Sunday 18 January 2009

'Sexting' is dangerous for teens

It's a popular trend among teens called "sexting."Middle and high schoolers are texting racey nude pictures back and forth, and it's causing an uproar across the country.

According to a recent study, one out of five teens have done it. The study also shows that teen girls are not the only ones sharing sexually explicit content. Almost one in five teen boys said they have sent or posted nude/semi nude images of themselves. One-third of young adults -- 36% of women and 31% of men ages 20-26—say they have sent or posted such images.

A year ago, a 19-year-old cheerleading coach was charged and prosecuted for taking a topless photo of herself and a 15-year-old girl.

And a boy was taken to juvenile court last year for taking explicit photos of his girlfriend.

Mr Brown, who is also resource officer at the areas primary school, said of the 14-year-old boy's mobile phone photos: "They were as graphic as you would see in any Penthouse magazine."

In the latest case, three teenage girls in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, who sent nude self portraits, and the three male classmates who received the images, have all been served with child pornography charges.

The girls have been charged with manufacturing and disseminating child pornography while the boys are accused of possessing it.

In Wisconsin, a 17-year-old was charged with child pornography after posting naked pictures of his girlfriend, who is a year younger, on the internet. In Rochester, New York, a boy aged 16 faces seven years in jail for circulating an image of a girlfriend to friends.

"Sexting" is fast becoming a moral and legal headache for school heads and police throughout America. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy last month published a study suggesting one in five teens had sent or posted images of themselves in various stages of undress.

Jim Brown, an official at Glen Este high school in the Ohio town of Cincinnati, told the Cincinnati Enquirer: "If I were to go through the cell phones in this building right now, of 1,500 students I would venture to say that half to two- thirds have indecent photos, either of themselves or somebody else in school."

Prosecutors are facing increasing dilemmas because case law has not kept up with the impact of digital media on teenage behaviour. Young adults can face lengthy sentences resulting from relationships with younger teenagers, with penalties varying state by state.

Federal law also requires hefty punishment for teenaged relationships that span the legal start of adulthood at 17. An 18-year-old in their last year of high school who dates a 14-year-old in the first year faces up to 30 years in jail for a first offence.


Anonymous said...

i think they should let people do it as long as ur within 4 yrs of age of the persom when the took the pic. I think sending people to jail is overkill.

Anonymous said...

I think it is rtetarded that they are making suck a big deal over it. if someone wants to, its a free country; they should be alowwed to do so. As long as they are within 4 years of age, i see no problem with it. I think the whole sending people to jail thing is overkill.

Anonymous said...

i agree if its on their own free will who gives a shit

Anonymous said...

I dont care if its a free country! There are rules to everything, they might just as well go around with out clothes on,on the streets! there is no difference. its bad for health and future of the people who do this

Anonymous said...

Ah, but rules are made to be broken! ;P If us teens are sending them of our own free will, then why should anyone else care?? It's a stupid law, if it even is one. They might as well sue Playboy, or porn sights!

Anonymous said...

Apparently most of you posting comments like "i think they should let people do it as long as u are within 4 yrs of age" are either teens yourselves or just plain STUPID. The reason we have age of consenting adult and minor laws is to protect the youth of America from becoming depraved perverts as adults. Children are just that CHILDREN and do not have the moral experience to make good choices.

Anonymous said...

The person who commented above me is a retard!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Mm well i feel as long as an adult is not veiwing pictures of some random teenafer and as long as its not uploaded its fine, whats dangerous is teens avoiding sexting and just meeting up instead of sending pics.