Stop killing our daughters

I know this is a romance blog and all, but we talk an awful lot about sexuality and gender roles and cultural mores in real life and in fiction, and then I read “What Happened to Hope Witsell” today (one week late!) on my friend Sylvia’s blog while taking a brain-break from studying, and it made me so incredibly sad and angry that I kind of want to break something. This is more than a serious story; it’s a tragic story. I also think it’s an important story—one that warrants being passed around and read, and hopefully shocking the shit out of you—which is why I’m linking to it here.

I don’t have much to add that Sylvia hasn’t said already, other than to echo her words: Stop killing our daughters.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Jen H says:

    That poor girl.  I hope she is at peace now, and that someday her family, peers, teachers/school administrators, GET what they did to her, and find a way to atone for it.  I always say, “Thank God the internet wasn’t around when I was sowing my oats!”—-partly in jest, but then I see a story like this and am thankful times a million.  We all have stupid words & deeds in our pasts (and presents, and futures!), and deserve the opportunity to live and learn.  Please, people, be kind to eachother.  Not huggy-kumbaya, all-forgiving, just kind.  It goes a long way.

  2. 2

    Yes, but as Sylvia pointed out this didn’t actually have anything to do with the internet, except inasmuch as Hope Witsell was deprived of her internet privileges.

    You can be glad cellphones weren’t around when you were sowing your wild oats, I guess.

  3. 3
    Liz says:

    what struck me as I read that blog was the fact that the girl probably felt as if she had to show her breasts to the boy she liked because that is something that society teaches us: women are sex objects, and as such the only thing of value that they have are the things that make them different from men. 

    what her family and the school officials should have realized is that adolescence is hard, and that because their hormones are raging and the bonds with their parents are changing (alla T.P. Thornberry: Towards an Interactional Theory of Deviance, 1987) teenagers are more likely to do things that violate societal norms and mores (such as sexting).  They should have tried to understand what they were doing to Hope was actually doing to her.  Some teenagers while experiencing such disapproval might further deviate from the norm, but what Hope did was much worse because she was brought to take her own life, which cannot be undone.  Deviance is expected during adolescence, and most people grow out of these types of behaviors once they are no longer teenagers.  You cannot grow out of death. 

    If Hope’s parents (and society at large) wasn’t so condemning of her behavior, she may not have decided that the best way to deal with her problems was to kill herself.  But that is not in the nature of the American political culture.  Americans love punitivity, which is why it is one of the only countries that still employs the death penalty (most of the other countries are definitely not democracies of the stature of the US—our neighbors to the north won’t even extradite people to the US if they are facing a capital offense, but we need to kill people).

    okay…i’ll get off my high horse.

  4. 4
    orangehands says:

    A disgusting and not unusual story.

  5. 5
    Krista says:

    As an educator, it turns my stomach to think what the school administration did to add to her torment. I hope if ever faced with a similar situation, I would handle it very differently by treating her with respect and compassion.Thank you for sharing this.

  6. 6
    SheaLuna says:

    The saddest thing of all is the ADULTS in this story will not learn anything at all.  They will sit, secure in their smugness and self-righteousness, and judge other girls.  Destroy other girls.  Drive other girls to harm themselves (or at the very least HATE themselves).  They will justify it using their religion, their politics, and their embarassment of their own bodies and sexuality.  Twenty years from now, these same adults will STILL be blaming Hope.  Her parents will still be blaming Hope.  She did a “bad” thing, after all, and we all know “bad” girls have “bad” things happen to them.  Because reality is that these “adults” will never be able to face the truth: their own narrow minded bigotry murdered Hope.  They might as well have tied the noose around her neck themselves.

    How do I know this?  Because I grew up with just these kind of people in my life.  And they’ve learned nothing from the children they hurt.

    Harsh?  Maybe.  True?  Most definitely.

  7. 7
    Kinsey says:

    I’d give anything for the chance to beat the shit out of every person, regardless of age, in that disgusting school. And her parents. And the reporter, for implicitly blaming Hope.

    I hope you’re wrong, Shea. I hope her parents spend every day of the rest of their lives blaming themselves for their child’s death.

    Fucking assholes.

