No parent should be shocked that five high school football players from DeMatha High Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland hired prostitutes while on a road trip to North Carolina.
The bold step of ordering up a prostitute on an iPhone often begins as early as middle school, when legions of boys start downloading porn. Access to porn and paid sex is in the palms of our children’s hands, 24-7, giving the “Droid Does” slogan enhanced meaning. Mobile porn has become so prevalent among teens that there is even a nonprofit group, Fight the New Drug, and a micro-industry of treatment camps aimed at teens who have a crippling addiction to it. For teens ogling mobile porn regularly, the next logical step is to act out that fantasy and click on the many ads urging viewers to order up live sex.
An online debate has been raging about the fairness of DeMatha’s punishment — kicking the boys off the team. “They’re just teenagers being stupid teenagers. They should be suspended for a week, give them some community service in the school, and the coach should make them run some laps. Another case of the news media sensationalizing everything,” wrote T_Dubb, in the story’s comments. If drugs were the issue, the debate about punishment wouldn’t even happen. And there would be no winks, no “boys will be boys” comebacks in online forums.
The problem here isn’t only about limiting access. There are deeper lessons to address. The illegal purchase of sex, the fact that most American prostitution is a result of human trafficking and the reality that the plastic, bleached and enhanced world of online sex is a myth that twists ideas of human sexuality and relationships need to be discussed here.
Parents cannot toss aside online porn as the equivalent of the curiosity they remember. Porn is everywhere. Any child of any age with a Nook, a Kindle or an iPad can go from Word Search or Angry Birds to graphic, violent, degrading sex videos in just two clicks. And for older kids, not only are they awash in unrealistic, desensitizing images, but they are constantly being urged to take it to the next level, to go live.
Families who don’t have uncomfortable but honest discussions about sex, porn and prostitution are putting kids at risk for some scary consequences. That sex talk has to happen often, with a lot more detail today. Deborah Roffman, a sex educator in Maryland for four decades
says, “You used to have to go to the other side of town to go to the video store. That was a statement by our society. There were a lot of physical barriers. And that’s all gone now, there are no physical barriers between the child and adult world.”
Learn more at Petula Dvorak’s Washington Post article: Surprised by teens who order prostitutes as easily as pizza? You shouldn’t be.