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What is Sexting?
Definition: "Sexting" is the popular name for the act of sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually suggestive photos via a text message on a cell phone or posting pictures on social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace.
In 2007, 32 Victoria teenagers were prosecuted as a result of sexting activity. Child pornography charges were brought against six teenagers in Greensburg, Pennsylvania in January 2009 after three girls sent sexually explicit photographs to three male classmates.
In Fort Wayne, Indiana a teenage boy was indicted on felony obscenity charges for allegedly sending a photo of his private parts to several female classmates. Another boy was charged with child pornography in a similar case.
Police investigated an incident at Margaretta High School in Castalia, Ohio in which a 17-year-old area girl allegedly sent nude pictures of herself to her former boyfriend, and the pictures started circulating around the high school after the two got into a fight. The 17-year-old girl was charged with being an "unruly child" based on her juvenile status.
Two southwest Ohio teenagers were charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a first-degree misdemeanor, for sending or possessing nude photos on their cell phones of two 15-year-old classmates.
Why It Matters
In a technology world where anything can be copied, sent, posted, and seen by huge audiences, there's no such thing as being able to control images. Even if a photo was taken and sent as a token of love, the intention doesn't matter -- the technology makes it possible for everyone to see your child's most intimate self. And in the hands of teenagers, when revealing photos are made public the subject almost always becomes the object of ridicule and name calling. Furthermore, sending sexual images to minors is against the law, and some states have begun prosecuting kids for child pornography or felony obscenity.
Once a digital photo makes it out into Cyberspace, there's no way to guarantee that another person (particularly those with a little tech-savvy) can't get their hands on the photo, not to mention distribute it. And, once released into Cyberspace it's possible that for better or for worse, it's out there forever!
Advice for Parents
· Don't wait for an incident to happen to your child or your child's friend before you talk to your kids about the consequences of sexting. Sure, talking about sex or dating with teens can be really uncomfortable, but better to have the talk before the fact.
· Remind them that once an image is sent, it can never be retrieved -- and they will lose control of it. Ask teens how they would feel if their teachers, parents, or the entire school saw the picture, because it happens all the time.
· Talk about pressures to send revealing photos. Let teens know that you understand that they can be pushed or dared into sending something. Tell them that no matter how big the social pressure is, the potential social humiliation will be hundreds of times worse.
· The buck stops with them. If someone sends them a photo, have them delete it immediately. Better to be part of the solution than the problem. Besides, if they do send it on, they're distributing pornography -- and that's against the law.
From Times Online
January 14, 2009
Teen 'sexting' craze leading to child porn arrests in US
Murad Ahmed, Technology Reporter
In a new trend spreading across America, teens are sending nude or semi-nude pictures to one another on their mobile phones in a practice called "sexting".
But what started out as risqué fun among adolescents has spread fast, and is starting to lead to serious consequences. Recently, teenagers have been arrested on child pornography charges and there have been reports of high-schoolers losing jobs or college scholarships as a result of being identified in sexually-suggestive pictures that have appeared on the internet.
Research conducted by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy last month revealed that 20 per cent of teens in the States say they have sent or posted lewd photos or video of themselves.
According to the national study, most teenagers who were sending the explicit messages were sending them to boyfriends or girlfriends, while others said they were sending the pictures in a bold move to secure a date, or to someone they had got to know online.
But a series of cases across the country have begun to emerge, where young people face arrest and prosecution for sending and receiving the obscene messages.
On Monday, January 12, 2009, six high-school students in Greensburgh, Pennsylvania were arrested on child pornography charges. Three were girls who allegedly took pictures of themselves, and were charged with manufacturing, disseminating or possessing child pornography. Three were boys from the same school who were found with explicit photos on their mobile phones by police, and were charged with possession of child pornography.
Last year, in Goshen, Ohio a 19-year-old cheerleading coach was convicted of indecency charges after taking a topless photo of herself and a 15-year-old girl.
While in Texas, a 13-year-old boy was arrested on child pornography charges in October, after receiving a nude photo of a fellow student on his mobile phone.
Jim Brown, a school officer at Glen Este High School in Ohio, 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."
Mr. Brown said that what started as a bit of fun was starting to have severe consequences, ranging from humiliation at school when the pictures are spread amongst students, to the loss of jobs or college scholarships after the photographs are posted on websites.
Realising this, some teens have apparently started to disguise themselves in pictures, only taking shots of body parts or being careful not to include faces. But American authorities have taken a dim view of this behaviour, in many cases seeking to charge and prosecute adolescents involved in "sexting."
The above article was borrowed from: http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article5516511.ece
Websites with Sexting information:
Sexting: New, Dangerous Teen Trend|ABC 7 News
May 15, 2008 ... ABC 7 News - Sexting: New, Dangerous Teen Trend - A new, dangerous trend is growing among teenagers: text messaging explicit photos of
'Sexting' Teens Can Go Too Far - ABC News
'Sexting' Teens Can Go Too Far. ... about this story, please click here to send the editors of ABC News a separate email with the information you have. ...
Her teen committed suicide over "sexting" - Parenting & Family
But for Cynthia Logan, "sexting" is about more than possibly criminal activity: It's ... I'm going to go on the news, and that's what she did, Logan said. ...
The Truth About Sexting - ABC News
GMA holds a town hall meeting to discuss the rapid tween and teen trend of sexting. Find out what you can do as a parent and legislation's role in this new ...
Teens caught 'sexting' face porn charges - USATODAY.com
Teens caught 'sexting' face porn charges ... For publication consideration in the newspaper, send comments to email@example.com. ...
Sixth graders in trouble over 'sexting' incident - News- msnbc.com
Steve Jefferson/Eyewitness News. Indianapolis - A Perry Township sixth grader is in big trouble over "sexting" on his cell phone. ...
How to Keep Your Teen From Sexting | eHow.com
How to Keep Your Teen From Sexting. Sexting is a growing trend among teens and ... How to Protect Your Children From the Dangers of Sexting ...
Is Your Child "Sexting" Nude Photos? (Surprise! 1 in 5 Have Tried ...
And how do you talk to your child about sexting and their online activities? ... She sent him the photos to keep him at bay until she had the nerve to ...
Are Your Teens Aware Of The Dangers Of "Sexting"? » AMW Safety Center
Keep a close eye on your children. Things now a day are worst than ever before. ... If your teenage child has to engage in "sexting to 'turn on" a ...