  8. 8
    Rueyn says:

    I remember being in junior high (probably 12 or 13 years old) and telling a close friend I was feeling depressed and thinking about suicide.  She told a counselor (like I said – good friend, no doubt!), and they called my parents.  My parents had the chance to connect with me on a deeper level and help…instead they got mad at me, refused to take me to counseling citing the stigma of mental illness, and told me not to go back to the counselor.  As a teenager, what did that teach me?  1. Don’t trust the school, because they don’t keep things in confidence and 2. don’t try to talk to parents about negative things, because they won’t understand.

    The article about Hope reminded me of that incident, and I can’t help thinking if her parents would have simply TALKED to her about what happened – asked her why she felt she needed to do it, the kinds of peer pressure she was experiencing, if she needed someone outside her social circle to talk to, et cetera – then this story would probably have had a very different ending.

    Kids can be cruel, and school can be hell.  But it doesn’t HAVE to be that way.  A local boy here recently hung himself because of bullying, and there have been all kinds of meetings, and while that’s a good first step, the talks need to start at the class level.  Talk to the kids as they’re growing up and get them comfortable with the idea that they DON’T HAVE TO SUFFER THROUGH BULLYING IN SILENCE! 

    According to the article Hope’s friends were there for her at a time when everyone else was deserting her.  That they weren’t allowed to interact with her (probably b/c the parents thought they were in part responsible for the sexting) isolated Hope further and gave her nowhere to go and no one to talk to.

    It’s incredibly sad to say the least, and I wish I had some brilliant idea to sum up this post, but the truth is that there isn’t an easy answer, and these kinds of things will probably continue as long as there are social groups, both adult and otherwise.

  9. 9
    marg says:

    As the the mother of a 13 yr old girl I thought it was important for my girl to know about this so I called her over to read both articles. We read them together and talked about it for a bit and yes it did make her a little uncomfortable, for the most part she couldn’t understand why Hope had sent a photo of her boobs to a boy, (this is from her perspective ) We then talked about how the adults in Hope’s life had let her down (again her words) and so I say THANK YOU for bringing this to my attention and in turn bringing it to hers.
    The tragedy of this is that the adults in Hopes life failed her, with their judgment, condemnation and ostracism and that cost her life, How very sad it is.

  10. 10
    Brooks*belle says:

    So. Very. Sad.

    Why why why why why is it so hard to see past the act and understand the intent?

  11. 11
    SB Sarah says:

    THANK YOU for bringing this to my attention and in turn bringing it to hers.

    Marg: Thank you for having that conversation with your daughter. Big badass props to you, and to your lucky, lucky daughter who has you as her mom.

  12. 12
    Laurel says:

    No doubt about it, everyone dropped the ball here. The major issue I have with this article, however, is the implication that our kids will not hurt themselves if we don’t set or impose standards of behavior. Do teenagers send racy photos of themselves over cellphones and the internet? Obviously they do. Should they? Nope. It is not private, or secure, or even safe. And it is out there forever. The standards we set are not just self-righteous impositions of a stale religious society, they are to help our kids stay safe.

    I don’t think her parents blew it by disapproving of the incident. Where they failed was in supporting her through it. Our kids will do things we wish they wouldn’t and know they shouldn’t. If they didn’t they wouldn’t need parents. It is our JOB to make sure they realize what they did was not the best choice, why, and arm them to make better decisions. What if everyone rolled their eyes, patted her on the back, and acted like this is perfectly okay? Would she be sending similar photos to the hot guy at work in ten years? They absolutely maimed this child in the way the handled the situation but I’m uncertain from the article if the suggestion is that we should just allow or ignore this phenomenon so nobody else is potentially driven to suicide. I also propose that a thirteen year old girl who is willing to send a topless photo of herself to a boy might have been fragile already. Another warning sign that she might need help, really. Again, ignoring the behavior would have been the wrong thing to do.

    I am horrified that her school chose not to inform her parents that she was hurting herself and baffled that her parents didn’t already know. And the bullying behavior? It happens to people for no reason at all. I know because I was the victim of it when I was her age. Schools and teachers know this happens and seldom intervene, again ignoring behavior because it is “normal” for the age and “just part of growing up.”

    Values did not kill this child. Ignorance of the fragile state of a thirteen year old girl trying to negotiate the hardest social climate in society did.

