-being. We can be open and talk.

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