Sexual Exploitation

The act of self exploitation occurs more often among young people between the ages of 13 – 17, due to the fact of slower development in the pre-frontal cortex in the brain, so this causes young people to act on impulse and distribute images and videos using technology, worsening the already common act of self exploitation. The statistics of self exploitation are seemingly small and this is due to the fact that once it occurs, young people are too ashamed to tell the truth on what they have done.

The ct of self exploitation, also known as peer exploitation, is defined as youth creating, sending or sharing sexual images and/or videos with peers via the Internet and/or electronic devices such as smart phones. Self exploitation is a serious issue among young people that is a more frequent occurrence. Although technology has made self exploitation more common, it has also helped a lot of victims whose self exploitation went beyond what they ever anticipated.

Here is how technology can negatively, as well as positively, affects young people affected by self exploitation, and some tatistics on the matter. Self exploitation is now more of a frequent occurrence then ever before. This is due to the fact technology has made it easier to quickly send off images and videos whether it be through texting, social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. ) and email. Dr. Debbie Lindsay states, “Just as the body of an adolescent undergoes great physical changes, the brain also develops and changes but at different rates.

The pre-frontal cortex of the frontal lobe is one of the last areas to develop; studies have shown that it does not fully mature until individuals are in their 20s. This area is involved in insight, Judgment and impulse control. This means that although teens may logically understand the consequences of their actions, they are more likely to act from their emotions and without consideration of these consequences. Teens first develop the ability to be objective and critical of others’ actions, and later, they develop the ability to analyze and understand their own actions.

Moreover, as these functions are developing, the changing hormonal environment of puberty also drives an adolescent’s behavior. ” Dr. Lindsay discusses how an adolescent’s part of the rain that controls Judgment and impulse control is not fully developed until we are in our 20s. This explains why adolescents are so impulsive to send images when asked. To go into more detail on the developmental considerations on self exploitation, you need to consider the age of the youth.

Children 13-15 years of age usually engage in these activities because they feel as though acceptance and belonging are the most important things, they are extremely influenced by peers and their behavior, are vulnerable to those who offer insincere flattery, feel that their ooks and what others think of them are the most important, they compare themselves to other peers in an effort to define who they are, take huge emotional risks in search of their own identity, have a “pseudo-maturity’ and feel like they can handle more then they are ready for developmentally, and are extremely sensitive and easily humiliated.

Children 16-17 years of age are usually engaging in the activity of self exploitation to experiment with various roles in an effort to fgure out who they are, appear to nave a tully-developed id ty but are not yet tully mature, object to trongly to all narrow limitations on their self-image, have an established sexual identity and seek intimacy, seek independence and expect privacy, have an increased focus on what will happen in the future, prioritize friendship, and can have intense romantic relationships and increased sexual desires. There are three types of youth when it comes to the act of self exploitation.

There is the affected youth, whose image or video has been taken and distributed whether by themselves or others. Then there is the acting-out youth, who have taken and/or distributed images/videos of omeone other than themselves. Finally there is other involved youth and they are the youth who are in receipt of the distributed image/video, whether by the affected youth or the acting-out youth. There are three general reasons why youth engage in the act of self exploitation. These include romantic relationships or sexual experimentation, attention-seeking behavior, or coercive (blackmail) circumstances.

Regardless of the reason most times the images or videos sent get out. When this occurs, it can have serious impacts, such as emotional, social and criminal, on the ictimized youth. Emotions experienced can range from anxiety to fear to depression. As well their behavior can vary greatly – from expressing little to no concern (acting like they always do) to completely isolating and withdrawing or in serious cases engaging in self-harming behaviors or suicide attempts. Social impacts can include that youth may experience ridicule, alienation or harassment (including sexual harassment) from peers.

This type of shaming can impact the youth personally and socially. Criminal impacts are quite serious, they include, youth inadvertently creating hild pornography, youth intentionally producing images/videos that meets the criteria of child pornography, youth engaging in behavior that involves intimidation and/or coercion of the affected youth in combination with the creation and sharing of child pornography, and criminal harassment, extortion, voyeurism, impersonation, defamatory libel, intimidation and mischief in relation to data.

