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20 Percent of Teens Partake in 'Sexting': Should They Face Charges?

Living 2012/06/15 18:00:00
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Whatever the latest technology is, teenagers will use it to get up to no good. But that doesn't make it any less alarming that nearly 20 percent of high school students partake in sexting, according to a new study.



Donald Strassberg, of the University of Utah, found that nearly 20 percent of high school students (18 percent of males, 17 percent of females) admitted to having sent a sexually explicit image on their cellphone. Almost twice as many said they had received a sexual image on their phone (50 percent of males, 31 percent of females), LiveScience reports.

And here's the really scary part: About 25 percent confessed that when they received a sexually explicit image, they forwarded it to others. Plus, more than 8 percent said they had sent a sexually explicit photo that they took of someone else to a third party.

But here's the thing, kids: You can get into big trouble for doing this. In many states, sending or receiving nude pictures of someone under 18 (including yourself) could put you at risk of facing child pornography charges. Do you think teens who sext should face charges?
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Top Opinion

  • Twinkle 2012/06/15 19:30:13 (edited)
    No
    Twinkle
    +21
    It's their life if someone else sees it and it not their boyfriend or girlfriend or whoever who cares not my life.

    I don t care gif

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  • Bigbrow... Happy21... 2012/06/17 20:11:53
    Bigbrowneyes
    Bwahaha, love this reply :).
  • TheBorg Happy21... 2012/06/17 20:15:39
    TheBorg
    BTW, you are such a hypocrite for your rant which apparently blasts over-weight adult men while mute on middle age women preying on young men. Do you find that just as repulsive? LOL ~ your stupidity knows no bounds.
    mute middle age women preying young repulsive lol stupidity bounds
    mute middle age women preying young repulsive lol stupidity bounds
  • Happy21... TheBorg 2012/06/18 20:02:05
    Happy212121
    Man.. your ignorance never takes a holiday does it? I never once pointed out only men or women. You just assumed I was talking about men. That says more about you than it does me jackass. And I wasn't referring to physicality when I said big fat, gross, creepy pervert. I was referring to the hypothetical person as being a huge pervert. You know just like you can call a skinny person a big fat liar. Or I can call you a big fat waste of space.
  • boltfox20 TheBorg 2012/06/18 13:57:19
    boltfox20
    +1
    1) "Illegal" does not matter in this context as that is the very issue; should it be legal?

    2) If teens (not children) send pictures to each other, it is usually with their own consent. If these pictures are distributed without permission with the intent of wide distribution (such as the internet) then it is a crime. If an adult does it, it is also typically without consent, but not always.

    3) Typically sexual activity between an adult and a child is not mutual, as the adult is usually forcing the child. However, when it is a teen, especially late teen, it can be mutually consensual, like a boyfriend and girlfriend where one of them just turned 18, or a teen that prefers older people.

    4) When one teen shows their body to another teen in person, we don't think much of it. It's teens being teens. When there is a camera involved to accomplish the same task, suddenly we find it offensive. I don't see the difference.

    5) "Over-Sexualization" is not an issue, in any way. The sex drive in teens is, always has been, and will always be very strong, especially in men. Men hit their sexual peak typically between 18-22 years old. This means their sex drive gets going much faster. However, in both cases, puberty hits before their teens have even really kicked off, typically around age 12 or 13....

    1) "Illegal" does not matter in this context as that is the very issue; should it be legal?

    2) If teens (not children) send pictures to each other, it is usually with their own consent. If these pictures are distributed without permission with the intent of wide distribution (such as the internet) then it is a crime. If an adult does it, it is also typically without consent, but not always.

    3) Typically sexual activity between an adult and a child is not mutual, as the adult is usually forcing the child. However, when it is a teen, especially late teen, it can be mutually consensual, like a boyfriend and girlfriend where one of them just turned 18, or a teen that prefers older people.

    4) When one teen shows their body to another teen in person, we don't think much of it. It's teens being teens. When there is a camera involved to accomplish the same task, suddenly we find it offensive. I don't see the difference.

    5) "Over-Sexualization" is not an issue, in any way. The sex drive in teens is, always has been, and will always be very strong, especially in men. Men hit their sexual peak typically between 18-22 years old. This means their sex drive gets going much faster. However, in both cases, puberty hits before their teens have even really kicked off, typically around age 12 or 13. So, what you have in most cases is a person going through puberty, having a body that is screaming at them to copulate, and an entire world telling them they can't. Thanks to puberty, they are physically adults, even if they aren't adults mentally.

    6) There are adults today who still are not mentally developed, yet we refer to them as adults because of their physical age. It seems to me that we are relying too much on physical age to judge adulthood. Mental age is significantly more important, namely, maturity. Maturity should be the main factor when defining adulthood, not how long ago the person was born. Some are adults from puberty, some are adults at around 50 years old. Some never reach mental maturity because they never have to.
    (more)
  • TheBorg boltfox20 2012/06/21 03:30:20
    TheBorg
    Definition of "child" "A person not yet of age" source: Merriam-Webster

    By definition, anyone under 18 is a child.

