On the Issues of Sexting
The phenomenon of sexting is one of the more recent teenage conspiracies that has the media and active parental bloggers raging through the internet. Unfortunately, it really isn’t a phenomenon at all. It’s simply the result of a combination of dumb teenagers, unchecked hormones, and technology.
Sexting is the act of sending, receiving or forwarding nude or semi-nude pictures via cell phone texts. So why is everyone talking? First, it’s a perfectly legal activity, unless of course, the picture is of a minor. Then it becomes a felony. Apparently, if the photos are of minors, the act of taking the picture may satisfy the definition of creating child pornography and sending or publishing it to others may qualify as distribution. Second, a survey done by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reports that one in five teens have sent or posted naked photos of themselves. I’m not completely sold on these results since they are from a market research campaign and not academically reviewed. Despite this bias, the numbers keep getting re-posted by the press and the public generally accepts them, adding fuel to the fire.
Parents are unhappy with the survey results, and they are even more unhappy relating the word “felony” to their children. And that’s not the only problem. These charges create a classic example of what is becoming a common issue in today’s legislature: technology outpacing the law. How is it reasonable to take a law designed in 1982 to punish adults for sexually abusing children and profiting from it and adapting it to a 2009 case where a stupid sixteen year old girl thought she’d be cool if she sent a naked picture of herself to her boyfriend? Teens are not children, nor are they adults. Children are protected because they cannot knowingly give their consent, but teens can and do. Under the current policy, that sixteen year old girl and her boyfriend can be charged with sex offender felonies. This policy creates a situation where these teens are both innocent and guilty, victim and offender.
What is perhaps more interesting is why teens sext. Sexting in high school is intertwined with popularity, pressure from a boyfriend or girlfriend, and bullying. It is the last that disturbs me the most. In many cases, the result of high school sexting is the wide-spread circulation of the photo through the school, which leads to ridicule and especially cyber-bullying by classmates. Specifically, Jesee Logan of Cincinnati, Ohio, sent a nude photo of herself to her boyfriend, who then forwarded it to friends, who then forwarded it to the rest of her school. She was subjected to intense public humiliation and bullying at school to the extent that she committed suicide. Because Jesse was eighteen, even the misplaced sexting-is-child-pornography policy couldn’t help or hurt her.
The media blames sexting for Jesse’s death when it should be blamed on harassment by her peers. Sexting has opened new possibilities for bullying and harassment, an old problem and the curse of teen life. If anything, Jesse’s story proves that sexting is a serious issue with complicated consequences on many levels. It deserves to be addressed on a case by case basis, ranging from malicious bullying to tipsy Valentine’s Day flirting.
As much as I think sexting is an over-blown topic, it does have serious consequences that are more complicated than we realize. The media loves sexting because it’s about media’s two favorite things: crime and sex. The state legislature needs to take a deep breath and re-evaluate their outdated policies. Schools only add to the drama. They are quick to call parents and police in an effort to avoid blame, but slow to address any bullying that might result. Above all, parents need to stop freaking out that their children are looking at nude pictures—our media is full of them. It seems adults in general are having a hard time with the issue of teens exploring sex and sexuality. In this country, it’s a scandal to directly address sex in any context, but we are obsessed with subtly hinting at it everywhere. Cell phones in the hands of teens have only complicated this backward ideal by making it harder to ignore what is already hidden in plain sight.
Eventually, our legislature, schools and parents are going to have to make a communal step up to address all the levels of sexting. Otherwise, teens will simply get better at not being caught. Sexting will get swept under the rug, becoming one of those things everyone knows about but won’t talk about, which leaves teens on their own to figure it out.