  13. 13

    I assume that school psychologists operate under confidentiality agreements.  I’ve spoken with one before.  Kids need to feel safe in the counselor’s office.  Although I agree that cutting/self-mutilation is troubling behavior (I did it as a teen), it doesn’t lead to suicide in every case.  Obviously.  I’m alive!  I also don’t believe that every issue a child speaks to a school counselor about should be relayed back to her parents as soon as she leaves the office.

    This is a sad situation.  I don’t think evil SEXTING OMG killed that poor girl.  But I’m not going to blame the school or her parents.  If a boy had sent a pic of his penis to a girl, there would be disciplinary action.  It’s appropriate.

  14. 14
    jody says:

    About this time last year I was directing a musical for the local community theater. I found a role for everybody who wanted to perform, so there were a lot of teenagers involved.  One in particular was a beautiful 14 year old girl with wonderful vocal and dancing ability who quickly became the ‘go to’ performer when the script called for a cartwheel or a small solo.  It was apparent that ‘Joanie’ was starved for positive attention—she was always the first to arrive and the last to leave, and whenever volunteers were called for to clean or paint, she was there, though she always looked sad. 

    Early on, she’d obviously been crying and I asked if everything was all right and she said, “No.  Things are as bad as they could possibly be.”  When I asked if she wanted to continue with the play, she said it was the only thing that made her life worth living.  I started finding extra things for her to do, gave her more lines and dances and added responsibilities backstage.  She blossomed.

    I found out that ‘Joanie’ had been grounded by her stepfather for a year for sexting her boyfriend. As the story unfolded and I met her family, it became clear (to me, at least) that ‘Joanie’s’ mistep was not the real issue—‘Joanie’ was also the pawn in a bitter power struggle between two sets of parents. 

    IMO, both sets of parents were blind idiots.  They’d been given this talented, beautiful daughter who needed guidance, not punishment and they were sacrificing her for their own selfish ends.  I wanted to smack all their heads together and shake them. 

    I wonder how many of the adults in Hope’s life were doing the same thing.

    At least ‘Joanie’s’ story has a moderately happy ending.  Both sets of parents were very proud of her performance in the play and when I ran into her last summer, she said they were encouraging her to do more.  After reading this awful, awful story, I’m so glad things turned out the way they did, or we might be reading about ‘Joanie’ as well.

  15. 15
    jody says:

    I meant to say, I’m so glad things turned out the way they did for ‘Joanie’

    I’m sick about the way they turned out for Hope Witsell.

  16. 16
    Gerd D. says:

    Talk to the kids as they’re growing up and get them comfortable with the idea that they DON’T HAVE TO SUFFER THROUGH BULLYING IN SILENCE!

    Only that in my experience that exatly is what School teaches you, I could name you at least two teachers from my youth that not only looked the other way at bullying (as most others did) but actively encouraged this behaviour among the class.

    It is difficult to understand teenagers and their approach to sexuality, especially in these high-tech times, I’m willing to give them that, but it’s easy to see how she would have felt that there was no other way left for her than to kill herself and I find it impossible to understand how they could act so f***ing blind to drive her to that final conclusion.

  17. 17
    Lindleepw says:

    The problem wasn’t the sexting; the problem was the bullying. Poor Hope was (over)punished for her actions but what did anyone do to those kids that were attacking her in the hallway? It was verbal abuse and it needed to be addressed. I was reminded of a book I read a long time ago The Wounded Spirit by Frank Peretti. This book really brought home to me how big a problem bullying is and how so often we don’t address it. And once again someone (Hope) suffers for our inability to act and protect.

    FYI, The Wounded Spirit is very much a Christian novel. Very strong Christian overtones. Didn’t bother me, but I know that would bother a lot of people.

  18. 18
    Susan R. says:

    Heartbreaking.  There are so many things going on in this case: teenage sexual behavior, the misunderstanding of adults in relation to their children/students, bullying, culture in regard to women, etc.  Americans are quite prim when it comes to sex or more so, sex scandals, whether or not the act was actually involved.  That, coupled with the widespread culture of porn and sexual objectification of women, sends very mixed messages, particularly to young women.

    I think as adults we need to understand the capricious mindset of teenagers and we need to deal with the inevitable: teenage sex and the related activites in a digital age.  Severe punsishment and isolation will drive a teenager to despair; understanding and explanations of the consequences of behavior are far better.

