Showing posts with label Sex Talk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sex Talk. Show all posts

June 15, 2018

Young Gay Teens Digital Sex Live








Last summer in Wisconsin, a mother came home to find her 15-year-old son running up the stairs from their basement. He yelled that a man had broken into the house and raped him. A police officer apprehended Eugene Gross, who was 51 years old and H.I.V. positive, in a nearby backyard.
Authorities later learned that the teenager had met Mr. Gross on the gay hookup app Grindr and that they had met for sex before. Last month, Mr. Gross was sentenced to 15 years. The victim’s father broke down in court, saying, “The man sitting here, he destroyed my life, my kid’s life, my family life.”

It’s common for gay, bisexual or questioning minors to go online to meet other gay people. It’s normal for these kids to want to explore intimacy. But most online social networks for gay men are geared toward adults and focused on sex. They have failed to protect minors, who simply have to subtract a few years from their birth date to create a profile.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a new study in The Journal of Adolescent Health together suggest that roughly one in four gay and bisexual boys ages 14 to 17 in the United States are on gay hookup apps designed for adults (Grindr, Scruff, Jack’d, Adam4Adam). Sixty-nine percent of them have had sex with someone they met through these apps. Only 25 percent use condoms consistently. Gay kids, especially closeted ones, don’t necessarily have the opportunities for intimacy that straight kids do: classroom Valentines and first prom dates. So they go online. Though they may be looking for friends or boyfriends, they mostly find sex.

On Grindr, it’s common to receive unsolicited naked pictures. A minor can make a profile within minutes and instantly start chatting with adult men who live nearby.
Teenagers are still developing their abilities to delay gratification and control their impulses. With just 12 percent of millennials reporting that their sex education classes covered same-sex relationships, it’s not surprising that many end up having unprotected sex.

Should apps like Grindr be held accountable when minors use them? Dr. Elizabeth Englander, a psychologist, an expert on the digital lives of minors thinks yes: “It’s an ethical line and a no-brainer.” 

Grindr’s terms of service state that users must be 18 or older and the app requires everyone to enter a birth date to join. But it could certainly do more to try to verify ages. Some gambling sites, for instance, make users upload a credit card or ID to prove their age. But this brings up confidentiality risks for gay men who don’t want to be out.

Grindr could also use algorithms to detect conversations between minors and adults. This would require employees to manually verify which conversations were inappropriate, but given that Grindr’s annual revenue may be as high as $77 million, the company could probably afford it.
When asked to comment, Grindr’s chief technology officer and president, Scott Chen, said that Grindr is “in the process of testing further safeguards for our account creation procedures to help ensure authentic and proper account activity, including verification through social media platforms.” He said the company takes the issue very seriously, is working on improving its screening tools and encourages users to continue reporting any “illegal or improper activity.”
This is heartening, but it isn’t enough. Age verification through social media is hardly foolproof since minors can lie about their age on Facebook, too.

In 2015, a man who had been arrested for having sex with a 13-year-old boy sued Grindr, claiming that its weak enforcement of age restrictions was to blame for the sexual encounter. The lawsuit was dismissed because Grindr is protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which means it isn’t responsible for what users say on its app (including minors lying about their age).
And Grindr is hardly the only problem — there are many similar venues. When I searched online for “gay chat,” as a lonely, closeted child might the first hit was #1 Chat Avenue. Two minutes after I opened a gay chat room, a user wrote: “Any boys 13 or 14 with cameras? I’m 35.” After some deep searching, I found that you can report activity like this to moderators, but they aren’t always online. I reported it to the site’s administrator via email, but I never heard back.

In the end, it is largely up to parents to protect their children. Unfortunately, this topic combines two of many parents’ greatest fears: sex and technology. 

Parents can block apps like Grindr. But kids almost always outsmart us, and it’s probably better to educate them in addition to using parental controls.

Dr. Englander tells parents not to try to be experts on the technology. “Parents can instead be the experts on the importance of deeper in-person relationships,” she says. Explain to children that while what they find online may be exciting or interesting, they never know who’s on the other side.
Children need to hear that naked photos and videos are permanent (even when sent on Snapchat). They should know that sex between a minor and an adult is illegal. They need to be told that it’s dangerous to meet up with a person from the internet and that if they do so, they need to tell their parents and meet the person in a public place. They need to know the risk of infections from unprotected sex.

Parents also need to stay calm, so that the kids feel comfortable coming back to them if they ever end up in a bad situation, like if a scary stranger won’t stop messaging.
As a society, we have failed to create enough spaces for gay youth to thrive, pushing them online and underground. While we try to find ways to hold digital sites accountable, we need to talk to our kids about how to be safe online.

