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08.15.1312:06 PM ET

Hookup Culture Bad for Teen Boys, Too

They learn to be demeaning toward girls, not intimacy.

When teen boys send lewd messages to girls and end up having sex, they are generally high-fived. It’s a scenario that has many painting girls as victims, but the scenario also hurts boys—who are now having a hard time learning about real, lasting intimate relationships. “We are neglecting the emotional lives of boys,” clinical psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair told NBC. Steiner-Adair, the author of The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age, interviewed more than 1,000 boys and girls ages 4 to 18 about their relationships and influences. One of the trends among students is that boys are acting overly aggressive toward girls—such as sending them sexts of their penises—because they think that is how you get a girlfriend, while girls are horrified. Additionally, online porn has become so prevalent that boys have become confused about what the norm is for relationships. In the end, kids need to get away from their screens and learn about face-to-face relationships.

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