Dangers of apps, easy access to sex online for teens
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Do you know what your kids are posting on their phones? Earlier this week we told you about a local school warning parents about kids posting lewd and inappropriate photos and comments. Now, we look at one app every parent should know about and what it could be doing to your kids attitude toward sexuality.
WARNING: This story contains sexual images and discussions.
Gone are the days when kids' sexual curiosities were cured by seeking out dirty magazines. Today, kids' sexual curiosities can be cured in seconds by a couple of clicks.
"When sexually explicit imagery is so easy to access on the internet, it reduces the sensitivity that we have to it," said Dr. Wes Crenshaw.
Dr. Crenshaw says in the last five years, he's seen kids' sensitivities to sexual images changing.
"The 23 year olds are surprised at the 18 year olds," Dr. Crenshaw explained.
Dr. Crenshaw suspects the speedy turnover is due to speedy advances in technology. Seventeen-year-old Emily Van Schmus says it's not uncommon to see people she knows scantily clad and suggestively posed on social media.
"People don't say- why did you post that? It's just normal," Van Schmus said.
It's less risky-supposedly with an app called "Snap Chat" that erases an image seconds after it's sent, giving people a false sense of security if they're sending nude photos, for example, and Emily learned anyone can end up with those pictures.
"I opened it and it was from this lady completely naked, and I was like, 'No thank you,'" she said.
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"I don't know whether kids care enough about these images being spun around the world to actually stop and decide not to do it," Dr. Crenshaw said.
It's that casual attitude and the deluge of sexual images that Dr. Crenshaw says is affecting how young people see themselves.
"Sexual imagery is so common so kids begin to liken themselves to that imagery as they would, you know, their favorite rap star," he explained.
Now he warns they're mimicking porn stars. For example, young woman asked Crenshaw if she should take her friends' advice to get a brazilian wax before being intimate.
"That is an image that is coming from pornography. This isn't something that people have come up with out of the blue," he explained. "A lot of boys it was reported to me really ask for that as the image they want."
Dr. Crenshaw says it's a trend that's not likely to stop soon.