 By Jack Turban (@jack_turban) is a resident physician in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital.
 The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion),  
A version of this article appears in print on June 14, 2018, on Page A27  of The New York Times






November 10, 2016

America Elects a Guy Who is a Bigot and Assaults Women



 I wanted to grab her ####


 

Donald J. Trump is president-elect of the United States. Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.

Against all odds and against all forms of the establishment, he prevailed. He won, legitimately, including in many states that were thought to be safely blue. The pundits and the polls were wrong. There was more pent-up hunger for change — and also racial, ethnic and economic angst — than many models considered.

Mr. Trump will become this country’s 45th president. For me, it is a truly shocking fact, a bitter pill to swallow. I remain convinced that this is one of the worst possible people who could be elected president. I remain convinced that Trump has a fundamentally flawed character and is literally dangerous for world stability and injurious to America’s standing in that world.

There is so much that I can’t fully comprehend.

It is hard to know specifically how to position yourself in a country that can elect a man with such staggering ineptitude and open animus. It makes you doubt whatever faith you had in the country itself.

Also, let me be clear: Businessman Donald Trump was a bigot. Candidate Donald Trump was a bigot. Republican nominee Donald Trump was a bigot. And I can only assume that President Donald Trump will be a bigot.

It is absolutely possible that America didn’t elect him in spite of that, but because of it. Consider that for a second. Think about what that means. This is America right now: throwing its lot in with a man who named an alt-right sympathizer as his campaign chief.
 
How can I make sense of the fact that the president appeared in pornos?

How can I make sense of the fact that the man who will appoint the next attorney general has himself boasted of assaulting women? What will this president’s vaunted “law and order” program for “inner cities” look like in an age where minority communities are already leery of police aggression?

How do I make sense of the fact that a man who attacked a federal judge for his “Mexican heritage” will be the man who will nominate the next Supreme Court justice and scores of federal judges?

I can’t make it make sense because it doesn’t. I must sit with the absurdity of it.

I must settle this in myself in this way: I respect the presidency; I do not respect this president-elect. I cannot. Count me among the resistance.

I hope that there are areas where people in Washington can agree to actually advance America’s interests, but I’m doubtful. Trump has made multiple campaign promises, promises he will be obliged to keep, that would specifically do harm.

My thoughts are now with the immigrant families he has threatened to deport and the Muslims he has threatened to bar and the women he has demeaned and those he is accused of assaulting and the disabled whom he apparently has no problem mocking.

My thoughts are with the poor people afflicted by ill health who were finally able to receive medical insurance coverage, sometimes lifesaving coverage, and the fear they must feel now that there is a president committed to repealing and replacing it (with what, I don’t know), and who has a pliable Congress at his disposal. 

When I think of all these people and then think of all the people who voted to make this man president — and those who didn’t vote, thereby easing the way for his ascension — I cannot help but feel some measure of anger. I must deal with that anger. I don’t want to wrestle it to the ground; I want to harness it.

I have spent much of my life and definitely much of my time writing this column championing the causes of vulnerable populations. That work only becomes more important now. Trump represents a clear and very present danger, and it is in the face of that danger that courage and truth are made more necessary and more perfect.

I strongly support and defend the peaceful transfer of power in this country and applaud the current administration for doing what is right and normal in America, what every prior departing administration has done: to make sure the transfer of power is as smooth as possible.

We need a Trump presidency to succeed to some degree — at least to have it do as little harm to the republic as possible — in order for America to remain safe, steady and strong during his tenure.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t believe Trump to be an abomination, but rather that I honor one of the hallmarks of our democracy and that I am an American interested in protecting America.

That said, it is impossible for me to fall in line behind an unrepentant bigot. It will be impossible for me to view this man participating in the pageantry and protocols of the presidency and not be reminded of how he is a demonstrated demagogue who is also a sexist, a racist, a xenophobe and a bully.

That is not a person worthy of applause. That is a person who must be placed under unrelenting pressure. Power must be challenged, constantly. That begins today.


October 7, 2016

“Trump El Deplorable” and His Offensive Sex Talk Tape




For the second Friday in a row, Donald Trump's campaign is heading into the weekend in an existential crisis sparked by the candidate's behavior toward women — and Republicans may have had enough this time.

"It's over," a Republican strategist who has been supportive of Trump said. "Never seen anything like it. Never will."

The timing of newly obtained audio from 2005 in which Trump boasted how he used his stardom to approach women and "grab 'em by the pussy," could not be much worse for the nominee, whose standing with women in surveys has already been abominable throughout the campaign.

