Girl Commits Suicide After Nude Pic is Circulated

This is really sad.

18-year-old Jesse Logan did something all too common- she sent a naked picture of herself to her boyfriend. When they broke up, the boyfriend shared the pictures with others, and the harassment began. One thing led to another… until finally Jesse’s mom came home one day to find her hanging in her bedroom closet. The pressure was too much. Jesse took her own life (click here for the CNN video with an interview with her mother).

You’ve heard us talking about a trend known as “sexting” (many of you read our Youth Culture Window article on the subject), a stepping stone to teenagers using cell phones for posting/viewing naked pictures of themselves or others (yes, we wrote a Youth Culture Window article on that subject as well). That latter article revealed these facts:

  • 20% of teenagers say they’ve sent (or posted) naked or semi-naked photos or videos of themselves, mostly to be “fun or flirtatious,” (33% of 20-26 year olds have done the same)
  • 33% of teenage boys say they’ve seen nude or semi-nude images sent to someone else (about 25% of teenage girls have done the same)
  • 39% of teenagers say they’ve sent suggestive text messages (59% of those ages 20-26 admit to it as well)
  • 48% of teens have received sexually suggestive text messages (64% of young adults also have)

The story of Jesse is sobering because it reminds us that these numbers are kids. Each of these numbers represents a story… the story of a kid struggling to find themselves in a world that often applauds risque’ behavior.

Remember to pray for Jesse’s family.

As parents and youth workers, we should read articles about this story with our kids, perhaps even showing them that CNN video linked above. Then talk with them about choices and their consequences. This isn’t a time to lecture… but a time to let the article tell its story. It’s powerful by itself. David also provides us with further conversation helps in the bottom of his Youth Culture Window article on Mobile Porn.

(ht to Tom B. for the CNN story)

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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One Response to Girl Commits Suicide After Nude Pic is Circulated

  1. Amy says:

    This is a horribly sad story, but one that doesn’t surprise me. We’ve heard many stories about sexting in the media, and we–as a Christian community–have not acted in the best of manners.

    First, we attack the sender, usually a young girl. I totally agree that it was a poor choice to take the picture and then a poorer choice to send it. However, how did we minister to the sender? Did we reach out in support to try and allow the sender to learn that the love of God and of the Christian community doesn’t have to be solicited in a a degrading way? Not usually. Instead, we’ve maligned the sender, making them feel even worse.

    Second, there seems to be little outcry towards the receiver (usually boys) who not only keep these photos but pass them around. Isn’t that reprehensible, too? Why don’t we work to encourage the receiver to let the sender know that sexting is not the right way to get to their heart? Why don’t we work with the receiver to delete the message, instead of 1) saving it to lure at it, and 2) to ensure that it doesn’t fall into anyone else’s hands?

    I hope that we will all start to acknowledge a new way of reaching out to sexters. Our expression of God’s love could be a new opportunity for someone to see themselves through God’s eyes–as worthy and loved.