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7 Ways a Parent Injures a Child   Leave a comment

Here are 7 ways we injure a child — without even knowing it:

From Ron Edmondson,,


Unrealistic expectations – Ephesians 6 tells the father not to “exasperate the child”. I was guilty of breaking this command at times. Unrealistic expectations often build perfectionistic tendencies in the child and often creates co-depency traits. I sometimes expected more of my boys than they were old enough to do at the time. I expected perfection from them too often. A 10 year old boy is a 10 year old boy. Now, there should be some non-negotiable standards of behavior for a 10 year old, but at 10, kids make mistakes. Why should that surprise me? I’m still making mistakes at 50 years of age. Sometimes I wish I would have lightened up a bit on my boys.

Lack of priorities – When everything and everyone else in life has more value than the time a parent spends with a child they know it. And, it hurts them. They may not even know how to verbalize what they are missing. They aren’t always wise enough yet to look at their life and see how important they should be in a parent’s week. They only know they wish they had more time with the people they admire the most. Someday they’ll know what they missed.

Sharing more than they can handle – Children do not have the emotional capacity to handle everything an adult deals with in life. Whether its an upcoming weather situation or a tragedy in the news or it’s not being able to make monthly personal expense, we create unnecessary fear and anxiety in our children when we share too much information. I’m not suggesting we shelter our children. Actually, I lean more the opposite way. We were very open and honest with our boys, but we were careful how, what and when we shared with them. We thought through the way in which we shared information, being very careful to share only what was needed and in a way that provided clarity not fear.

Giving everything – We sometimes set children up for disappointment in the real world when they never have anything remaining on their want list. Years ago I heard a statistic that most children get the majority of what they want these days — that wasn’t always the case, but as adults, few of us get all that we want. If we aren’t careful, we cause children to struggle with contentment in life, because they don’t know how it feels to wait for what they want.

Over protecting – Children need to learn to fail. There will be a day when can’t shelter them from the world. The more we let them make mistakes when we are still able to help them recover, the better they will be prepared when they no longer live under our roof.

Under protecting – This world is evil. Children don’t have your experience. They aren’t ready to make all the decisions that come their way. Many parents delegate too many choices to their children. There’s a time to give them freedom to choose, but when it’s a matter of moral right and wrong, especially in the earlier years of a child’s life, parents sometimes have to be the bad guy.

Missed teaching moments – We sometimes ignore the power of a moment and we may never get it back. Devaluing the importance of “now” causes many parents to miss the best opportunities for teaching life-changing principles. That moment of discovery is huge for a child. It starts by knowing what you want to teach your children — the values you want them to hold — and constantly looking for life situations that allow you to plant them in your child’s heart.

I realize I’m stepping into dangerous territory when I enter into someone else’s parenting. My only aim is to help. I know parents desire to parent well. But at my age, I’ve made enough mistakes I’m starting to learn from some of them. Before I start to forget them I thought I’d share. Apply as necessary.

Let me also say that grace is always available in your parenting — and it’s never too late. Even adult parents can make changes for good in their parenting. I’ve shared before that my father wasn’t always there when I was growing up, but he taught me how to finish well better than anyone could have done.

Posted March 9, 2014 by sotpyouth in Uncategorized

BBB Warns Of “One Ring Scam”   Leave a comment

Better Business Bureau warns of “one ring” scam
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 10:46 a.m. CST


The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers of a cell phone scam it is calling the “One Ring” scam, that can result in unauthorized charges appearing on a consumer’s cell phone bill.

According to a news release, a scammer will program a computer to send thousands of calls to random cell phone numbers, ring once, and disconnect. When the call is returned, the caller is charged $19.95 for an international call fee, and a $9 per minute charge.

“As yet, we have not had any complaints filed but given how rapidly this scam is spreading and growing across the country our opinion is it won’t be long,” Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois said in the release.

Consumers who have been duped by these calls report that they are coming from the Caribbean Islands, including Grenada, Antigua, Jamaica, and the British Virgin Islands, according to the release.

Posted January 28, 2014 by sotpyouth in Uncategorized

An EPIC View on Teenagers Social Media Hookup Culture   Leave a comment

What follows is a (long) article from Vanity Fair which gives us a close look about the teenage hook up  culture and how they view sex and relationships. It’s important to read this. I haven’t read anything to this point that gives such point blank statement on the thought processes of teenagers.




Friends Without Benefits

This year, 81 percent of Internet-using teenagers in America reported that they are active on social-networking sites, more than ever before. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and new dating apps like Tinder, Grindr, and Blendr have increasingly become key players in social interactions, both online and IRL (in real life). Combined with unprecedented easy access to the unreal world of Internet porn, the result is a situation that has drastically affected gender roles for young people. Speaking to a variety of teenaged boys and girls across the country, Nancy Jo Sales uncovers a world where boys are taught they have the right to expect everything from social submission to outright sex from their female peers. What is this doing to America’s young women?

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“Social media is destroying our lives,” a 16-year-old girl from L.A. tells contributing editor Nancy Jo Sales. But without it, she says, she “would have no life.”

NOTE: Some of the names and identifying details in this story have been changed.


She wanted it to be like the scene in the Lana Del Rey video for “Blue Jeans”—“hot and slow and epic.” The scene where strangers meet and fall into an easy intimacy, making love in a pool—“and they look so hot and it’s just, like, totally epic.” A boy at her school—she didn’t want to talk about him now; he’d broken her heart; but “like, whatever.” She’d “deleted him” from her phone. “I was stalking him too much, seeing him doing fun things on Instagram, and it hurt.”

They’d been instant-messaging on Facebook, and one night he told her he loved her. And then “I found out he was talking to, like, four other girls.” And now she wanted to do something to get over it, maybe to get back at him. “I mean, I should have known. All men are basically whores.” When he didn’t turn out to be her “true love”—“like Bella and Edward, or Bella and Jacob, you know?”—she decided she had to “lose it to someone,” so why not with someone she would never have to see again? And yet, she hoped it would somehow be like the Lana Del Rey song. “I will love you till the end of time,” it goes.

The guy she was supposed to meet that day—the guy from Tinder, the dating app kids were using to hook up—“I know, like, five guys who’ve done it; girls use it too, but they pretend like they don’t”—he was cute and had tattoos on his arms. He looked “James Franco–ish,” but younger. On Tinder you could meet people in your age group. She was 16; he was 17.