Dangers of Texting
...advent of the cell phone came a new means of social media and communication called texting. But with all the benefits an emerging technology can offer, we can’t always predict what the impact will be on our society. This new form of communicating brought with it its own dialogue as well as its own dangers. We’ve seen an increase in accidents caused by distracted teen drivers who were texting, a new medium of bullying in our schools, and the newest trend that’s become popular with teens and young adults known as “sexting”. As cell phones become more popular, and the age of cell phone users gets younger and younger, so will the person who will be exposed to sexting. As our younger generation gets ever more influenced by the proliferation of sexually explicit images in the media and scantily dressed celebrities, the more difficult the job of a parent will become. How many more teens need to die from texting while driving or from committing suicide after sexting provocative images before we recognize this growing problem? With the introduction of texting to our youth and the impact it has on our society, we have been presented with a whole new set of concerns and it is clear that these concerns need to be addressed. The first forewarning of the dangers this new form of communication presented, came in the increase of distracted driver fatalities. The statistics paint a disturbing picture of just how big this problem is. An article in Forbes magazine reports that......
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Technology Ethics in the Classroom
...gone so far as to utilize wireless ear-devices as a means to get answers to test questions. Another issue that has arisen from the use of cell phones in school is what is known as sexting. Sexting is the combination of sex and text messaging, which consists of the transmission of sexually explicit photos and messages. Many students use their cell phones to record sexually explicit videos and to take pornographic pictures that they freely share with others on the internet. According to Cox Communications, at least 20% of teens have been involved in sexting in one aspect or another. The ability to use cell phones in this manner has caused an increase in the number of sexually active teens. Certainly, viewing sexually explicit videos and pictures will heighten a teen’s interest in sex and once that door is opened they will seek out to satisfy their curiosities. There has also been an increase in the number of cyber-bullying incidents in schools due to sexting. Most students who participate in sexting do so without realizing the ramifications involved. Sexting, although meant by most students as a method of flirting, has caused many students to face serious legal charges. Being charged as a sex offender and child pornographer is a couple of examples regarding the legal ramifications as a result of sexting. Not only are cell phones a safety threat in the classroom, but there are other technologies such as social networking websites. Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace are examples of......
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No Cell After the Bell
...No Cell after the Bell “No cell phones! Unbelievable, right?” Wrong! Almost everyone in today’s society owns a cell phone. Even though cell phones have become a fixture in everyday life, they still have no place in the classrooms. Some people may argue that these phones are essential in case of an emergency or for safety, but this does not change the fact that cell phones can be a distraction, can cause antisocial behavior, increase theft, and can be used for non-educational purposes like cheating, cyberbullying, and sexting. Most students are easily distracted in the class room; therefore, by allowing students to bring their cell phones to school will not only distract teachers, but also other students. An example of this is a cell phone ringing. If someone’s phone rings in class, it will cause everyone to lose focus of what is going on and pay more attention to the person whose phone rang. Other students are distracted by the many features on their phones’. Cell phones nowadays are like mini laptops. In “Updating Policy on Latest Risks for Students with Cell Phones in the School,” Vanessa St. Gerard discusses the negative and positive uses of cell phones in school. St. Gerard argues, “As technology continues to advance, more issues with cell phones and other electronic devices in schools will surely arise” (45). St. Gerard also points out, “Cell phones are not designed for simply making and receiving phone calls anymore. Advanced technology now developed for cell phones...
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Teen and Technology
...and Technology: Teen girls can be adversely affected through their use of cell phones and social media Ruth Gilbert Teens and Technology: Teen girls can be adversely affected through their use of cell phones and social media The use of cell phones and social media websites can cause serious problems for teen girls such as cyber bullying and sexting. The anonymity of this technology has made it easier for girls to participate in cyber bullying and sexting. Cyber bullying is very hard to stop since the anonymity of social media and texting makes it very hard to identify the bullies. Girls are also finding it easy to send sexual images and messages to boys using their cell phones, iPods or computers. What they fail to realize is that these messages can be easily shared with many people, and then the girls are humiliated. There have even been occasions where girls have ended their lives because they were so harassed they couldn’t see any other solution. This paper details how girls are finding their social identities through the use of technology and how cyber bullying and sexting can hurt them. A teenage girl gets into some trouble and her punishment is she is not allowed to go to an event with her friends. The mother thinks she is doing her job and punishing her daughter; unfortunately keeping the daughter home isn’t enough. The mother happens to walk by her daughter’s room later that night and sees a weird glow coming from her room. ......