    "Typically sexual activity between an adult and a child is not mutual"

    That is so NOT true. If it is not consensual then it is rape and that is illegal at any age. Anyone who pays any attention to the news knows that every adult brought up on statutory rape charges had sex with a willing participant, otherwise the charge would be rape in the first degree.

    I agree with your comment on maturity being more important, and sending naked pictures to 3rd parties is a clear indication that they will never be mature enough.

    Please explain your thinking on these questions I've previously asked.
    1) How is sex between two children less harmful than sex between an adult and a child?

    2) Why is child pornography seen by children less harmful than child pornography seen by adults?
  • boltfox20 TheBorg 2012/06/22 00:28:01
  • boltfox20 2012/06/17 06:18:09
    No
    boltfox20
    +3
    While pornography involving minors is illegal, context must be taken into account. If one teen is sending a picture to another, that's exactly the same as showing them in person. It's frowned upon, but natural. When the other teen sends the pic on, that's simply sending a compromising photo, a matter that's between the couple only.

    Now, if these images are being sold or intentionally widely distributed, that's another matter. At that point it becomes a crime, centered around the distributor, and at the expense of the victim in the picture. The crime is basically scamming the participant and distributing the gained material.

    Sure, the images shouldn't be sent or even taken in the first place, as these things can happen, but it's not a crime if there was no harm intended, just teens being teens.
  • Herb boltfox20 2012/06/17 20:43:19
    Herb
    While sexting might seem like innocent flirtation, the nude pictures and explicit messages you send could become grounds for a criminal record and prison time.
    For teens, the consequences of sexting are the same for adults in most states, but could also prevent students from receiving college scholarships, job offers, in addition to the embarrasment of having your nude photographs floating around the Internet.

    Know the laws in your state and protect yourself from serious prosecution for sexting:
  • boltfox20 Herb 2012/06/18 13:34:48 (edited)
    boltfox20
    +1
    I do know the laws in my state. This is why I voted "No" to them facing charges. I believe we're getting WAY too strict when it comes to these kinds of laws.

    So, essentially, your entire post is exactly what I say shouldn't happen.

    Also, I've seen this exact post copy/pasted onto several responses, without regard for context or applicability. If you don't have the time to make a separate response to each person, don't bother making a response. Otherwise, you're no better than a bot.
  • runningintriangles 2012/06/17 06:14:11
  • Monique Amanda 2012/06/17 05:49:41
    No
    Monique Amanda
    +2
    teens who sext dont need to b charged with anything cuz they will learn that its a stupid idea to do it when their picture gets seen by everyone else that emberassment is punishment within itself
  • Herb Monique... 2012/06/17 20:57:35
  • Monique... Herb 2012/06/17 22:05:30
    Monique Amanda
    +1
    first of all if u are implying that i do it i dont im not an idiot ive seen plenty of people get themselves in trounble for it.

    My point is that the embarrasment and rejections from college and all other consiquences should b enough punshment for them. thats my opionion you dont agree thats fine i just feel jail time should be left for other people who have done worse crimes then send a naked picture to their boyfriends or other people.
  • Herb Monique... 2012/06/17 22:20:31
    Herb
    +1
    i agree with you just want you to under stand your state laws kids can get in real trouble
    Definition: In California, sexting can result in possible charges of creating, distributing and possessing child pornography.

    In the United States, it is against the law to possess lewd photographs of minors. A New York lawyer is petitioning for federal sexting legislation that would make sexting a misdemeanor for minors.
    It’s illegal under federal and state child-porn laws to create explicit images of a minor and to posses them or distribute them. These laws were drafted to address adult abuse of minors, but it turns out they don’t exempt minors who create and distribute images, even if the pictures are of them. In fact, prosecutors in several states are going after creator-victims, in both federal and state court. Some kids are being charged as juveniles but under Federal law, there is no such equivalent.
    So when a 16-year-old with takes pictures of herself and sends them to a boy to seduce him, she could get life in federal prison under current sentencing guidelines. If she does manage to get out, she may have to register as a sex offender.
    Comments about this post can be directed to Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney William Weinberg at bill@weinberglaw.com.
  • Monique... Herb 2012/06/20 01:37:49
    Monique Amanda
    +1
    im aware of the law thank you i dont need a run down!!!
  • hilda 2012/06/17 04:57:26
    No
    hilda
    +1
    are you shxtting me? seriously? first of all, it's no one's business what goes on in someone's cell phone. don't want them sending pictures? get them a cheap ass phone. second, if this comes to pass (which would be ridiculous), you're telling me i wouldn't be able to sext with my boyfriend. guaranteed they'll push charges on adults too.
  • Herb hilda 2012/06/17 20:43:34 (edited)
    Herb
    While sexting might seem like innocent flirtation, the nude pictures and explicit messages you send could become grounds for a criminal record and prison time.
    For teens, the consequences of sexting are the same for adults in most states, but could also prevent students from receiving college scholarships, job offers, in addition to the embarrasment of having your nude photographs floating around the Internet.