Alone in her room, the night before, reading her friends’ Twitter feeds and watching YouTube videos (Selena Gomez and “baby animals being cute”), she’d started feeling lonely, restless, and bored. “Sometimes I just want to talk to a guy so bad.” So she downloaded the app and started swiping through the pictures of boys in her area. She “hearted” his picture, and within a few minutes he had hearted hers, and then they were instantly texting.

“Ur hot,” he wrote. “U wanna meet?”


They arranged to rendezvous at a shopping mall in Los Angeles not far from the neighborhood where they lived. “Of course it was going to be a public place. And if it turned out he was really some gross old man, I’d just run away.” But there he was, standing by his car, looking almost like his picture. . . . Almost. There was something different about his face—it was “squishier. Like, he was almost fat.” But now here they were, and she didn’t know quite how to get out of it.

He smiled and kissed her on the cheek. He smelled of Axe Body Spray. She was sorry she’d spent so much time getting ready for this. “I even waxed,” she said. He wanted her to get in his car, but she knew she shouldn’t. They started walking around the mall, “talking about nothing, nothing. It was awkward, totally weird.” He asked if she wanted to sit down, but there was nowhere to sit except in restaurants, so they wound up going inside a Pottery Barn and making out on a couch. Later she posted something on her Tumblr blog about the difficulty of finding love.


“Gotta wheel the bitches in. Gotta wheel the bitches in,” said the teenage boy on a city bus in New York. “Nowadays you can do it so easy. There are so many apps and shit that just, like, hand you the girls. They don’t even know that’s what they’re doing, but really they’re just giving teenagers ways to have sex.”

This year, 81 percent of Internet-using teenagers in America reported that they’re active on social-networking sites, one of which is Tinder, a mobile dating app that teens use to hook up.


If you’re between 8 and 18, you spend more than 11 hours a day plugged into an electronic device. The average American teen now spends nearly every waking moment on a smart phone or computer or watching TV. This seismic shift in how kids spend their time is having a profound effect on the way they make friends, the way they date, and their introduction to the world of sex.

Kids have always been interested in sex, of course; but there have never been more ways for them to express that to one another, at any moment of the day, no matter where they are. They don’t even have to be together, and often they are not. “You can be sitting in class getting a boner ’cause some girl is texting you that she wants to suck your dick,” said a boy in L.A. “It’s kind of distracting.”

As quickly as new social media appears, teens seem to find ways to use it to have sex, often sex devoid of even any pretense of emotional intimacy.  There’s sexting, and there’s Snapchat, where teenagers share pictures of their bodies or body parts; on Skype, sometimes they strip for each other or masturbate together. On Omegle, they can talk to strangers, and sometimes the talk turns sexual. A boy in L.A. told me about a boy he knew who had a PayPal account where he accepted payment for being sexual online with “random guys . . . Two hundred bucks.” And then there is Tinder, where kids can meet each other on their phones. “It’s like Grindr used to be for gay guys, but now kids are doing it,” said a girl in L.A. “No one cares about anything but how you look.”

“We don’t date; we just hook up,” another girl in L.A. told me. “Even people who get in a relationship, it usually starts with a hookup.” Which can mean anything from making out to having sex. “When you have sex with a guy, they want it to be like a porno,” said a 19-year-old girl in New York. “They want anal and oral right away. Oral is, like, the new kissing.” “The cum shot in the face is a big thing,” said another girl.

And then there are “texting relationships,” a disembodied coupling that takes place solely on a screen. It can still become very sexual, often very quickly. “Guys you know from just, like, having one class together will be like, ‘Do you like to suck dick?’” said a 17-year-old girl in New York. “And if you say no, they just move on to the next person.”


“Social media is destroying our lives,” said the girl at the Grove.

“So why don’t you go off it?” I asked.

“Because then we would have no life,” said her friend.

The girls had been celebrating a birthday at the busy L.A. mall, and now they were on their way home; they carried bags of leftovers from the Cheesecake Factory. There were four of them: Melissa, Zoe, Padma, and Greta.* They stopped to sit down and talk awhile at an outdoor table.

They were pretty girls with long straight hair—two blonde, two brunette, all aged 16. They wore sleeveless summer dresses and looked fresh and sweet. They went to a magnet high school in L.A.

Greta, they said, was famous—or Instafamous, having thousands of followers on Instagram. She showed me a gallery of her Instapics; some were of her dog and some were of Greta pouting and wearing “the duck face.” Some of her followers, she said, were “random dudes in Italy and Arabia.”

Melissa said, “I have Facebook, a YouTube account. I’ve used Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine . . . ”

Blendr, another geosocial dating network like Tinder, describes itself as a “free, socially flirtatious chat-to-meet app.”

“Path, Skype,” Zoe said.

“Tumblr,” said Padma.

“I have a Twitter, but I don’t use it except for stalking other people,” said Greta.

They all laughed knowingly.

“I think everyone does it,” Greta said. “Everyone looks through other people’s profiles, but especially being teenage girls, we look at the profiles of the males we find attractive and we stalk the females the males find attractive.”

“It’s a way to get to know them without the awkward ‘Oh, what do you like to do?’ You already know,” said Padma.

“You can know their likes and dislikes,” Greta said. “‘Oh, they like this band.’ So you can, like, casually wear that band’s T-shirt and have them, like, fall in love with you or something. Or you can be like, ‘Oh, they listen to that music? Ew. Go away.’”

I asked them how they knew when a boy liked them.

“When a boy likes your [Facebook] profile pic or almost anything you post, it means that they’re stalking you, too. Which means they have interest in you,” said Zoe.

I asked them how they made the transition from social-media interaction to real-world interaction.

They blinked.

“You talk to them on Facebook; you do chat with them,” Melissa said.

I asked if they had boyfriends.

“There’s this boy Seth,” said Greta, “and when he liked my profile picture, I knew it was like, ‘Hey, ’sup, you cute.’ Then we held hands at a party. We were cute. But the one thing I didn’t like about him was he didn’t follow me back on Instagram. Social media causes soooooo much anxiety.”

They all agreed on that.

“The thing with social media is, if a guy doesn’t respond to you or doesn’t, like, stalk you back, then you’re gonna feel rejected,” said Melissa.