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Sexting Case Study
...Sexting case study 1. Does sexting represent a form of expression protected by the first amendment. - I see no way that sending a nude picture of oneself to another person in a sexual nature; can be considered a form of expression. Most of these pictures taken are for a complete private use. As a person who was deployed I can personally say I engaged in this, but only with my wife where trust was evident and we both knew the pictures we sent would be safe. 2. What can be done to protect people from the dangers of sexting while still protecting our First Amendment rights. - Honestly some of the steps taken in the article above were completely correct. Distribution of pornography is illegal especially when underage. Also laws that protect people over 18 by charging the offender with defamation is great. Sharing these pictures while a lack of judgment is one thing, but for a 17 year old to distribute picture because of a fight is well known within in his/her mind to be wrong. Like in my first answer protecting a person character does not infringe on First amendment right to illegal distribute nude photos. 3. What key points would you make if you had to speak about sexting to a group of parents and teenagers. - Basically I would bring of the point of trust. Whether you feel you can trust that person without a single seed of doubt in your mind. One could speak about length of relationship and respectively the......
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...Introduction The sexting trend is gaining popularity with both teens and adults. Haag and Cummings (2010), define sexting as “the sending of sexually explicit messages and/ or photos, primarily between mobile phones” (p.1). However, sexually explicit messages and photos can be sent through social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and over various electronic devices, such as tablets. Although sexting between consenting adults is considered an acceptable activity, both adults and teenagers are using electronic devices and social media outlets to engage in inappropriate sexual activities (Matte, 2013). Since many teenagers are not legal adults, the legal issues of teen sexting must be considered. In addition, the legal implications of adults abusing sexting privileges, particularly adults in positions of power, should also be considered (Stone, 2009). Teen Sexting Teen sexting is a highly controversial topic. Although many teens are sexually active, teen sexting should be illegal. According to Matte (2013), “Sexting is currently illegal under federal law. It falls under the creation, distribution, and possession of child porn and is a felony offense” (p. 1). Nevertheless, many lawmakers are striving to reverse this law (Matte, 2013). Many people accept sexting as an innocent activity because sexting often takes place between consenting adults (Stone, 2009). However, even adults can abuse sexting privileges. For example, sometimes men and......
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...devices. It is important that our generation and then future generations understand what is happening in today’s society. There has been a growing trend that probably started up a few years ago. “Sexting” is the form of texting for the young teenager generation to show them self in the most unwanted manner. The evidence of sexting could get you very serious trouble and then you could be facing like long threatening outcomes as a part of it. The purpose of the article “sexting” found in the Federal Bureau of Investigation Bulletin is to show the risky actions and overreactions if you get caught (Bowker and Sullvian 1). The authors of this article take an approach in multiple areas of this article. It gives the consequences pending what actually happens and then the horrific stories and why you should not do it in the first place (1). The evidence approach to this article can be interpreted as so. There are two ways that the evidence of sexting can be seen (Bowker and Sullivan 1). The first one says that illegal images of child pornography such as a text of a nude underage person can be placed under the law of the federal child pornographic statue (1). Even though there is no official rule for “sexting” it could fall under that category. The second response to an alleged misconduct of “sexting” could be the use of a computer (Bowker and Sullivan 1). Just because you have that underage picture does not mean that it’s not a crime because it actually is a crime. According to......
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Teens and Social Media
...today. With the natural curiosity that most teenagers hold, they are naturally anxious to meet new people and possibly make new friends and contacts. Online social media provide the perfect setting to do exactly that. Teenagers are able to interact with people from all over the world. This serves to not only increase their general knowledge but it enables this generation to be more tolerant of cultures and beliefs that differ from their own. New technology including smart phones with video and photo capabilities, iPad and other tablets, and portable Wi-Fi docs have made the Internet infinitely more assessable (Wolak, Mitchell & Finkelhor, 2006). Although technology has been associated with many positive effects, cyber bullying, sexting and slut shaming among teens are detrimental practices that have been encouraged by the advancement of technology owing to the obscurity that the cyber space provides. The first practice that this paper will focus on is bullying among teenagers, a form of intimidation that can take different forms and has been in existence since time immemorial. While the internet provides opportunities for self-affirmation and self-expression, these opportunities can quickly become vehicles for denigration and cyber bullying (Kowalski, Limber and Agatston 9). Apart from a measure of anonymity, it is also easier to be hateful using typed words rather than spoken words face-to-face. And because some adults have been slow to respond to cyber-bullying,......
