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In my last blog, I considered whether sexting is liberating for girls or if it’s just making them think they’re liberated as they’re plunging right into the cultural pressure to show up as sexualized objects for others’ pleasure. We live in a culture that packages self-objectification as liberation for girls and women. But exactly what does that mean? How is someone an object or a subject?

Self-objectification is the act of treating oneself as an object instead of a subject. Objects don’t really do things. Instead, their value comes from how they look or how they are used. Subjects do things to objects; their value comes from what they do. So here lies...

Girls receive so many messages telling them to prove their hotness through media, and these messages are reinforced by peers and rarely combated by parents. Youth grow up marinating in sexualized imagery without even being conscious of it. Sexualization is when you take something that is not overtly sexual and you make it sexy. For example, we do this a lot with food: Carls Jr. commercials, anyone? And we certainly do this with girls through making their toys and clothes sexy but not boys’. ...

There is nothing new about sharing a nude photo with a beloved. You just used to have to go to a seedy photography shop to get your film developed, or use a Polaroid and hand it over. The chances of lots of people seeing the photo were low. Remember needing to spring for double prints? Now, within seconds, thousands of people can see your nude photo depending on which app or website it gets uploaded to. Stats on the prevalence of sexting among teens are unclear, because studies range between 9%-60% (1, 2) of teens reporting that they have ever shared a nude image of themselves. But the stats are boring - what we really need to think about is WHY are teens sexting and are there differences in sexting between boys and girls that we need...