“And rejection hurts,” said Padma.

“And then you’re gonna go, like, look for another person to fill that void and you’re gonna move on to stalking someone else,” Melissa said.

“That’s how men become such whores,” said Greta.

“Guys actually take the Facebook-talking situation way too far,” meaning sexually, said Zoe.

They were nodding their heads.

“Like, when guys start a Facebook thing, they want too much,” said Padma. “They want to get some. They try with different girls to see who would give more of themselves.”

“It leads to major man-whoring,” Greta said.

“They’re definitely more forward to us online than in person,” said Zoe. “Because they’re not saying it to our faces.”

“This guy Seth, who is normally timid in real life,” said Greta, “sends girls messages asking for nudes.”

She showed me a text exchange in which Seth had asked her to “send pics”—meaning nude pics, a request Seth had punctuated with a smiley face. Greta had responded “Lololol” and “Hahahaha” and “Nope.” “It wasn’t THAT funny,” Seth had texted back.

“He isn’t my boyfriend,” clarified Greta.

“My friend, she was VC-ing,” or video chatting, “this guy she was kind of dating,” Melissa said. “He sent so many nudes to her, but she wasn’t trusting that he wouldn’t show the pictures to other people. So she Skyped him and showed him nudes that way. He took a screenshot without her knowing it. He sent it to so many people and the entire baseball team. She was whispered about and called names. It’s never gone away. He still has it and won’t delete it.”

I asked if they knew girls who posted provocative pictures of themselves. They all said yes.

“More provocative equals more likes,” said Greta.

“It attracts more guys and then it makes other girls think about doing it just for the attention. They’re attention whores,” said Padma, frowning.

“My father thinks all my photos are provocative,” Greta mused.

“I think some girls post slutty pictures of themselves to show guys the side to them that guys want to see,” said Zoe. “It’s annoying.”

“Girls call them sluts. Boys call it hot,” said Padma.

Greta shrugged. “I call it hilarious.”


In the video for ”We Can’t Stop,“ Miley Cyrus writhes around on a bed, sticking her ass up in the air. She grinds her ass into the crotch of a woman twerking. She writhes around in an empty bathtub, sticking her ass in the air some more. She appears at the V.M.A.’s twerking into the crotch of Robin Thicke, causing an international sensation.

In the video for ”Summer Fling,“ Willow Smith stares at the nipple of a teenage boy while offering him her phone number. Willow’s 12.  She sings about having a summer fling: “It’s just a couple nights, but we do it anyway.” A boy shoots water into a pool party at which Willow and her bikini-clad friends jump on a trampoline, spreading their legs.

“Of course girls want to emulate this stuff,” Kim Goldman said one afternoon at her home. Goldman is the director of the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Project, a counseling service for teens that reaches around 23,000 kids in 14 schools in the district. (She’s also the sister of Ron Goldman, the man slain along with Nicole Brown Simpson, the ex-wife of O. J. Simpson.) “Girls talk about feeling like they have to be like what they see on TV,” she said. “They talk about body-image issues and not having any role models. They all want to be like the Kardashians. Kendall Jenner posts bikini shots when she’s 16 and gets 10,000 likes, and girls see that’s what you do to get attention.”

Santa Clarita, an affluent community nestled in the arid Santa Susana Mountains north of L.A., has its share of troubled kids. There’s been a rash of heroin-related deaths over the last year. A Facebook page entitled “Santa Clarita Sluts” was finally taken down. In January, Michael Downs, a local teen, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexually assaulting 15 girls (one a 12-year-old), many of whom he met on Facebook.

“We’re seeing depression, anxiety, feelings of isolation,” said Goldman. “I think social media is contributing to these things. We have kids who’ve had sex with people they meet on Chat Roulette. At one of the junior highs we work with, we found out there were a few kids engaging in an online orgy. They all signed into a video chat room.” One of their parents walked in on it.

“We had girls selling oral sex for $10 and $15 in the bathroom at a school,” said Goldman. “Sex is everywhere. Everything is sexualized. They’re all reading Fifty Shades of Grey.”


On a bright, hot day in June, I met Sydney at the Popover Café on the Upper West Side. She was blonde and angelic looking, like a girl from a Beaux Arts painting of the 1890s; she was 17.

She gave me her headshot; I’m not sure why. She said she wants to be an actress.

“I was cyber-bullied when I was younger,” she said over popovers, “on this [social-media site for kids]. It was this thing where you create a profile of a cartoon character, and this random stranger started talking to me and saying really creepy things. I was in sixth grade.

“I didn’t know who it was at first. It turned out it was one of the girls at my school,” a private girls’ school in Manhattan. “She was saying, like, all this sexual stuff. I don’t even know how she learned how to talk that way.

“I was 11 years old, and I didn’t know how to respond. And then she and her friends took screenshots [of the conversations] and spread them around and started calling me a slut.” She winced.

“I was completely traumatized. I had to switch schools. I became insanely insecure.” But nothing ever happened to the girls who bullied her. “I begged my mom not to bring the school into it. I didn’t want to be that girl that tattletaled.”

And then a few years later, she saw her former victimizers on Facebook. “They kept stalking me and I was curious, so I friended them back.” That’s when she found out that these girls had become “famous.”

“In New York every kid knows each other,” and some kids are “famous,” Sydney said. “Everyone’s obsessed with the feeling they have fame. They post pictures of themselves at certain parties. They friend certain kids. There’s so much social climbing.”

Her bullies were now two of the most visible girls in the Manhattan high-school scene, the type of girls who “go clubbing with 21-year-olds” and get invited to “events.” “One of their moms has, like, a clothing line.” On her iPhone, Sydney showed me the girls’ Facebook pages, where they had posted many pictures of themselves partying in nightclubs and posing, hand on hip, Paris Hilton–style, surrounded by Euro-looking men. These pictures got a lot of likes.

“They dress like sluts,” Sydney said, “in bandeaus and short shorts that show your butt cheeks—excuse me, you’re not at the beach.” She admitted she sometimes dressed like that too. “Because if you don’t, you will get shunned. Girls are just so mean.

“I don’t go into the bathrooms at school,” she said, “‘cause they just say mean stuff to you. They look at you up and down like, ‘What are you wearing?’ Social media makes it so much worse. Like on”—a social-networking site with 65 million users, half under the age of 18, on which subscribers are invited to speak their minds about each other—“they just say mean, mean, mean, mean things.