  19. 19
    willa says:

    That Today article was astonishing in its disingenuousness—or is the author and everyone mentioned in the article truly that… willfully blind? I really don’t understand. It’s painfully obvious that the bullying and cruelty of others was what drove that girl to suicide, so why does the article keep on saying that it was her being sexual that caused her to kill herself? Does the author even know what he’s doing?

    That poor girl. I am so sorry.

  20. 20
    LadyPeyton says:

    Why the hell wasn’t the boy punished for sharing pictures of a half naked underaged girl?  If she had been my daughter I’d have been all over the school administration and police to punish him for the criminal act of spreading pedophelic media.

    *White Hot Flames of Rage*

  21. 21
    caligi says:

    ”  If she had been my daughter I’d have been all over the school administration and police to punish him for the criminal act of spreading pedophelic media.”

    I don’t think that’s right at all. Here we are talking about not ruining teens’ lives over learning mistakes and you want to make a teenage boy live his life as a sex offender?

    What it comes down to is that “sexting” (and oh god do I hate that term) is stupid, but it’s not the end of the world. Texting your 16 year old tits will not ruin your life, unless your parents and school go all reactionary on your ass. Leaving prudish parents out of it, the worst that will happen is that everyone in school will see your tits and make fun of you. That’s punishment enough for a harmless lack of judgement, no? What is the point of adding sex offender convictions, suspensions and grounding on top of that? A simple, “That was pretty fucking stupid, don’t you think?” goes a long way with approval-hungry teenagers.

    Any sort of involvement needs to happen before the tits get texted. Pointing out the folly of assuming texted pictures stay private should come with every teenage girl’s first bra or cellphone. Every teenage boy should be warned that nutters out there could nail him for child pornography, and his life ruined by being put on a sex offender registry, if he doesn’t immediately delete any tits sent his way. An ounce of prevention, and all that.

  22. 22
    Rueyn says:

    And in related news…why social networking sites can be good:

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/12/10/social.media.bullying/index.html

  23. 23
    Liz says:

    I assume that school psychologists operate under confidentiality agreements.  I’ve spoken with one before.  Kids need to feel safe in the counselor’s office.

    When the patient/client is a minor a psychologist can tell the parents what is going on with their child (at least according to one of my old psych professors who was also a practicing psychologist), and when that child is hurting him/herself the psychologist should be required.

  24. 24
    Kismet says:

    I am left with several thoughts after reading this.

    My first is a feeling of extreme sorrow for this young woman who felt that she had been defined by one act to the point that her life was not worth living anymore. My second is anger at the school and parents for not intervening when they realized that she was hurting herself.

    But I must admit that I am a bit baffled when the discussions on both boards have geared towards anger at religion. Personally, what I see has been a societal pressure on young women to bare themselves and have sex at early ages. It’s the norm now, to the point that when a young woman in her 20s is not sexually active, there must be something wrong with her. So instead we have 16 year olds dating guys in their 20s and doing stripper drops on microphone poles while their parents look on with approval (couchmileycyruscough). I don’t think that 13 y/o girls (or boys) should be baring themselves in photos. I also don’t think they should be wearing peek abo tops and shorts/skirts that barely cover their butts. But that’s what the stores sell (even in the toddler section), and that’s what the media tells them is appropriate.

    The problem that I do have is when girls and boys do act in the way that they are propositioned by societal norms, then they are vilified by the adults, and the girls labeled as sluts. The problem I do have with the over – action of the school and parents (and the subsequent labeling of self-righteousness, and on the other board likening it to the Taliban) is that Christianity centers on grace/forgiveness. So there should have been a punishment, but forgiveness was sorely lacking. “For where sin is increased, Grace is increased all the more” Romans 5:20 .

    In a round about way I get to my point. We (and yes I mean WE… as in all women out of their teens) need to take some responsibility to let these young women know that it is OK. That they have the right to Choose, they can be active (safely) and that is ok, or they can wait and that is ok too. It is notmal. And if they regret a choice on either side, no they can’t take it back, but they can change from that point out. It’s about teaching them to have power within themselves, rather than letting outside forces convince them they abnormal. And isn’t that the point of Feminism? To have the power to choose what is right for us each individually?

  25. 25

    First, the props:  Laurel- you are teh awesome!  Marg- Very awesome as well for talking to your daughter!

    The suicide is a tragedy- I say this early on because I want no one to interpret what I have to say as contrary to that.  Now, my frustration. 

