Against the Law to Sext
Taking Selfies for Texting
Teens Who Cyber are Committing a Serious Crime
Recently, I read an article about the harsh reality of teenagers, participating in mature activities with other teens on their cell phones. Activities like these have recently been dubbed, "sexting." Maybe sexting is something some of you have heard of already, or even participated in. I have before. At that time sexting was not as popular as it is today, and personally I really did not think to much about it. That is until I read an article about the harsh realities behind cybering. What I discovered from my own teenage son, was that there is an underlying consensus that the adverse effects of sexting is parental emembarrassment, from being caught by mom or dad. But the idea that it is a serious crime I some states, ever crosses their minds.
As with all good things, there is often another side to consider. In my Joy of Sexting hub, I tried to focus on the positive aspects that are involved in sexting. Aspects such as becoming more intimately in tuned with your own secret desires, getting closer to your lover, and developing new sexual avenues to explore. All sinfully, tantalizing, areas that couples need to work on together, which I think are well worth "sexting" for. Still there is that issue of teenagers, and their participation in the sexting scene. As it was in your day, when it comes to being a teenager, sex is usually driven by hormones. Which often time leads to misconceptions when it comes to intimacy and trust, and generally leads to future complications for that teenager or teenage couple. Maybe there inlays the problem. For as long as there has been teenagers, there has been those who tried to grow up too fast. Those typical teenagers generally go out of there way, in search of independence, by do defying the rule maker of the household, and doing what they want instead. But does it always have to be that way? Maybe a little of the fault lies with the parent, and not solely on shoulders of teens. Kids rebel for a reason, usually at this age the reason is a need for more attention. Could that be the key as to why teenagers are sexting these days? I think it very well might be.
In their desperate search for any attention, whether it is positive reinforcement or negative mayhem, I don't think teenagers have a clue about the risks of sexting. Especially in the cases where they're sexting with a stranger. Not only is it incredibly dangerous for them to participate in, teenagers generally thrive off dangerous energy. So telling them that sexting is dangerous, I think will only make them want to try it more. However, there is hope. What most people don't know is..., sexting is illegal if any participant involve is a minor. That's a pretty big incentive to keep them from sexting, don't you agree?
There are many gray areas on this subject matter, but, laws against child pornography, sex solicitation of a minor, and statutory rape laws are all legal implications, in which several arrests have been made due to sexting activities. What is even more remarkable and scary is it doesn't matter if they are both minors when they participated in the act of sexting. They both will be arrested for the same exact thing: child pornography. A child pornography conviction is a felony conviction. A class C Felony in the state of Missouri carries a minimum sentence of five to fifteen years in the state penitentiary, with a maximum $100,000 court fine. A charge such as this would follow them for the rest of their lives. Class C felonies are not stripped off a minor's record, just because that child turns 18. No, it stays with you and forever in this instance is a very long time. It would impact job applications, back ground checks, security checks and they would never gain the right to vote. Most importantly is the fact that they, for the rest of their lives, would have to register with that state's child wellfare services, as a sexual predator. These records are open to the public, and could potentially cost them the opportunity to work where they want, be who they want, and live where they desire. Nobody wants a sexual offender living next door to them. In my neighborhood, it is not even allowed by my housing association. All potential home buyers go through a strict security check. That security check is mainly to find out- if any of the potential home buyers is a past sex offender.
Therefore mom and dad, forget about being embarrassed of your teens' sexual indiscretions, stop trying to purposely embarrass them if they are caught sexting; and instead, inform your teenager on the severe implications of them possibly being charged with a felony arrest warrant, for being a child pornographer, thus a sex offender. If you are having problems with your son or daughter's sexting habits, take them to the nearest penitentiary for an on site tour of the joint. If that doesn't scare the pants back on, then have them read this article, so they can consider themselves, WARNED!
If busted, you are now consider a registered SEX OFFENDER!
When I read that myself, I was blown away by it. I sat my own son down, showed him the article and then made him Google Missouri's laws on child pornography, and the conviction offenses. Even though he claims he has never participated in sexting, I rather he know the implications of such an act now, instead of late behind bars. When he found out that he would have to register as a child sex offender with the state, he freaked. I then asked him to Google Missouri's sex offender website. In Missouri, if you are a register sex offender your name and face is logged and shows up on the screen, and anyone surfing on the World Wide Web, will be able to see it, F O R E V E R.
I'm a firm believer that the key to productive positive results is through education. We parents, have an obligation to our kids, especially in this age of technology, to school our kids on the legal ramifications of their actions. While Sexting is one of many issues facing parents of teenagers, I can name a dozen different areas that also need to be address. For instance, texting while driving is one such event. I think that parents need to get their heads out of the sand, and stop being surprised over something you may see on your kids cell phone. Try being somewhat sensible about it. After all, it is you who allows them to have a cell phone, in the first place. It is just as much the parent's fault, as it is the sexting teenager's fault. We cannot blame one, without placing blame on the other. If you provide your child with a cell phone, by current statics, your teenagers has already been involved in a sexting incident.
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Underage Pregnancy commission recently publish the results of their survey. Here are some of those results:
"Although most teens and young adults who send sexually
suggestive content are sending it to boyfriends/
girlfriends, others say they are sending such material to
those they want to hook up with or to someone they only
know online." —The National Board
Published Results:1. 71% of teen girls and 67%of teen guys who have sent
or posted sexually suggestive content say they have
sent/posted this content to a boyfriend/girlfriend.
2. 21% of teen girls and 39% of teen boys say they have
sent such content to someone they wanted to date or
hook up with.
3. 15% of teens who have sent or posted nude/seminude
images of themselves say they have done so to
someone they only knew online.
4. 83% of young adult women and 75% of young adult
men who have sent sexually suggestive content say
they have sent/posted such material to a boyfriend/
5. 21% of young adult women and 30% of young adult
men who have sent/posted sexually suggestive content
have done so to someone they wanted to date or
hook up with.
6. 15% of young adult women and 23% of young adult
men who have sent sexually suggestive material say
they have done so to someone they only knew online.
© 2010 Julie Grimes