“I love Tumblr,” she said, “’cause it’s just kids expressing themselves with writing and pictures; but it’s also a lot about how to look and dress, and it makes a lot of girls feel bad ‘cause there’ll be beautiful girls with beautiful everything and everyone re-posts it, and, like, it makes you feel bad about all the things you’re doing wrong.

“On Tumblr there’s ‘The Rich Kids of Instagram,’ which is these kids trying to show off their wealth, and it’s so not O.K., it’s revolting, but it still makes me feel bad about myself—kind of like I’m not part of it.”

She said there was a term for this, FOMO—fear of missing out.

She told me about parties where girls “literally wear nothing” and kids take Molly, MDMA. “The ‘in’ thing for girls to do is to really just go nuts at parties, just go insane. They feel like the more they drink and the crazier they act, the more guys will come to them.” Crazy how? “Dancing around, flashing their boobs.”

At these parties, she said, which take place “at people’s houses or a space somebody rents out to make money,” “people hook up with more than one person. It’s dark and, like, 100 kids are there. It’s not considered a big deal. Guys try and hook up with as many girls as possible.”

“At one party?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she said. “They have lists and stuff. This kid in my grade has this list of 92 girls he’s hooked up with.”


“We know this girl Ursula that had a list of guys she had given blow jobs to, like 45 people,” said Sarah. Sarah and her friends Elena, Jeff, and Abby, all teenagers from the Valley, were having dinner in L.A. one night before going to a movie.

Over burgers and fries at an outdoor café, they started talking about the “bad girls” at their high school.

“Ava’s like that too,” said Jeff. “She asked me out and then took my head and, like, shoved it in her bra.”

“She gave Richie a hand job on the back of the bus going to band competition,” said Sarah.

They talked about girls who had made sex tapes; girls who had sex with different guys at parties every weekend. “Was that the same weekend she went to the emergency room [for drugs]?” asked Abby.

“Remember when Anita got semen on Maya’s jacket?” Jeff asked with a smile.

“And then Maya posted it on her [Facebook] wall,” Sarah said with a laugh.

“She asked to borrow Maya’s jacket and she wore the jacket, and she gave this guy a blow job at a party while she was wearing the jacket,” said Jeff.

“And then she gave the jacket back to Maya without washing it, so Maya took a picture of the jacket with the stain and posted it on Anita’s wall: ‘You didn’t wash my jacket,’” said Sarah.

They laughed.

“Which was so mean, but I love that she did that,” Jeff said. “I was like, ‘Oh my God.’”

They laughed again.

“There was this girl in 10th grade who was gonna be on My Super Sweet Sixteen,” said Jeff. “I don’t think it ever aired. That same girl, she was in a porn video going around school. People were in math class watching the video.”


“I first started seeing people doing selfies in sixth grade,” said Emily, a senior at a private school in L.A. “Back then everybody was on MySpace. In sixth grade everybody started getting phones and they started posting pictures of themselves, and it was weird, ’cause, like, a lot of the pictures were supposed to look sexy and they had the duck face and we were all, like, 11.”

“Guys do selfies, too,” said Alexandra, a girl at a public high school in L.A. “They post pictures of themselves smoking weed and drinking codeine cup”—a narcotic mixture of Jolly Ranchers, cough syrup, and 7-UP—“like, ‘Look how boss I am, look how gangster.’ They think that makes them hot. If a guy posts a picture in his boxer shorts, people say that’s funny, but if a girl does it, they say she’s a slut. It’s a double standard, but girls still do it ’cause it gets them more likes on Facebook.”

“My little cousin, she’s 13, and she posts such inappropriate pictures on Instagram, and boys post sexual comments, and she’s like, ‘Thank you,’” said Marley, a New York public-school girl. “It’s child pornography, and everyone’s looking at it on their iPhones in the cafeteria.”


Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus are the co-directors of Sexy Baby (2012), a documentary about girls and women in the age of porn. It follows three subjects: Nichole, 32, a porn star who bemoans the mainstreaming of porn in the digital age (she thinks it’s unhealthy); Laura, 22, who has plastic surgery on her labia (her ex-boyfriend deemed them unattractive) so that she can “look like a porn star”; and Winnifred, 12, a middle-school student in New York who does sexy photo shoots with her friends and posts them on Facebook. Winnifred also posts a video of her little sister dancing around provocatively to a pop song.

Gradus, a photographer for The Miami Herald, was on assignment shooting strip clubs in Miami in 2009 when she first encountered young women who were not professional strippers pole-dancing for young men. “These were regular college girls. They didn’t seem to be having fun,” she said. “It was like, ‘This is what we’re supposed to be doing.’”

Gradus and Bauer, a writer for the Herald, then went on a research mission to a porn convention in Miami where “they were selling stripper poles to college girls and housewives,” said Bauer. “There were so many mainstream women idolizing the porn stars and running after them to take pictures, and we were like, ‘Whoa, this exists?’”

“We saw these girls embracing this idea that ‘If I want to be like a porn star, it’s so liberating,’” Gradus said. “We were skeptical. But it was such a broad concept. We asked, ‘What is this shift in our sexual attitudes, and how do we define this?’ I guess the common thread we saw that is creating this is technology.

“Technology being so available made every girl or woman capable of being a porn star, or thinking they’re a porn star,” said Gradus. “They’re objectifying themselves. The thinking is: ‘If I’m in control of it, then I’m not objectified.’”


Porn is more available now than at any time in history—especially to kids. Ninety-three percent of boys and 62 percent of girls have seen Internet porn before they turn 18, according to a 2008 study in CyberPsychology & Behavior. Seventy percent of boys have spent more than 30 minutes looking at porn, as have 23 percent of girls. Eighty-three percent of boys and 57 percent of girls have seen group sex online. Eighteen percent of boys and 10 percent of girls have seen rape or sexual violence.

“Historically a spike in interest in pornography is associated with advancement in women’s rights,” said April Alliston, a professor of comparative literature at Princeton. She teaches a class on the history of pornography and has an upcoming book about porn, Consenting Adults: On Pornography, Privacy and Freedom (2013).