    “Stop killing our daughters”?  Seriously?  WHO is killing our daughters I ask?  That is a statement assigning blame which, especially in a suicide, I am hard pressed to comprehend.  Are we not doing so by contributing to a system which doesn’t function on the basis of a strong and healthy ego but instead upon being accepted in an “appropriate” manner thus relegating people to be mere subjects of dogmatic morality?  To potentially suppress the individuality as a means of having friends?  Are we not, as participants in the upbringing of our children, not culpable in this somehow? 

    The impetuosity of youth is something which has frustrated adults through out time but to blame frustrated individuals and, in my opinion, overly reactionary authority figures for a choice this girl made is equally absurd as blaming Hope for the bullying. 

    This society in the US functions unfortunately upon a premise of bullying and victimization.  To throw a punch first you get punished, but to stand up for yourself you also get punished.  What encouragement is there for standing up for yourself?  For asserting your right to not get pummeled either physically or verbally?  If you just take it- you might not get punished!  Isn’t that not saying “hey!  be a martyr and you’ll have a good life, unblemished from the taint of any kind of force!”

    Hope’s story saddens me because it’s another instance where it is obvious in the sanctioning of the bullying, the righteousness and outrage over a not so smart move she was already inhabiting the space of the victim.  The martyr.  Suicide is not a choice a person makes out of just loneliness but out of lack of support for their person and that starts way sooner than thirteen.  It starts at home from birth, it can be (and often is) further corrupted or supported in the social minefield that is the internet and the school system.  The individual is not supported here and without that support at such a young age desperation, solitude and a pervasive feeling of being so utterly wrong evolves that there is nothing one can do about it short of intervention of the sort a society has no ability to do- but people do.

    I am not speaking against Hope, but I am further speaking of the righteous cry which looks to decry the power of the individual by pointing a righteous finger and blaming an individual decision upon the whole of society.  If we want to fix this problem, truly fix it, we need to look at people as individuals- see why the righteousness is so out of control.  Find out how we can help people feel strong as their own beings- when that strength comes, those individuals (if this is fostered healthfully) will not need righteousness, they’ll not need bullying tactics.

    We can’t address the problem through broad speculation and implementation of policy- but through each PERSON.

    I really hope more people do what Marge did above with her daughter.  I hope more people read this and realize it’s less about social acceptance and more about self acceptance being necessary.  With it I question whether or not Hope would have sent that picture to begin with.  Mob rule always hurts someone- too often it’s someone like Hope.

    *sigh*  Sorry for the soapbox rant…  I feel badly for how that situation played out but the reactions, the blame, the lack of premise in the argument breaks my heart.  I don’t see any of that as the way to fix what is so terrifyingly and fatally wrong in this society

  26. 26

    Because I totally didn’t do this above (and believe you, me- I’m very sorry about that):  Thank you very much for the post, Candy.  I very much appreciate this situation getting some attention and hopefully providing something for people to think about.

    Thank you.  :)

  27. 27
    Rosemary Laurey says:

    Any suicide is a tragedy and the suicide of a child doubly so
    but maybe I’m stuck back in the sixties but I can not get my mind around the thought of a thirteen year old child sending a picture of her breasts to a boy.
    My mind boggles at the idea.
    She, supposedly,  did it to get his ‘attention’.
    How utterly tragic that she considered this appropriate, reasonable or sensible.
    Sad isn’t the word.

  28. 28
    Candy says:

    I want to make something clear: what Hope did was inappropriate and, let’s not mince words here, kind of stupid. But you know what? Kids do inappropriate and stupid things every day. ADULTS do inappropriate and stupid things every day. What happened with Hope was that instead of being talked to sternly but lovingly about boundaries and giving in to peer pressure and then giving her a safe harbor, she was punished over. And over. And over again.

    Kismet: the focus on Christianity came about because Hope’s parents are deeply religious. I don’t know whether you’re American, or whether you’re familiar with the iterations of Christianity in America that, if they don’t predominate in society proper, are certainly some of the most vocal and politically active, that view sexuality (especially female sexuality) as corrupt and dangerous. The fact that Hope’s mother is coming to the news with this “cautionary tale” exacerbates the fact that She Doesn’t Get It. Sexting didn’t kill her kid, no matter how much she’d like to think it did. Like the news story pointed out, the “nice kids” are the ones who tend to kill themselves over something like this. Like Sylvia, I think the question is obvious: why is it that these “nice kids” are the ones who tend to commit suicide over a foolish peccadillo? I’m with you about how forgiveness is important and a vital part of Christianity, but many, many Christians don’t seem to subscribe to your view, and focus instead on punishment.