“This one matters," a Trump campaign staffer conceded, adding they had "no idea" how to spin the story in their favor.

In the immediate term, though, the tape is threatening to crack Trump's support within the GOP, whose leaders must weigh whether its worth it to defend Trump and risk poisoning the party brand or distance themselves and risk demoralizing their base.

Based on the early reaction, they're choosing the latter approach.

"No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner," RNC chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. "Ever."

Speaker Paul Ryan condemned Trump as well and announced the nominee would no longer attend a high-profile scheduled event with Ryan and Priebus in Wisconsin on Saturday.

"I am sickened by what I heard today," he said. "Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified. I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests."

Priebus has stood by Trump through previous crises while Ryan has often stayed quiet rather than criticize him, making their twin statements especially dramatic.

They weren't the only ones criticizing Trump on Friday as the story started to look like a tipping point for his detractors within the GOP.

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), who is in a tough race and has refused to endorse Trump, tweeted that Trump "should drop out" and that the GOP should move to organize an emergency replacement. He called Trump "a malignant clown — unprepared and unfit to be president of the United States."

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), who is under fire in her home state for calling Trump a role model in a recent debate, immediately issued a statement on Friday calling Trump's comments "totally inappropriate and offensive."

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), who supports Trump and also faces a difficult re-election, called Trump's comments "inappropriate and completely unacceptable"on Twitter. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) tweeted that they were "outrageous and unacceptable."

"I think the wheels just came off," a top staffer at a GOP super PAC said.

In addition to politicians in swing states, the Trump audio prompted indignant statements from former rivals like John Kasich and Jeb Bush.

"Hitting on married women? Condoning assault? Such vile degradations demean our wives and daughters and corrupt America's face to the world," 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney, who has denounced Trump throughout his candidacy, tweeted.

Jon Huntsman, the former governor of Utah who recently indicated he would support Trump, withdrew his endorsement on Friday and called on Trump to leave the race.

At the same time, Trump did get some backup from prominent evangelical supporters who indicated a willingness to overlook his sins.

"I in no way condone [the comments] but I don't condemn him," Pastor Darrell Scott, a Trump adviser, said. He explained that Trump's 2005 remarks came before he had "spiritual influences" in his life.

Democrats, eager to fan the flames, are rapidly moving to demand more Republican candidates renounce Trump or be tarred by association. Hillary Clinton's campaign rapidly pushed out a video featuring the 2005 footage.

The news comes as Trump looks to bounce back in Sunday's town hall with Clinton after a difficult first debate last month that included withering attacks on his treatment of women — attacks Trump made dramatically worse the next week by feuding with former Miss Universe Alicia Machado and telling voters to "check out [a] sex tape" that apparently did not exist.

The sustained fight over Trump's treatment of women helped generate additional stories about his comments and behavior over the years, stories that will only get more attention now.

The Associated Press published a detailed exposé of his work on The Apprentice, with numerous sources recalling lewd and inappropriate remarks similar to the 2005 audio. The Los Angeles Times detailed complaints from Trump employees in a lawsuit that they had to hide staff he found physically unattractive to prevent him from firing them.
Just as Trump's attack on Machado helped shine a light on related stories about Trump and women, Trump's 2005 boasts about what sounds like nonconsensual behavior could bring back some darker claims that have so far stayed on the edge of the campaign.

Take Jill Harth, a makeup artist who once sued Trump in 1997 for allegedly groping her in a manner not dissimilar to Trump's 2005 comments. Trump denied the claim and she dropped the suit after several weeks, but she gave an interview to the Guardian standing by her accusation earlier this year.

The audio also could scramble Trump's strategy for the next debate. In response to the Machado story, his campaign launched a series of attacks on former President Bill Clinton's sex scandals and Trump suggested at a rally last weekend, without evidence, that the former Secretary of State had also cheated on her husband.

That tack, along with the Machado story, provoked a backlash from many Republicans, including some prominent Trump supporters who urged him to stop. Trump told the New York Post earlier this week that he would avoid the topic in the debate.

That may no longer be the case now. On Friday, he responded to the latest news by claiming "Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course" and it seems hard to imagine Trump restraining himself if he's cornered on the topic on Sunday.

Trump could try to seize on a new Wikileaks dump of apparent material from Clinton's private speeches dropped on Friday just hours after the Access Hollywood tape. But with so many damaging stories surrounding Trump and his campaign seemingly unable to control its message, it will be difficult to change the subject. With 30 days to go, every minute spent defending his behavior is a minute closer to a loss.

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