“What happened at the time of the invention of the printing press was very similar to what’s happening now with the Internet,” Alliston said. “With the printing press you had porn suddenly made available through technology. At the same time you had women getting more rights; there was more literacy and freedom for women. I see the spread of porn in part as a backlash to women’s increased independence.

“I believe that porn has gone mainstream now because women have been gaining power. The feminist movement was somewhat successful. Rather than being about sexual liberation, porn is a form of control over sex and sexuality.

“It’s become unfashionable to [take a negative view of porn] because of the reaction to the extreme anti-pornography views of [radical feminists] Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon in the 90s. There was a reaction to their calls for censorship, and at the same time you had ‘sex-positive feminists,’ as they called themselves, saying porn is good, saying sex is the same thing as pornography, and seeming to imply that if we like sex, we like pornography too, which I think is equally extreme and incorrect.

“When it comes to children, there is really nothing to argue about,” Alliston went on. “Kids are defined by our laws as not being able to consent to sex or to using pornography. There are few protections against them seeing it, and some people take the attitude that it’s inevitable and benign. I think a lot of people who make this argument don’t realize what porn today really looks like in terms of how the women are treated.”


“In the eighth grade, I had friend—it was a toxic friendship,” said Daphne, now 19 and in college in L.A. “We got into a fight. I can’t even remember what it was about—probably I had bought the same shoes as her or something. It got really bad, and one of her friends, a guy, decided to make a YouTube video starting an ‘Anti-Daphne Movement.’

“Their goal was to get me to kill myself.

“It was, like, a 10-minute video. He showed a picture of me. He said my name. He recounted all the details of the fight. He said I was ugly and that I should kill myself. He told everyone on Facebook, ‘I’m a member of this movement. If Daphne has ever done anything to you, post about it.’

“It caught on really fast. I had a lot of people writing really mean messages to me and deleting me as a friend [on Facebook]. I had never done anything to these people. At school they would put gross things in my bag, cottage cheese in my binder. It got over all my homework.

“It took three months before I got the courage to tell my dad. My dad got the school to get [the boy] to take the video down. The guy who did it didn’t get in any trouble. The principal was friends with his mom. The principal said I must have done something bad for him to act that way, and I was actually suspended for a few days.

“I didn’t know this boy at all. He was kind of a weird kid. People thought he was quirky and cool. He would say he was ‘brutally honest,’ but mostly he was just rude to people. I had to stay in the same school with him all through eighth grade. I went into therapy for what happened. It’s made me so much more insecure. It’s really hard for me to trust anyone.”


Amanda, 17, a senior at a high school in Santa Clarita, tried to kill herself last year. Her boyfriend of eight months had broken up with her so that he could play the field before graduating from high school—“he just wanted to live it up, was what he said”—and, after some months of turmoil, Amanda took an overdose of one of her mother’s prescription medications. She was hospitalized briefly and is now in therapy.

She’d been slut-shamed on Facebook in ninth grade by a girl at her school, along with the girl’s mother. “She”—the mother—“was saying I was a slut and all I do is lay on my back, but I’ve only been with one person,” Amanda said. The police said nothing could be done about it because no direct threats were made.

Feeling isolated and depressed, Amanda got into drugs, ecstasy, and weed, and started hanging out with the Scene kids (kids into hard-core punk rock). “All I talked about was sex, drugs, money, and partying,” she said. “I’d post pictures on Facebook of me smoking weed and partying.”

When she started dating her boyfriend, with whom she went to school, she finally felt as if she had something to live for. “We were like the one couple that everybody knew, that everyone was like, ‘You’re so cute. You’re gonna be together for a really long time.’” And now that she had a steady boyfriend, she was no longer called a slut.

But that ended all too soon. She attributes her boyfriend breaking up with her to the influence of his friends. “All his friends were like, ‘Dude, you have a girlfriend. You can’t do anything,’” meaning sexually, with other girls. And, Amanda says, he confessed that after breaking up with her, he did sleep with another girl.

“Boys have no respect for girls,” Amanda said. “They’ll be like, ‘Damn, that girl’s hot. I’d fuck her.’”


“One reason my boyfriend broke up with me senior year was that I was not a real person,” said Jenna, 19, a college student in New York. She and her boyfriend dated online for two years after meeting at a beach resort where their families stayed when they were in high school. They communicated via Facebook, e-mail, and text. They met in person only twice. “I sat there and contemplated suicide when I heard he wanted to break up with me,” she said. “I was like, ‘What was the point of living?’ I had given so much of myself to this person.”

Jenna, a quirky beauty of the Zooey Deschanel variety, aspires to a job in the arts; her senior year in high school, she got a job working prefessionally in her chosen field. She friended a boy on Facebook, also an aspiring artist, who had already gotten some attention for his work. “I was like, ‘Let’s stick together and be friends and do this together,’” she said. They became good friends (in cyberspace). And then the boy developed feelings for her. But at the time Jenna was still dating her online boyfriend, so she declined the artist boy’s online advances.

“After that, every time I would do any kind of status update on Facebook or post something on Tumblr or Instagram,” she said, “he would comment on it, like, ‘Jenna, you’re not funny.’” Jenna often posted comical status updates; she thought of herself as a funny girl; she’d always liked to make people laugh. “He got everyone at my school”—a Manhattan magnet school—“in on it,” she said. “His sister went there, so we knew a lot of the same people. Suddenly everyone was like, ‘Jenna’s not funny. She’s stupid.’ Everyone was posting mean comments about me, and he was egging them on. I saw him at a play at my school, and I asked him, ‘Why are you doing this to me?’ He said, ‘Because, Jenna, you deserve it.’”

After that, she said, “I lost all my self-confidence. . . . And I realized in life there’s only two ways for a girl to go, and that’s to be a dumb bitch or just a bitch. I decided that from now on I’m just gonna be a bitch, ’cause at least from now on guys would be intimidated by me. At least I would have the upper hand. So from then on, if anybody ever tried to say anything to me, I would come back at them 30 times harder.”


“So you broke up with your ex-boyfriend,” said a freshman girl at a college in Manhattan; she was speaking hypothetically. “It’s very sad. So of course he’s not gonna want to see you in real life, so you wanna see him on Facebook. But then he defriends you on Facebook, so what do you do? You get your friend’s account so you can stalk him. You check up on him on her account.

