1. What’s your Digital Immigration Status?

    I was first introduced to the work of Marc Prensky on Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives by Rob Weiss. As we continue to advance in the digital age, this work continues to be relevant. In particular to The New Age of Sex Education, it is very relevant to how parents relate to their more tech savvy children. Mark Prensky is a world renowned expert and leader in the field of education. At the beginning of the 21st century he started writing about changes in students and learning that occur based on technological advances. His work has been extrapolated to other fields and I find it a great…Read More

  2. Teens Want Sex and Relationship Education

    Yesterday, a British think tank, IPPR (ippr.org), released preliminary details of a study they conducted involving teenagers’ outlooks on pornography.  The full report will not be released until next week.  At that time, I will have a more in depth analysis. The findings of this study show that online pornography does have an impact on the lives of teenagers.  This is not an imagined impact or an impact suggested by a researcher or parent.  These teens reported that accessing pornography is seen as a typical teenage behavior that became common between 13-15 years old.  Nearly half of th…Read More

  3. Sexting and the Law

    There has been a sizeable amount of press, particularly coming out of the United Kingdom, on the legal aspects of sexting and what could or would happen to adolescents if they are caught sexting, either sending images or receiving images.  Around July 22, 2014, BBC news was full of articles relating to a case of two teens in a relationship who were questioned about an image of breasts that one teen voluntarily sent to the other.  After the couple broke up, the image was sent to friends of the boy.  After the UK police questioned the two teens, it was deemed that they had distributed an inde…Read More

  4. Yik Yak: Anonymous Gossip or Cyberbullying Haven?

    This spring, the app, Yik Yak began to receive a large amount of attention in the news, none of it positive.  School officials from Chicago to Georgia have worked to try to ban the app due to its use as a means to cyberbully students.  So what is Yik Yak?  It is a social media app that allows a user to post anonymous messages online. It is an app that utilizes geolocation as users can see comments by those within a five mile radius of them.   It was initially designed for use by college students to spread the word about what was happening on college campuses.  Technically, no one under t…Read More

  5. Tech Savvy Parenting: Whisper

           There is a never ending barrage of new apps entering the digital universe every day.  It would be a full time job to keep up to date on all of the new offerings.  This blog is slowly progressing through those apps that can be used for sexual purposes as well as their official or intended purpose.  One of these apps is Whisper.  It is very akin to the Post Secrets art project that was started in 2005 by artist Frank Warren.  (This too had become an app but was subsequently shut down) The idea behind Post Secret was for people to send a postcard that represented a sec…Read More

  6. How Does the Internet Affect Adolescents? What the Data Tells Us

    As a sex addiction therapist, I tend to see the negative side of internet pornography.  The people that come to me have problems with cyberpornography.  The research tells us that about 10% of all users of online pornography end up having a problem (or addiction).  What about the other 90%?  Some people manage to be “recreational” pornography users and report no issues at all.  So what about adolescents?  Does this trend apply to teens as well as adults? In 2012 a group of researchers published a review of the data on the effects of online pornography on adolescents.  Though there i…Read More

  7. The New Adolescent Courtship: Who and How are Teens Sexting.

    A study recently published in the Journal of Children and Media (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1748298.2014.923009) looked at sexting social norms as well as the relational context of sexting.  Its findings shed light on the prevalence of teen sexting as well as the differences between genders.  If you were to gather data simply from the general media reporting on teen sexting, it would be easy to conclude that teen sexting is rampant and reaching epidemic proportions.  I recently wrote about several sexting issues in two New Jersey school systems.  Though these issues garner big press when th…Read More

  8. Teen Sexting: What they don’t know can hurt them

    Last month there were several major news stories in New Jersey regarding teen sexting.  In two affluent communities in central New Jersey the school administration had to determine how to handle the possession of nude images of classmates by both high school and middle school students (http://www.nj.com/somerset/index.ssf/2014/05/bernards_kids_could_face_child_pornography_charges_for_nude_pics_of_classmates_on_phones.html).  In New Jersey (and most other states) the possession of nude images of minors is considered to be possession of child pornography, which carries extremely harsh penaltie…Read More

  9. Why Some Parents Monitor: A Case Example

    The decision as to whether or not a parent will monitor or filter their child’s internet use is a very personal one.  Many parents do not.   They may think their child is not doing anything that warrants monitoring.  They may think their child is too young to necessitate even thinking about the issue.  Additionally, some parents choose to trust their children’s use of digital media.  Alternately, some parents will chose to monitor (not necessarily filter) what their child does in the digital world.  I thought I would share a related issue that came up in a therapy session this week …Read More

  10. Tech Savvy Parenting: Prevention Lessons From Recent Grindr Arrests

    In the past few weeks in the Philadelphia area, where I have my primary therapy practice, there have been a number of arrests related to the hook up application (“app”), Grindr.  On May 1, 2014 a young man was found murdered after meeting someone with whom he connected on the Grindr app.  The person he was meeting for the hook up is a suspect.  Even today, in the news, a man was arrested in Seattle for beating another man he met on Grindr.  The most eye catching story from the Philadelphia area is that of the arrest of a Delaware Deputy Attorney General who is being charged with four c…Read More