All this has huge impacts on affected youth, but as much as technology can help cause self exploitation to occur; it can also help the affected youth heal from their mistake. Although technology has negatively effected youth by giving them more access to act on impulse and fall into peer pressure to fit in, it can also help youth by giving them tips and provide them with information so they can properly educate themselves on the situation. A lot of youth who have been negatively affected by self exploitation are not sure on how to seek help from a safe adult on the matter.

Some reasons they feel they cannot go seek help from a safe adult include, the fact they do not want to get in trouble, they are ashamed of having produced the inappropriate content themselves, hey are afraid of retaliation from other youth if an adult finds out, they are not sure an adult can even help them in their situation, they are not sure an adult will help them, and they have learned growing up that “ratting” on peers is bad. There is two websites that were created to help and to educate youth on the consequences of their actions, as well as give them a chance to help others that are too frightened to help themselves.

One site is http://www. cybertip. ca . This site provides information on child sexual abuse by the use of technology, provides tips and information on nternet safety, as well, this site allows anyone, youth or adults, to go on and report situations that involve underage self exploitation for those who are too scared to do it themselves, and it can be anonymous. As well, once reported on the site, the website reports it to the local police station so that it can be taken care of. Another site is http://www. eedhelpnow. ca . This site goes into how you can go about removing any images or videos that may have been posted of the affected youth on pornographic websites, or even sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. The site also helps by providing information to youth about how they can cope with what has happened dealing with rude and hurtful peers, getting help and as well reporting incidents, it directs you to cybertip. ca. Sites like this are very helpful for affected youth.

It provides them with the security of knowing they are not alone in what is happening as well as knowing they can anonymously get help. Technology can completely destroy a person’s confidence, but now technology can also help a person heal from the traumatic event of being exploited even if it was only meant for one person. Some general statistics to show how often it truly occurred would show you how serious the issue really is. Unfortunately due to the fact young people do not like to discuss this topic because they are too ashamed or scared to come clean about what they have done.

In 2008, a study was conducted of 653 teens, ages 13-19, on sex and technology in the U. S. and found that 22% of girls and 18% of boys said they had sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures of videos of themselves. Shockingly, 11% of girls ages 13-16 years, reported the behavior. 36% of girls and 39% of boys said it is ommon for semi-nude photos to get shared with people other then the intended recipient. 25% of girls and 33% of boys said they have had nude or semi-nude images – originally meant for someone else – shared with them.

In the same study, they examined the reasons for why teens sent or posted sexually suggestive messages, images or videos. 66% of girls and 60% of boys said they did it to be “fun or flirtatious”. 52% of girls said they did so as a “sexy present” for their boyfriends. 44% of all teens said they so to respond to similar content that they received. 40% of girls aid they did it as a “Joke”. 34% of girls said they did so to “feel sexy’ and 12% teen girls said they did so because they felt “pressured” to do so.

In 2009, a study of 535 students from the I-JK, between ages 11-18, examined sexting behavior (this is defined as sharing intimate pictures or videos among surveyed adolescents). This study found that 40% of respondents said they knew friends who sexted. 27% of respondents said that sexting happens regularly or all the time. 24% of the respondents said they would turn to a teacher for help if they were affected by issues related to sexting. In 2011, 1355 teens and young adults, between the ages 14-24 years of age, in the U. S. ere part of a study on digital abuse issues. The study found that 15% of the respondents sent naked pictures or videos of themselves, 7% of these respondents were 14-17 years of age and about half felt pressured to do so. In comparison, 21% of respondents said that they have received naked pictures or videos of others. The statistics here do vary, from age, to gender; to the question they were asked. These statistics should give you a better understanding and alarm you, as to how serious the act of self exploitation truly is.

Self exploitation occurs for many reasons as you have read. Whether it be for their romantic partner or they felt pressured into doing the act. Technology has made it easier for youth to exploit themselves, and that is scary. As much as technology aids in allowing access for the act to occur, it also really helps people to heal from doing the act ot exploiting themselves. Again the statistics really do vary depending on age and gender, but it is still frightening to know how often it happens and how many young people are partaking in the act of self exploitation.

This was written to provide you with information on what young people are really doing when they are alone, in hope to reduce the numbers of those statistics. This issue will never be eliminated entirely, but everyone can work to reduce the numbers and help youth realize they don’t need to exploit their bodies for anyone, to impress their peers, to fit in or whether it be gain attention. For whatever reason in may be, no one should ever have to experience the humiliation of being exploited and people need to be made aware of the topic to bring the numbers down and help youth.