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Is Sexting Becoming a Problem in Society Today
...Is Sexting Becoming A Problem In Society Among Teens? By Arieanna Seuell I think sexting is a problem among teens. Teens should not participate in sexting at all. The three main reasons I think it is a problem are below. My first reason why I think sexting is a problem among teens is because the pictures can end up in the wrong place without the teen knowing it. Once a teen sends a nude picture to someone else, there is no guarantee of whom or where they will send it. If this happens, the teen’s picture could be used for unthinkable things. The second reason is because teens are too young to be sending those types of pictures. Teens who involve themselves in sexting can end up catching criminal charges. They could be charged with disseminating child pornography and not know that they are even doing it. Sexting could also lead to other inappropriate behavior. My third reason is it can be troublesome for the teen that sent the picture. Sexting can make it difficult to concentrate in school. It can lead to constant harassment from peers. Sexting can cause a lot of pain for the teen. In conclusion, I think sexting is a big problem among teens. The pictures could end up all over the place and they not know it. It can cause legal problems for the person who not only sent the pictures at first, but the ones who received the pictures and sent them to other people without permission....
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Sexting and the Dangers of Pressing Send
...Sexting and the Dangers of Pressing “Send” Sex texting, or more commonly known as sexting, involves the sending, receiving or forwarding of sexual photos or sexually suggestive messages through text message or email. The way we communicate today has been revolutionized with the advances in technology, namely the Smartphone. Rather than rely on flirting with someone of the opposite sex face-to-face like generations of the past, technology of the 21st century emboldens teenagers to increase the level of intimacy in a relationship from the palm of one’s hand. While high school and college students send sexual messages for a variety of reasons, the act of sending a nude photo can be exciting for both the sender and receiver. However, once the original message has left the source, the originator no longer has control over the material. In some cases, these explicit images may be lost, forwarded, or used as blackmail after a nasty breakup. As a result, there are multiple social, legal, and devastating risks involved when a teenager chooses to sext that have the potential to be avoided through increased awareness and understanding of sexting behaviors. The age at which American teens acquire their first cell phone is growing younger and younger, increasing the likelihood and prevalence of sexting among high school students. According to a survey by the PEW Research Center, 75% of all teens ages 12-17 own a cell phone that they use, not just for calling, but to access......
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...determined as child pornography. Sexting is becoming very popular in recent years. Sexting is "the practice of sending or posting sexually suggestive text messages and images, including nude or semi-nude photographs, via cellular telephones or over the Internet." (Miller v Skumanik, 2013 Background section, para. 1). Usually someone takes a picture on a digital camera or cell phone of himself or herself. It can also be that someone else takes the picture. That picture is then sent electronically by means of text message, email or posted to a web site. “This practice is widespread among American teenagers; studies show approximately 20% of Americans age 13-19 have done it” (Miller v Skumanik, 2013 Background section, para. 1). This case actually goes back several years when two girls had their picture taken by another friend using a digital camera. In the photos, the two girls were shown waist up and wearing bras. There was no nudity at all. In a separate situation a girl was photographed possibly stepping out of the shower with a towel around her waist and baring her breasts. Neither of the photos showed genitalia or contained any sexual activity. The school district where the girls went to school discovered that the photographs were being distributed and proceeded to collect several student’s cell phones. The school district then “turned the photos in question over to the Wyoming County district attorney, George Skumanik, Jr.” (Sexting, and What it Means to be......