    I also absolutely agree with you about how choice is a central tenet of feminism, and how women should feel comfortable about how, when and how far they should go when expressing their sexuality. The fact that we punish our girls for these expressions or for not expressing enough is one of the engines that drove what happened to Hope.

    This incident reminds me of how some kids in Asian countries (Singapore, Japan, Malaysia) kill themselves for flunking exams, especially the big government exams. Sure, you could blame the kid for being lazy or not applying themselves or not asking for help when they needed it, but flunking an exam didn’t kill the kid, it was the crazy, unbelievable pressure parents and teachers put on their children to do well all the time.

    Kimberley: I’m not sure there’s a “who,” so much as there is a “what” that’s composed of innumerable “whos.” And believe me, I’m trying to do my part in whatever way I can to contribute to changing the “what” that killed Hope Witsell—it’s the biggest reason why I posted this story in the first place.

    Somebody brought up the fact that a boy would’ve faced consequences if he’d texted a girl his junk. I not only agree, I think that the boy probably would’ve faced disproportionate legal ramifications, up to and including being prosecuted as a sex offender, depending on where he lives. However, I don’t think the same kind of intense social shaming and bullying from his peers would’ve happened. If nothing else, what kind of names could the kids have leveled at him that would’ve caused hurt? The most potent epithets used to hurt boys either question their heterosexuality (e.g., fag) or feminize them (e.g., pussy), and neither of them work here. I’m not saying that disproportionate legal sanctions for teenage boys’ sexting escapades are OK, because it’s clearly not and I think it’s one of those instances in which careless and overbroad statutory language has been used for evil by reactionary parents and administrators. I just think the different social ramifications say something about us and our attitudes towards female sexuality.

  29. 29
    liz m says:

    I think the only thing overlooked is what ‘good girl’ means as a code word in that article. The ‘good girls’ killing themselves are not more ‘good’ than another girl, they are more white and middle class and conservative than another girl, who is not made ‘bad’ by her different circumstances. The fact that we have concern (in that article) that it’s the ‘good’ girls doing it instead of the expendable ‘bad’ ones from whom one can expect no better is just as effed up as the rest of the situation.

    But in a world where breast and botox aren’t enough and now your vagina must be Barbie perfect (if Barbie had a vagina) our lack of value as women as things other than sexualized or non sexualized entities is hardly obscured.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8352711.stm

  30. 30

    I don’t have a daughter, but I do have a son, and I was also the victim of bullying in school, some of it at the hands of the teachers and/or administration. I think the parents and pretty much everyone else went overboard in this matter. I’m confused as to why the school was involved at all. What was their rationale for suspending the girl? Did she do this at school or during school hours? Since when can a school suspend you for something you did in your own free time? (I’m assuming it was done outside of school hours, but having been a social worker I’ve seen all manner of sex acts being performed during school hours, so I can’t be too sure.)

    I think the parents went overboard, but I do believe punishment of some sort was in order here. Grounding for the entire summer? No, but I would definitely remove privileges for such a violation of her personhood, dignity and self-respect. I would also talk to the child to see where I failed because if my daughter thought this was appropriate behavior and the right way to attract a boy’s attention, clearly I’ve dropped the ball somewhere.

    And my next question is, why does a thirteen-year-old have a cell phone? I spent a lot of years counseling young women and teens, and I’ve never understood the idea of equipping them with technology that they clearly don’t have the judgment to use appropriately. A thirteen-year-old can’t drive, and thus will most likely be with a responsible adult more or less anywhere she goes. So why does she need a cell phone? To maintain contact with friends? Telephones and internet can certainly serve in that capacity. In our house we have one computer and one television, and that’s pretty much the way it’s going to be for this very reason. Just because the technology is there and available doesn’t mean kids should or are ready to have access to it.

    That’s not to say that she still wouldn’t have sent the photo to the young man, but the problem with young people is poor impulse control, due to lack of frontal lobe development. With cell phones, shooting and sending is a matter of seconds. At least with a regular camera or a computer she might have at least had to hook up a USB cable. Those few moments might have been enough time for her to reconsider her actions.

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