    Know the laws in your state and protect yourself from serious prosecution for sexting:
    im.about.com/od/sexting/Unite...
  • Ronzo 2012/06/17 04:53:37
    Yes
    Ronzo
    +2
    The saying young and dumb you know the rest is just another way to say they are immature sexual deviate idiots, they are child pornography freaks. Someday those pictures will come back to haunt them and maybe ruin lives??
  • JChin 2012/06/17 04:19:55
    No
    JChin
    +4
    People do it because they know it is so risque. If it wasn't so taboo in our society to do things of this nature, less of it would happen. Kids like to break rules. Plain and simple.
  • Herb JChin 2012/06/17 20:43:41 (edited)
    Herb
    While sexting might seem like innocent flirtation, the nude pictures and explicit messages you send could become grounds for a criminal record and prison time.
    For teens, the consequences of sexting are the same for adults in most states, but could also prevent students from receiving college scholarships, job offers, in addition to the embarrasment of having your nude photographs floating around the Internet.

    Know the laws in your state and protect yourself from serious prosecution for sexting:
    im.about.com/od/sexting/Unite...
  • sally 2012/06/17 03:54:59
    Yes
    sally
    +3
    They need to learn one way or the other that these things have consequences. It's like most teens don't care that once it's out it's out forever.
  • Waiting... sally 2012/06/17 14:18:12
    Waiting in the Wings
    +1
    Unfortunately for them they have role models like Kim K and Paris Hilton whose careers have skyrocketed since their tapes were "leaked". They don't see too many people with negative consequences.
  • Ash-the-empress 2012/06/17 03:40:51
    No
    Ash-the-empress
    +2
    Unless the pictures are being sent around to others in a case of bullying, but even then I don't think the charges should be as severe as they are now.
  • Herb Ash-the... 2012/06/17 20:57:56
  • John Freeman 2012/06/17 03:40:35 (edited)
    No
    John Freeman
    +4
    Who gives a damn, I dont care for the idea myself but aside from the person they're sending it to, they're not in any way affecting other ppl.....But they should face charges for it? Thats retarded lmao, the only way it would affect others if they send it to those ppl by accident.

    And if thats the case they need to be alot more careful :P
  • Herb John Fr... 2012/06/17 20:58:06
  • Gwen 2012/06/17 03:26:24
    Yes
    Gwen
    +1
    but in juvenile court
  • Magical Mushroom 2012/06/17 02:41:50
    No
    Magical Mushroom
    +2
    More like better parenting and kids don't need cell phones.
  • Skye Magical... 2012/06/17 05:20:18
    Skye
    Adults don't need a lot of things they have either...
  • Magical... Skye 2012/06/17 21:02:23
    Magical Mushroom
    Most humans do.
  • Mrs Rec... Magical... 2012/06/17 08:39:06
    Mrs Reckless
    +1
    I agree with the better parenting, but kids not having cell phones? That's a serious risk to take, what if your kid is out and you have a serious accident and no one can get in touch with your kid? I think that's the worst nightmare for any parent, and any parent seeing this will agree with me. If Someones kid is hurt somewhere and doesn't come home, what then?
  • Magical... Mrs Rec... 2012/06/17 21:06:45
    Magical Mushroom
    There are these emergency phones they can have.
  • Gwen Magical... 2012/06/17 23:40:11
    Gwen
    +1
    I agree. It is rare, but you can get your kid a phone without a camera. Remember Motorola phones?
  • Magical... Gwen 2012/06/18 05:22:30
    Magical Mushroom
    You don't have to allow them to send pictures too.
  • Mrs Rec... Magical... 2012/06/22 19:36:12
    Mrs Reckless
    +1
    and what would that do to kids social lives? how will we get in touch with friends without phones? if they arent on facebook or we havnt had a chance to talk to them? kids not having social lives can seriously damage their education. it sounds stupid, but seeing friends is stress relief, without it everything would build up and i know that i wouldnt be able to cope with everything.
  • Magical... Mrs Rec... 2012/06/22 22:45:14
    Magical Mushroom
    people did it a long time ago and they were perfectly fine. They can use the house phone just like they were before.
  • Mrs Rec... Magical... 2012/06/23 22:35:00
    Mrs Reckless
    it costs a fortune now, and when me or any of my friends start talking we dont stop for literally hours
  • Magical... Mrs Rec... 2012/06/24 01:22:37
    Magical Mushroom
    Its the same price as a land line. I know I have been on my own for years. If your so concerned with price try magic jack. They have gotten better over the years.
  • Herb Magical... 2012/06/17 20:58:16
  • Magical... Herb 2012/06/17 21:12:32
    Magical Mushroom
    The law dose not need to get into this. This is not like speeding were it will kill you and could effect tons of people. The government needs not be involved with stuff like this.

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