May 12, 2016
Cosmo Promotes Sexting and Self-Pornification
Recently, Cosmopolitan Magazine wrote a "how to" on sending the "perfect" sext. No, this isn't a joke. You read correctly. You and I know there's no such thing as a perfect sext. And deep down they know it, too.
They know full well that preteen and teen girls are within their demographic buying audience. They also bank on the fact that Cosmo is typically in full view of minor children, along with Time Magazine and People, and is not segregated like Playboy types of mags unavailable for browsing or sale to youth. While Cosmo continues to push the envelope on soft porn with how to articles on having titillating illicit sex etc., they really crossed the line by promoting and normalizing the dangerous activity of sexting.
What Cosmo neglects to mention is that:
- Sexting and self pornification among youth are at crisis levels
- 62% of teens and young adults have received a sext (Barna 2016)
- 40% of teens and young adults have sent a sext (Barna 2016)
- 15% of teen sexters sent texts to someone who they just met (The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 2008)
- 44% of teens say it is common for sexually suggestive text messages to get shared with people other than the intended recipient. (The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 2008)
- Nude and sexually explicit photos of anyone under the age of 17/18 years old is considered under the law to be child pornography and can lead to federal prosecution by those who produce and distribute these images. Many unsuspecting teens have found themselves on the sex offenders' registry.
- There are no take backs online and nothing is truly private. Reputations and lives have been ruined when sexting goes bad ... when a sexted photo or video goes public and or viral. Revenge porn, sextortion, and cyberbullying are harmful consequences that lead to devastation.
Youth who are coming of age and sexually curious in a pornified culture rewards the pornographic impulse (Barna). The Cosmo article encourages self pornification and paints a picture in the minds of young men and women that it is exciting and acceptable to degrade themselves, that their worth and value are tied up in their sexuality, and that it is okay for them to lower expectations they hold for themselves and each other. That it is somehow okay for them to allow others to strip away their dignity by sending sexts.
Doesn't Cosmo know that they are destroying the dignity of the human person? Do they even care? Well, I do, and I know you do, too.
That's why we're launching a #NoPerfectSext letter to the editor campaign. This campaign has one goal: to get Cosmo Magazine to stop normalizing the self-pornification practices that harm youth like sexting.
We need you to do three things:
- Tweet to Cosmopolitan. You can borrow this tweet: @Cosmopolitansexting isn't normal, & it degrades our children. It's harmful. #NoPerfectSext.
- Tweet to Joanna Coles, Cosmo's Editor-in-Chief. You can borrow this tweet: @JoannaColes, sexting isn't normal, & it degrades our children. It's harmful. #NoPerfectSext.
- Send Cosmo an e-mail at inbox@Cosmopolitan.com asking them why they think sexting is normal.
- Learn and share the following information about what you can do to prevent your children and grandchildren from sexting
Over the next couple of weeks you'll hear from mothers whose daughters have been exploited by sexting and whose lives have been forever negatively impacted by sexting. There was nothing perfect about their experience, because there really is #NoPerfectSext.