Today’s adolescents are coming of age amidst a technological revolution that is in high gear. As natives of the Information Age, their familiarity and skill with technology often excels that of their adult caregivers. Deeply enmeshed with this technological environment is a powerful media culture which immerses the public landscape—from television shows, movies, magazines, websites, video games, social media apps, etc.—in sexually explicit imagery. This hypersexualized ambience is the backdrop against which young people engage with media today—not merely as consumers, but as media-makers. This intensely visual media environment emphasizes personal appearance, as well as image sharing, an activity which, for many, is now a part of daily life. These cultural forces, combined with adolescent social, cognitive, and brain development create ideal conditions for juveniles to self-produce and distribute sexually exploitive images. Accordingly, this presentation will explore youth engagement with social media, drawing special attention to its intersections with harmful sexual behaviors such as “sexting,” links to “mainstream” pornography, and potential impacts on adolescent development.
Participants will learn:
Classifications for sexting behaviors
The definition of and forms of image-based sexual abuse
Three ways in which sexting behaviors represent harmful sexual behaviors
How research associates sexting with other risky/harmful behaviors among youth
Possible adverse impacts on youth social and brain development
As Vice President of Policy and Research for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Lisa conducts policy analysis and advocacy, advances understanding of pornography’s public health harms, and liaises with public officials, advocates, and academics to advance strategies combating the web of sexual exploitation, including pornography, stripping, prostitution, sexual trafficking, sexual assault, and more.
Lisa joined NCOSE following two years with World Hope International where as Director of Anti-Trafficking, Lisa oversaw sex trafficking recovery programs in Cambodia, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Lisa is a contributing author to Hands that Heal: International Curriculum for Caregivers of Trafficking Survivors, as well as the book Global Perspectives on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: Europe Latin America, North America, and Global. Lisa also routinely speaks and trains on sexual exploitation topics for a diverse range of audiences. Lisa served for more than 12 years as the Liaison for the Abolition of Sexual Trafficking for The Salvation Army USA National Headquarters.
Lisa earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Western Kentucky University, and Master’s degree in Leadership, Public Policy and Social Issues from Union Institute and University.