When it comes to discovering their bodies, Sharon Polsky says kids will be kids. But when ‘you show me yours and I’ll show you mine’ moves into the digital world, there can be some real world consequences.
Polsky is the President of the Privacy and Access Council of Canada, and she describes those particular consequences to the Alberta Morning News.
“If a child from 12 years on up sends a picture of their intimate parts to another child or anyone else, the child who’s taken and sent the picture of their own body, could be charged with child pornography.”
Polsky says that this is the evolution of long standing behavior.
“They’re kids. They make stupid decisions. They do what kids do. They explore. They play ‘doctor.’ That’s nothing new, the difference is the technology allows it to be done in a different way.”
She says you need to start the dialogue with your kids at home.
“You must have a conversation with your children, and not just once, but every now and again, gently so they don’t feel that you’re haranguing them. Remind them about these things. Ask them. You must keep those lines of communication open.”
Polsky adds that there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with two consenting adults sharing intimate photos, however if you forward that photo to someone else, without the sender’s consent, that’s against the law too.