“But then he deletes your friend; he figures it out. So right now you have no connection to him, so what do you do? You create a fake account . . . call her [Jane Doe]. You literally Google ‘brown-haired girl Instagram’ and find a picture where you can’t really see their face, but it’s an actual person. You friend a bunch of his friends as [Jane Doe], add people from his family. Then you add his ex-girlfriends.

“What are they like? What are they into? What’s the difference between them and me? Are they skinner than me? In their profile picture, they’re in a bikini—they must be sluts, right? Maybe lesbians. And then finally after you have about 400 mutual friends, that’s when you add him. This is so intelligent; it’s like war strategy.

“You add some more pictures. You start a new persona. You start a new life, just so you can keep tabs on the person who doesn’t want to ever speak to you again. Just so you can know he goes out to clubs all the time, and he’s with this other girl. Why would you do it? Because it’s an obsession. Social media breeds obsession.”


What kind of love lives are teenagers headed for after they graduate high school? Sadly, more of the same, according to Donna Freitas, a former professor of religion at Hofstra and Boston Universities. Freitas’s The End of Sex (2013) might as well be called The End of Love. The book studies hook-up culture on college campuses.

Much has been written about hook-up culture lately, notably Hanna Rosin’s The End of Men (2012) and a July New York Times article, “Sex on Campus: She Can Play That Game Too,” both of which attributed the trend to feminism and ambitious young women’s desire not to be tied down by relationships.

But Freitas’s research, conducted over a year on seven college campuses, tells a different story. “Both young women and young men are seriously unhappy with the way things are,” she said. “It’s rare that I find a young woman or a man who says hooking up is the best thing ever.”

She describes the sex life of the average college kid as “Mad Men sex, boring and ambivalent. They drink like they’re Don Draper to drown out what is really going on with them. Sex is something you’re not to care about. The reason for hooking up is less about pleasure and fun than performance and gossip—it’s being able to update [on social media] about it. Social media is fostering a very unthinking and unfeeling culture. We’re raising our kids to be performers.” And researchers are now seeing an increase in erectile dysfunction among college-age men—related, Freitas believes, to their performance anxiety from watching pornography: “The mainstreaming of porn is tremendously affecting what’s expected of them.” College kids, both male and female, also routinely rate each other’s sexual performance on social media, often derisively, causing anxiety for everyone.

“The conversation that is missing is what rape is in hook-up culture,” Freitas said. “These young women’s sense of their own agency is incredibly detached. They tell me, ‘And then I found myself in someone’s bed having sex.’ There’s little actual choice or volition when you are drunk, and there is this expectation among everyone that if you are walking with a boy to your dorm room after a party, sex will necessarily happen.”

And yet, with all the dangers for young women in hook-up culture, Freitas says, she’s faced criticism from feminist colleagues for her take on it. “Big-time feminists won’t go near hooking up because they look at it in theory as a sexually liberated practice,” she said. “But I’m looking at it on the ground, talking to actual people, and it doesn’t hold up as sexual liberation.”


At the end of junior year of high school, Jenna met Ethan. “We were drunk, we hooked up,” she said. “We saw each other again, drunk at another party, so we hooked up again, then we met at after-prom and hooked up ’cause we had hooked up before, and so it was comfortable and whatever.”

And so began their non-romance. In fact, Jenna made it clear to Ethan that she didn’t want “a Facebook relationship. There’s people who have Facebook relationships where every day it’s like”—typical status update, delivered in a singsong—“‘Out to lunch with babe.’ Kissy picture of this, kissy picture of that. Two weeks later, they’re broken up. And then it’s”—bitchy voice doing the status update—“‘Certain people need to, like, stop stalking me on Facebook. Clearly we are never getting back together.’ There’s the Taylor Swifts and then there’s the people who are just long-hair-don’t-care. They just don’t give a single fuck. They’re just like, ‘I’m gonna have sex with you.’ ‘I’m gonna have sex with you.’ ‘Hey, you’re cute. I’m gonna have sex with you too if I want to.’ They don’t give a shit.”

That, she told Ethan, was how it was going to be. “I told him it was just hooking up. I was so used to guys treating me like shit, I didn’t want any guy to take advantage of me.”

And Ethan took her words to heart. “He said, O.K., he wanted to hook up with other girls. And I was like, ‘Sure, if you don’t want to be in a relationship with me, I don’t really care.’ So I was like, ‘Fine, I’ll start hooking up with other guys.’ So I would come to this house—no nonsense, clothes off, let’s do this, get into my bed. And we would hook up every couple days; it started being a casual thing.”

This went on for about a year. “We were friends with benefits,” Jenna said. “Sometimes we wouldn’t even talk that much. I’d just be like, ‘I’m coming over,’ and then I’d go over and we’d sleep together and then I’d leave.”

Even when Ethan, drunk at another party, admitted to Jenna that “I think of you as my girlfriend,” she told him, “‘I would never, ever in my fucking life be your girlfriend.’ Immediately his face fell and he walked away, and after that we were pretty mean to each other.”

They still continued hooking up. And then, last spring, Jenna’s grandfather died, and Jenna was furious with Ethan when he didn’t reach out to console her. “I finally texted him like, ‘My grandfather died and you have nothing to say to me? And I’ve been sleeping with you for a year?’ And his response was, ‘So I really just don’t see why you said I could never be your boyfriend.’”

She smiled.

“So we realized we were being super stupid, and I was like, ‘Do you want to be in a relationship? What do you want?’ And he was like, ‘I really love you. I’ve never met anybody like you. You’re not a dumb bitch.’

“So now we’re together.”

Posted October 4, 2013 by sotpyouth in Uncategorized

A letter you might want your teenage daughter to read…   1 comment

I hope this encourages all of you to have a talk with your children about who or what they find their identity in. Is it boys, girls, sports, etc.? Or God…

From Kimberly Hall at – Direct link to article:

FYI – If you’re a teenage girl

Dear girls,

I have some information that might interest you. Last night, as we sometimes do, our family sat around the dining-room table and looked through the summer’s social media photos.

We have teenage sons, and so naturally there are quite a few pictures of you lovely ladies to wade through. Wow – you sure took a bunch of selfies in your skimpy pj’s this summer!  Your bedrooms are so cute! Our eight-year-old daughter brought this to our attention, because with three older brothers who have rooms that smell like stinky cheese, she notices girly details like that.

