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‘Sexting’ Teens Can Go Too Far

Posted by tothewire on December 15, 2008

What happened to the time when if you liked a boy at school you’d pass him a note?

nm_teen_internet_flirting_081210_mn

These days the disturbing new trend in teenage flirting is sending nude or semi-nude photos from cell phone to cell phone: instead of “texting,” they call it called “sexting.”

abc_ann_goi_child_porn_081014_mcWhile the X-rated offerings are usually intended just for a boyfriend or girlfriend, the photos often wind up being shared.

While 17-year-old Matthew Younger of Maryland says he has never done anything like this himself, he has seen it happen among his peers.

“If a boy meets a girl or has a girlfriend on summer break he comes back and shows all his boys the [naked] pictures he’s been sent. No one gives it that much thought really,” says Younger.

The dangerous combination of teenagers behaving provocatively and impulsively is not new, but the accessibility to the technology is. With cell phone cameras, they have been handed a tool so easy to use for some it’s impossible to pass up.

And in the transparent culture built around social networking sites, it all spreads like wildfire.

“Somebody might send it to somebody else’s phone and that person has Facebook on the their phone and they automatically upload it to their Facebook or MySpace page,” explains Somalia Yaborow, 16, of Alexandria, Va.

What teens don’t realize is just how serious the consequences can be.

News reports are increasingly documenting legal repercussions after indecent photo appear online. And attorneys say there are many unanswered questions about whether young people who send their own photos could face prosecution for obscenity or child pornography.

This year in Wisconsin, a 17-year-old was charged with possessing child pornography after he posted naked pictures of his 16-year-old ex-girlfriend online.

In Alabama, authorities arrested four middle-school students for exchanging nude photos of themselves. In Rochester, N.Y., a 16-year-old boy is now facing up to seven years in prison for forwarding a nude photo of a 15-year-old girlfriend to his friends.

“I don’t think that’s what was contemplated when the laws were written, says the Rochester teen’s attorney, Tom Splain, who has worked on several similar cases this year. “I think it was more for the older pedophile collecting pictures of young children; we’re now running into high school students getting swept up in these charges.”

Flirting goes high-tech with racy photos shared on cellphones, Web
A recent survery shows that a third of young adults 20-26 and 20% of teens say they’ve sent or posted naked or semi-naked photos or videos of themselves, mostly to be “fun or flirtatious.”

(ABC News Photo Illustration)

The nonprofit National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy has been researching the issue.

Director Marisa Nightingale says it’s crucial parents talk to their children about potential consequences, because while criminal charges are  rare, compromising photos could easily come back to haunt the teens when they go to apply for college or their first job. Even if it doesn’t result in something official, they can get really humiliated and find something they thought was a joke can become something that haunts them for years,” says Nightingale.

By GIGI STONE
http://abcnews.go.com/

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8 Responses to “‘Sexting’ Teens Can Go Too Far”

  1. Rj said

    What teens don’t realize is just how serious the consequences can be.

    Further evidence that the generations are NOT getting any smarter.

    Like

  2. Rj said

    Hey, this has nothing to do with this post–but are you all having trouble with any widgets since WordPress recently evolved?

    Like

  3. tothewire said

    We have been having problems with widgets and other things…you too?

    Like

  4. tothewire said

    lol Rj you just busted lawman and his ever evolving caveman theory!

    Like

  5. Rj said

    What theory is that?

    And yeah, I can’t make a blog roll..stuff is like frozen or something…maybe I should take the snow off my blog.

    Like

  6. Lawman2 said

    i think my wife is talking about my earlier post…

    Like

  7. mom said

    Im the mother of one of the boys being charged for sexting in greensburg pa. my son goes to greensburg salem high school. first thing i need to clear up is that my son wasnt the boy friend. he didnt even know the girl ! another boy sent the pic to him ! (the whole school had the pics on there phone ) a couple months ago. 3 girls (ages 13 and 14)took naked pics of there self and sent it to some boys. the boys sent the pics all over the school. my son received the pics from another boy that had received it. my sons phone was taken during school for texting. the principle went through the phone and found the pics and turned the phone in along with over 20 others with the same pics. the district Attn. decided to press charge on 6 kids. the 3 girls who took the pics of there self. and 3 boys. my son being one of them. my son did nothing wrong. the police said that ,they had to charge him cause the pic was saved not deleted he also said that my son could have had sex with the girls and that would have been OK .but its not OK to have naked pics of them.. there charging my son with 3 counts of SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN . THIS MEANS HE COULD BE ON MEGANS LAW FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE. ALL FOR HAVING A PIC ON HIS PHONE OF A GIRL HE DOESN’T KNOW. these are good kids that made a mistakes. what the girls did was wrong, but haven’t they paid enough ? don’t make them pay anymore. so what im trying to do is get the word out so people can see what is happening and how serious sexty is.these kids need are help.what they did was wrong, but there not sex offenders !People don’t realize that this can happen to anyone. what if someone would send you a txt joke, you opened it and there was a joke with a pic of a half naked person . you save it or you just don’t take the time to delete the pic. later someone finds it on your phone and it ends up that the person in the pic is 17 years old. YOUR GOING TO JAIL FOR SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN ! this isn’t just about the kids its about all of us. Please help these kids . HELP ME CHANGE THE LAW TO FIT THIS CRIME! SO THAT OTHER KIDS DON’T HAVE THERE LIEFS RUINED (sorry about the grammar and spelling) One more thing that i would like to add. for all the people out ther who are saying that its the parents fault, your wrong! im sick of everyone blaming me. my son is going to be 17. i cant watch him 24/7 !

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  8. Lawman2 said

    every parent should be worried about the out come of the case!kids aren’t very good at making mature decisions!hell i know adults who wouldn’t have deleted a nude pic off the phone if one of their buddies sent it to them…head up there mom a lot of attorney’s will be watching this case and ready to jump in if the ruling goes badly for the kids involved.YOU JUST NEED TO KEEP GETTING EVERYONE’S ATTENTION TO THE CASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!get your head back up in the air where it belongs and start making phone calls! CALL EVERY MAJOR NEWS OUTLET THERE IS!

    Like

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