The internet is a bounty of information, images and video that can be accessed anywhere and any time. The only downside to all the wealth of information is the unbelievably easy access to pornography.
The accessibility to porn used to be limited. Imagine the clichéd scene of times past when, by chance, a teenager would find a male relative’s Playboy magazine hidden under their mattress. Now access is boundless because a quick search on Google yields thousands of links to free and paid content.
One can even access porn through their cell phones, and smart phones have brought the invention of “hook-up apps.” Those apps are usually advertised as “social” and “dating” apps, and while they may have been created with good intentions, they create a society of instant sexual gratification.
There is also the term “sexting,” which involves the sending and receiving of explicit images and texts. Sexting is becoming the “gateway” to sex for young teens.
It can be said that Houston is affected more than most cities. According to okcupid.com, one of the fastest-growing free dating sites for singles, Houston was voted as one of the top 10 most promiscuous cities. Okcupid.com gathered the percentages of users from each city that chose “casual sex” as one of the relationship types they were seeking and Houston was number 10.
As they say, the proof is in the pudding — or in this case, proof is in the syphilis. The instances of syphilis have exploded here.
In 2007, there was a volatile outbreak of cases. The city had to rein it in with free clinics and awareness drives. The percentage of cases had nearly doubled from the previous year, and the trend is still rising.
What is more disturbing than the rise of sexting is that evidence points to it correlating to teens partaking in group sex.
A new study released by Boston University’s School of Public Health states that teens as young as 14 are engaging in group sex.
More than half of the teens polled said at least one of the people in the orgies did not wear a condom.
The study also came to the conclusion that those who had watched porn in the month prior to the study were five-times more likely to have group sex. In other words, those who watched porn more often were more likely to indulge.
Most of the girls stated they were forced, high or drunk when they partook in the group sex.
As much as teens like to deny it, they are very impressionable. When they see a certain behavior, they absorb it like a sponge. The accessibility and the ease with which one can find sex today is changing our views about it. The change is already visible.
When asked why he thought this was happening, political science junior Tyler Albarado said, “Parents need to be more involved in their children’s lives. They are doing very little to prevent these things from occurring by not taking simple measures like talking to their kids or spending time with them.”
In the end, it’s the parents’ fault because they either ignored the whole concept of sex or they didn’t take steps to involve themselves in their childrens’ lives or check their computers.
Alejandro Caballero is a creative writing junior and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.