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The Perils of Sexting
...Running head: THE PERILS OF SEXTING 1 The Perils of Sexting xxxx xxx THE PERILS OF SEXTING 2 The Perils of Sexting Have you ever thought about sending a nude photo to your longtime boyfriend? Perhaps you even there was no harm because you would be together forever. Think again! There is harm, real harm that may hurt you in many more ways than you can imagine and not many resources exist to help you through the extent of the harm caused. Imagine you and your boyfriend breaking up, he sends that photo you thought was innocent to a friend. That friend sends it to many other friends who send it to the entire high school student body. Not only are you trying to recover from a devastating breakup, but thrown into a world of cyber bullying with everyone at school making comments behind your back. Afraid to tell your parents, afraid to go to school, what do you do? What teens do not consider are the perils of sexting, psychological or criminal. Even though many teens are educated and taught right from wrong, they believe they are invincible and often fail to realize negative consequences to risky behavior. Why do teens not understand the treacherous aftermath of sexting? Teens should know there are the real consequential repercussions of their sexting behaviors. Figure 1: Teenage sexting statistics THE PERILS OF SEXTING 3 Figure 1: Teenage Sexting Statistics (2015) from studies done by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, The......
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...becoming apparently aware that the increase in sexting is due to these technological advances (Gordon-Messer, Bauermeister, Grodzinski, & Zimmerman, 2013). The concept of sexting is defined as, “sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, or nude, partially nude, or sexually suggestive digital images of one self or other via a cell phone, email, or Internet” (Dake, Price, Maziarz, & Ward, 2012, p. 2). Research conducted found that 30% of young adults have sent a sext at least once, and 41% have received a sext at some point (Gordon- Messer et al.). The underlying problem with sexting is being unaware of the short and long-term effects sexting can have on not only themselves but on others as well. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether gender contributes to the attitudes, behaviours and consequences of sexting. Specifically this paper will highlight potential differences and similarities between genders in relation to sexting. With regards to attitudes towards sexting, research has shown that there are some definitive differences amongst males and females (Walker et al., 2013; Lenhart, 2009; Dir et al., 2013). Adult youth are conscious of the double standards that are present for men and women in regards to the correlation between sexual reputation and sexting (Walker, Sanci, & Temple-Smith, 2013). Lenhart (2009) found that female’s attitudes towards sexting were negative, teen girls viewed sexting as a risk to their reputation, inappropriate,......
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...crush on one girl that caught his eye. The girl pretended to like him by talking and flirting on a daily basis, but her friendliness quickly became her motive to bully him. She would make fun of him, laugh at him, and told him that she could never be friends with someone like him. Ryan was devastated and as the pain became worse, he had others who claimed to be his friends pushing him to end his life. The pain and the depression was so hurtful and unbearable, that Ryan hung himself all because of cyberbullying. Also, in Sundance, Florida, a thirteen year old girl named Hope Witsell was a target of cyberbullying. But, this type of cyberbullying involved sexting. Sexting is “the act of sending sexually explicit photos, messages, voicemails, IM’s, videos, etc., either via phone, computer, webcam or other device” (Sexting, 2016). Hope decided to send an explicit photo of herself to a boy. She wanted him to like her so she thought by sending him this picture she would get a response out of him. But, instead of him giving her a response, she got an abundance of taunting and degrading name calling responses from the student body. Hope was so devastated from the taunting and name calling that she started to withdraw and felt that the only way to escape was to commit harm upon herself by cutting. The cutting never seemed to help her cope with bullying so she strangled herself in her bedroom. It’s very evident from these examples above that cyberbullying caused these......
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...Sofía Solano Mendoza James Denza Seminar Academic Inquiry 27/04/2011 SEXTING Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit photos via text messages, and is shockingly common among teens. According to Katie Couric of [Fox News], [Sexting] is “the new craze all over the country among 11 to 17 year-old adolescents.” A recent study by MSNBC found that 20% (1 in 5) of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 have sexted in their lives. Teens say “sexting” is one way to gain approval from peers or possible suitors. Teens in America are facing criminal charges of child pornography for sending and receiving nude pictures. These photos are often forwarded from friend-to-friend via cell phone and even around entire classes. With the availability of technology, young people are not aware that once they start cyber-swapping photos they are on the Internet to stay. If these photos get into the hands of the wrong people such as college admissions or future employers they could ruin the chance to fulfill a dream and there is nothing sexy about that. In fact, I see a relation with the movie of American Beauty, because in the entire movie Rick the neighbor of Jane is filming her with some erotic scenes. The media image of scantily dressed individuals is so common that teenagers don’t feel that it is wrong. It isn’t uncommon for teens to follow media and act like the people they see on the television everyday. In music videos it isn’t uncommon to see......
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