I think the boys notice other things. For one, it appears that you are not wearing a bra.

I get it – you’re in your room, so you’re heading to bed, right? But then I can’t help but notice the red carpet pose, the extra-arched back, and the sultry pout.  What’s up? None of these positions is one I naturally assume before sleep, this I know.

So, here’s the bit that I think is important for you to realize.  If you are friends with a Hall boy on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, then you are friends with the whole Hall family.

Please know that we genuinely like staying connected with you this way!  We enjoy seeing things through your unique and colorful lens – you are insightful, and often very, very funny.

Which is what makes your latest self-portrait so extremely unfortunate.

That post doesn’t reflect who you are at all! We think you are lovely and interesting, and usually very smart. But, we had to cringe and wonder what you were trying to do? Who are you trying to reach? What are you trying to say?

And now – big bummer – we have to block your posts. Because, the reason we have these (sometimes awkward) family conversations around the table is that we care about our sons, just as we know your parents care about you.

know your family would not be thrilled at the thought of my teenage boys seeing you only in your towel. Did you know that once a male sees you in a state of undress, he can’t quickly un-see it?  You don’t want our boys to only think of you in this sexual way, do you?

Neither do we. We’re all more than that.

And so, in our house, there are no second chances with pics like that, ladies. We have a zero tolerance policy.  I know, so lame. But, if you want to stay friendly with our sons online, you’ll have to keep your clothes on, and your posts decent.  If you post a sexy selfie (we all know the kind), or an inappropriate YouTube video – even once – it’s curtains.

I know that sounds so old-school, but we are hoping to raise men with a strong moral compass, and men of integrity don’t linger over pictures of scantily clad high-school girls.

Every day I pray for the women my boys will love.  I hope they will be drawn to real beauties, the kind of women who will leave them better people in the end. I also pray that my sons will be worthy of this kind of woman, that they will be patient – and act honorably – while they wait for her.

Girls, it’s not too late! If you think you’ve made an on-line mistake (we all do – don’t fret – I’ve made some doozies, even today!), RUN to your accounts and take down the closed-door bedroom selfies that makes it too easy for friends to see you in only one dimension.

Will you trust me? There are boys out there waiting and hoping for women of character. Some young men are fighting the daily uphill battle to keep their minds pure, and their thoughts praiseworthy – just like you.

You are growing into a real beauty, inside and out.

Act like her, speak like her, post like her.

Mrs. Hall

Posted September 19, 2013 by sotpyouth in Uncategorized

Bang With Friends. . . We’ve Got an App For That! . . .   Leave a comment

 From Walt Mueller @

bangI’ve waited a few weeks to blog anything at all about this new ingredient in the soup of today’s youth culture. I wanted to see just where it was going. . . and now we now. . . at least in part. It’s a new Facebook App that appeared a few weeks ago called “Bang With Friends.” The app is self-billed as a way to “anonymously find friends who are down for the night.” Friends. . . anonymous. . . down for the night. There you have it. That’s what sex has become in these days. Pretty straightforward in today’s hook-up culture, huh?

Here’s how it works. First, you download the app. Then, you log in. What you see are pictures of your Facebook friends. When the app first launched, the faces you saw were of your opposite-sex friends. Of course, that will most likely change pretty quickly in today’s sexual climate. Under each of their photos is a button that says “Down to Bang.” Click on the buttons under the photos of the friends you’d like “to bang”. If they use the app and click on your face, you get a notification email telling you that you’ve got a match. Then, you and the other person just take it from there. Are Facebook users using “Bang with Friends?” To date, the number of people who have downloaded the app is close to a million, and it’s believed that the app is responsible for a couple hundred thousand “matches.”

This week, the SXSW annual music, film, and tech festival in Austin has become a “Down to Bang” hot spot. The app launched a new landing page for SXSW attendees who want to hook up with each other. This too, is a


sign of things that have not already arrived on the cultural landscape, but of the future.

No doubt, all of us who have a history of struggling with sexual pressures, temptations, and sin in our teenage and young adult lives are thankful that something like this wasn’t a part of our cultural landscape. But we do have to be concerned for our kids. . . for so, so many reasons. . . . far too many to mention here.

Still, thinking for the last couple of weeks about the advent of “Bang with Friends” has kept me pondering  what happens every time a person steps out of God’s grand and glorious “YES” and design for sexuality. Recent research on the chemistry and composition of the brain shows that we are integrated and marvelously made beings who God has wired for sex. The sex that he’s wired us for is to be between one man and one woman within the context of a monogamous covenantal marriage. God made it so that a couple commits to each other in marriage, then they consummate that commitment in the glorious act of sexual intercourse. Research on the brain shows that when a couple does that, an amazing complex release of brain chemicals occurs that binds the couple together and makes them want to come back for more. In effect, God has made us to be “addicted” to each other. Sadly, the same addiction occurs every time a person engages in sex. . . either alone, with another, or with an image on a screen. . . . and it messes us up when it’s not with our spouse.

If you haven’t done so already, every one of us who are parents, youth workers, pastors, etc. should take the time to talk to the Facebook-using kids we know and love. And the conversation should start with this sentence: “I want to talk to you about ‘Bang with Friends” . . . ”

Posted March 11, 2013 by sotpyouth in Uncategorized

What Are Our Kids Praying For?   Leave a comment

Parents, I urge you to read this post from Brooklyn Lindsey @

A teenagers heart.

I took some time today to record prayer requests that were written down at a prayer station we made for middle schoolers a few weeks ago. They were breaking our hearts as we read them. Some of them made our jaws hurt from the smiles they triggered. All of them caused us to believe in the work we get to do even more.

I’m grateful for our church who made some extra room for us to grow on Wednesday nights.
If you don’t have a teenager in your life right now, find one and know that many of them are going through similar things. Love them like your own and be the church God has called you to be.

They are praying for siblings to stop smoking.
They are praying for their parents job situations.
They wish they could see their parents MORE.
They are praying for their friends who don’t have their hearts close to the Lords heart.
They are asking for help with their words (gossiping and judging).
They pray for friends and family BY NAME.
They cry out to God for their dads to love Jesus as much as they do.
They want their moms and dads to know that God loves them so much.

They ask for strength.

