Sexting Is (Still) Illegal

Jul 20, 2012

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Sending sexually explicit text messages ("sexting") is a crime in many states. When children or teens send sexually graphic images of themselves to others, it is considered child pornography.

An article authored by Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine provides substantial evidence of the rapid rate at which sexting has become popular among teens. Evidently, caucasian kids love sexting, more than any other demographic. However, teens from all demographics are involved.

What causes some teens to be more engaged in this act of indecent exposure?

The law doesn't state that inappropriate sexual behavior must occur between an adult and a minor. Not completely defined, this law would cause several million children to be liable for the creation and distribution of child pornography. This issue causes lawmakers to seek for relaxed child pornography laws so as to not charge children and teens as pedophiles.

On a similar serious note, when sexting occurs, it's an indicator of sexual activity. Seventy-seven percent of girls and eighty-two percent of boys who send sext messages have had sexual relations.

Those most affected by sexting are girls. Ninety-five percent of girls said they were a “little bothered” by sexting requests and about thirty percent were bothered “a great deal” by the requests. On the contrary, boys seemed unaffected by such requests. Fifty percent of boys didn't mind “at all” and less than five percent were bothered a great deal.

Socio-economic status had no significant effect on sexting tendencies. Thus, "sexting out of wedlock" seems to be the norm.

All parents should be actively involved in their child's online habits. Current laws regarding sexting can potentially cause significant emotional and financial strain on a family if child pornography charges are filed.

I work for ContentWatch and all opinions expressed here are my own.