Boys Locker Room’ Episode: What Does It Tell Us About Teens’ Sexual Behaviour?

Initial probe has shown students from three prominent schools in south Delhi were part of the Instagram group chat. The chats had morphed pictures and also derogatory and explicit comments on women and their bodies.

Delhi police cyber cell has registered a case taking cognisance of a series of conversations on Instagram between an alleged group of school students who threaten to sexually assault a classmate and speak of uploading her photographs online.

Initially confined to Instagram, the screenshots were shared widely on Twitter on Monday and #boyslockerroom was a top trend in India throughout the day.

FIR was registered under Section 465 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of Indian Penal Code and Section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) and 67A (publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form) of IT Act.

Initial probe has shown students from three prominent schools in south Delhi were part of the Instagram group chat. The chats had morphed pictures and also derogatory and explicit comments on women and their bodies.

This is probably the first case in which an Instagram chat has led to filing of an FIR in India.

Earlier in the day, a complaint was filed by the administration of a private school in south Delhi against the purported Instagram chat at Saket police station.

However, cyber division of Delhi Police took suo motu cognizance and initiated a probe.

It is expected that students who were part of the chat will be summoned by Delhi Police this week.

Screenshots of the outrageous chats went viral on social media showing the members, who are between 15-16 years of age, discussing raping women and classmates who are also underage. The boys shared obscene images and followed them up with indecent remarks about them.

Investigations have revealed the group was created around a week ago, and had 21 members, including the admin. Children from three-four schools, including one in south Delhi, were its members. Some students claimed they were part of it but had not posted a message or got involved.

Facebook has responded to the Bois Locker Room controversy that has gone viral on social media.  In a press statement on the matter, a Facebook spokesperson said, “We absolutely do not allow behaviour that promotes sexual violence or exploits anyone, especially women and young people, and have actioned content violating our Community Standards as we were made aware of it. We have policies that disallow the sharing of non-consensual intimate imagery, as well as threats to share such imagery and we take this issue very seriously. Ensuring our community can express themselves in a safe and respectful way is our top priority.”

According to the report published in the Indian Express newspaper, the school authorities have also sanctioned a detailed investigation into the matter. The cases are registered are under Sections 465 (forgery), 471 (using a forged document or record), 509 (gesture intended to outrage modesty of a woman), and Section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) as per the report.

Is it the lack of sex education?

Most of the boys involved in the shameful incident belong to the age category of 15 to 18 years and study in well-known schools of Delhi. Then why is it so that boys who aren’t even adults yet are passing such derogatory remarks on women? Is it the lack of sex education? Or excessive privilege is given to teenagers? Is this the freedom of speech and expression we talk about? Or the inessential accessibility to social media and the internet?

The latest incident is totally and completely about the rape mindset which has been rooted in the minds of underaged boys, which can be a threat to society.

Soon after massive outrage against an Instagram group of schoolboys erupted on the internet, the Delhi Commission for Women on Monday swung into action and issued a notice to the Delhi Police and Instagram over the issue.

“I saw screenshot of ”Boys Locker Room” group on Instagram. This is a clear example of a gruesome criminal and rapist mindset,” Delhi Commission for Women Chief Swati Maliwal said.

Teens’ sexual behaviour can be influenced by parents

In a new study, American researchers have highlighted the crucial role played by parents in the sexual education of adolescents, notably with regard to encouraging them to behave responsibly and use condoms.

A study by researchers at New York University has found that discussing sexuality with adolescents and raising their awareness of risky behaviours yields positive results.

The randomised clinical trial involving 11 to 14 year olds was led by Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, a New York University professor specialising in adolescent sexual risk behaviours.

Published in the journal Pediatrics, the study evaluated the effectiveness of the “Families Talking Together” (FTT) programme.

Highlighting the educational role of parents, FTT was designed to prevent and/or reduce sexual risk behaviour among Latino and African-American adolescents in the US.

A total of 900 families (mothers and adolescents) who were recruited from a paediatric clinic in the Bronx, New York, took part in the study.

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