They give their worries about their grandparents dying to God.
They don’t understand heart attacks.
They pray for the drama to stop.
They pray for people to be nice.
They pray for their brothers and sisters to start coming to church too.
They lift of their moms and ask for God to be real in their lives.
They don’t want to be in trouble.

They love cats.
They ask Jesus to help them not to have a negative attitude.
They are coping with death.
They pray for their field trips.
They deal with the reality of cancer and ask God WHY?
They want to be a light in their friend groups.
They want to be able to find a home just as much as their parents do.

They pray for their friends grandmothers.
They pray to be liked, loved, noticed.
They realize that their imagination is getting out of hand.
They ask for healing.
They forgive people.
They ask for God to make them shine brighter.
They hope that their friends aren’t pregnant.

They lift up distant family. Aunts, uncles, cousins…
They miss their grandmas and grandpas.
They are praying to be home-schooled.
They don’t want to be treated like their ideas are a joke.
They feel the pain of their parents injuries.
They are scared about big family moves across oceans and away from security.
They pray for their parents who serve in the military.

They’d love some help with temptation.
They don’t want to believe lies or negative things.
They need help at school.
They pray for God to make tough things easier.
They want to stop worrying so much.
They love their Nana’s and don’t want them to be sick.
They pray for people that don’t have friends.
They like turtles.

They are obsessed with a boy.
They need help focusing.
They used to not like girls, now they do, and they’re not so sure what to feel about that.
They feel like middle school is unbearable.
They feel like middle school is awesome and don’t want to leave.
They are scared to go to high school.
They can’t wait to get to middle school.

They feel each others pain.
They hurt when their friends hurt.
They ask big questions.
They feel more comfortable telling their parents sorry over text than talking to them face to face.
They ask for forgiveness.
They hand over their fears.
They don’t want to be afraid of the guy at school that bothers them.
They want to be pure.
They want to know what their purpose is.

They want to have fun.
They ask God to help them have fun.
They worry about not having fun.

They are sorry for some choices they’ve made.
They love their families and wish they didn’t treat them poorly.
They pray for family members and friends to be free from addiction.
They don’t want to be tempted by porn.
They are bullied.
They are tired of being a bully.
They had sex.
They need answers.
They want to stop getting questioned. They want to be heard.

Praying for you friends. We love you and thank God for your amazing hearts–growing up in Jesus.

Posted May 16, 2012 by sotpyouth in Uncategorized

Parents, Don’t Believe Your Kids If They Say This   Leave a comment

POSTED BY KARA POWELL From at the Fuller Youth Institute ON FEBRUARY 06 2012

As a parent and leader, I am always intrigued in hearing college students and young adults talk about what they wish their families or churches had done differently.  As we were filming the Sticky Faith Parent DVD Curriculuma young adult named Joel so well-articulated a common cry from young people.  If you haven’t yet seen the curriculum, let me give you a snapshot of Joel’s story.

Joel’s dad was removed from his family when Joel was young.  Trying to raise Joel and his brother and sister alone, Joel’s mom was often and understandably overwhelmed.  As Joel’s brother and sister ended up consuming more and more of her energy, Joel’s mom felt like she could basically leave Joel on his own because he seemed to be doing “just fine”.

The reality was that Joel wasn’t “fine”.  On the outside, he was a high-performing student, leader, and Christian, but behind closed doors and on Friday nights, he was an out-of-control alcoholic.

But Joel seemed fine.  So his mom focused on her other two young adult children, rarely even asking Joel how he was doing.

Looking back, Joel wished that his mom had asked him more questions.  That his mom had taken time to send him a note in college, give him a call or a text to let him know she was thinking about him, and probed more into what he was doing on nights and weekends.

She never asked or acted, and Joel stayed silent.

Often teenagers or young people will even tell their parents, “I am fine.  I don’t need you to follow up or check up on me.”

Parents, DON’T LISTEN TO THEM.  Please.  Don’t disengage.  Your teenage and emerging adult children still need you to care, listen, and ask questions.  They don’t need you to smother/helicopter/hover over them, but they do need you to be an involved presence in their lives.

If your child tells you to leave them alone, don’t do it.

Posted March 7, 2012 by sotpyouth in Uncategorized

What are your thoughts on this?   Leave a comment

I saw this on Walt Mueller‘s Blog from CPYU

You can read his reader’s responses here

Posted December 12, 2011 by sotpyouth in Uncategorized

Teens start sexting as a way to fit in, says study   Leave a comment

Mark Metherell
September 30, 2011
Sexting.Peer pressure … teens are sending sexual images of themselves in order to fit in. Photo: Glen McCurtayne

TEENAGERS are feeling pressure to send sexual images of themselves and others by mobile phone in what is becoming a potentially pervasive practice of ”sexting”, according to government-funded research.

Young people are experiencing pressure not only from each other but also from the “insidious” influence of a sexualised media culture that pressured them to be involved in sexting in order to fit in, Melbourne University researcher Shelley Walker says.

Ms Walker told the Australasian Sexual Health Conference in Canberra yesterday young men were made to feel their masculinity was in question if they were not into sexting.

Women also felt pressure to participate when they saw sexted images of their friends.

Ms Walker, of the primary care research unit at Melbourne University, said her study involved interviews with 15 male and 19 female participants, aged 15 to 20. All of those interviewed had “at least one story to share, if not more”. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted October 3, 2011 by sotpyouth in Uncategorized

Sextortion   Leave a comment

The Associated Press recently reported on a new and developing type of cyber-crime that involves children and teens, but can be prevented. Labeled as “sextortion,” this new phenomena enabled by the age of digital media is one that we must talk about with our kids from a very young age. Here’s how it works – a child or teen – let’s say a young girl – takes a sexually suggestive or compromising photo of herself and posts it somewhere online. She assumes that she’s posting the photo in a place where privacy settings will keep most people from ever seeing it. But somebody copies the photo and it gets distributed widely. The photo winds up in the hands of a person who contacts the girl to tell her that he has a copy of the photo, and unless she sends him more photos of herself in compromising poses, he will send the photo to her parents or the entire world. Parents, now is the time to say and do what you must to prevent your kids from ever hitting the shutter button in the first place.


Posted September 26, 2011 by sotpyouth in Uncategorized

Facts & Dreams

"Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet." -Victor Hugo