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“Sexting”, the term that refers to preteens and teens sharing nude photos of themselves via cell phones, emails or on the Web, is illegal and could land the perpetrator in serious trouble with the law. This could include jail time and could carry the stigma of being a child molester well into adulthood. The practice can also have serious mental effects on young people so preteens, teens and adults must think seriously and consider the possible consequences before they push the send button on whatever device they are using. Taking, sending and receiving nude and/or semi nude pictures of a child is against the law. Whether the intension is innocent or not and even if the perpetrator is a minor the law is not grey; it is black. and white so far as current statutes are concerned. Sexting is considered to be child pornography and is one of the most dangerous communication medium on the web today. The admonition to preteens and teens seem to be going on deaf ears, perhaps because of peer pressure or the need to be popular. Parents are particularly challenged in this specific arena since one misstep on the part of their precious child could put him/her in jail with the added stigma of being branded a child molester even though the perpetrator may be a child. Certain terms such as doing jail time and child molester may seem repetitious. This is intentional and is meant to impress on the reader the seriousness of actions pertaining to Sexting.
Look at the following cases and consider if you would like to be caught up in this dilemma:
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy recently published a study suggesting one in five teens had sent or posted images of themselves in various stages of undress. Another disturbing factor is that 15% of those involved in Sexting have sent nude photos of themselves to people they only met on the Internet. The craze is not relegated to the United States alone. According to Reuters in London, “A growing number of British teenagers are swapping sexually explicit images of themselves on mobile phones leaving them open to bullying and victimization by their peers…”
This phenomenon is so wide spread that teens may be caught up in its web unintentionally. The long range effects on perpetrators and victims, beside the current laws and possible consequences are far reaching and cannot possible be analyzed and evaluated by the immature minds of our preteens and teens. I recently warned my grandson that he must separate himself immediately from anyone involved in Sexting no matter how enticing looking at pictures of a naked girl or boy may be.
Consider the following case and think critically before you push the send button on whatever devise you are using.
Sexting is always a bad idea and must be discarded as soon as it comes to mind or as soon as someone makes the suggestion.
This article is not intended as a source of legal advice but only as suggestions, tips and ideas on keeping our children safe in this world in which we live:
Sexting is Illegal: Do not take or send nude or sexually suggestive photos of yourself or anyone else. If you do, you could be charged with producing or distributing child pornography. If you keep them on your phone or computer you could be charged with possession. If they go to someone in another state, it’s a federal felony.
Non-legal consequences: Consider the emotional damage that can come from having intimate photos of yourself go to a friend who can become an ex-friend and send it to everyone you know.
Any Medium: Sexting can be done on any media-sharing device or technology – including email and the Web. Teens have been convicted for child porn distribution for emailing sexually explicit photos to each other.
Reasons for Sexting: In some cases, children are responding to pressure in a form of cyber bullying or pressure from a boyfriend or girlfriend (they break up, and sometimes those photos get sent around out of revenge). Sometimes it’s impulsive behavior, flirting, or even blackmail. It’s always a bad idea.
Parents: Talk with your children about Sexting in a relaxed setting. Ask them what they know about it. Express how you feel in a conversational, non-confrontational way. A two-way dialog can go a long way toward helping your children understand how to minimize legal, social and reputation risks.
Tips for Parents:
These tips and suggestions are not exhaustive and parents should use common sense in dealing with these issues. Seek legal advice if you think your child is culpable and could be charged with being involved in child pornography.
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Boys Are Stupid