Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/20/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Sexting by teens on the rise, officials want to change laws.

Sexting among teens continues to be a problem according to the FBI, and authorities are looking at revising laws as more and more teens get caught up in sharing explicit photos of themselves.

Teens who sex sexually explicit images of themselves face embarrassment, harassment, blackmail, and even criminal charges.

Teens who sex sexually explicit images of themselves face embarrassment, harassment, blackmail, and even criminal charges.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/20/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: Sexting, emails, photos, young children, video games, media, schools, peer pressure, snapchat, Facebook, text messaging, stolen, pics


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Teens as young as 11 years old are sending sexually explicit text messages which include photographs of themselves to other kids and sometimes adults. As cell phones and cameras become ubiquitous and kids learn how to hide their sexting activity from others, the practice is becoming common.

According to the FBI, a recent study revealed that at least 20 percent of teens admitted to taking sexually explicit photos of themselves and sharing them with others. It is likely the number of teens sending sex photos of themselves is higher than the quoted percentage.

Nearly one-in-six teens, 12-17, have received sexually explicit photos of other teens. At least half of all teens have been asked at some point to take and share a photo of themselves with others. The majority of teens who are taking the photos are female, and the majority of recipients are male.

Juvenile sexting is still a crime. Child pornography is fueled in part by teens who engage in what they may assume is low risk behavior and whose images end up in the hands of an unscrupulous other who shares their explicit photo with third parties.

Adults also exploit teens via sexting, encouraging them to take and share such photos. However, people, including teenage girls, who take and transmit such images can be subject to child porn laws and can even be compelled to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

In worse cases, images have been seen or stolen by others, and these pics have become fodder for blackmail, harassment, bullying, and ultimately great shame. At least one eighteen-year-old girl committed suicide after a nude photo she sent to her boyfriend was also sent to hundreds of other students in her school.

The current spate of sexting, which is particularly on the rise among girls between 11 and 13 years old, is causing authorities to reevaluate laws related to the crime. State sex offender laws were mostly composed during the 1990s and deal broadly with issues including kiddie porn.

However, the broadness of those laws is coming under increasing scrutiny as a growing population of activists and legislators call for their reform. Included are a number of law enforcement and judicial officials.

Although children should not be engaging in such behavior, it also happens to be common. Sexual urges, driven by raging hormones, combine with the low-impulse control and poor judgment inherent to teens and results in poor decision-making. Some teens have been subjected to a lifetime on state sex offender registries for their poor decisions. Should a child who engages in poor, but sometimes typical teen behavior, be subjected to a lifetime of stigma and lingering punishment for it?

Increasingly the answer is no. Although prosecutors and judges generally do a good job of protecting teens who get caught in the juvenile justice system for these offenses, there are cases where prosecutors become overzealous or teens accept plea bargains without fully appreciating the impact of being placed on a sex offender registry.

New proposals in states such as New Jersey would exempt teens from the registry for sexting, although it would still maintain the criminal status of the offense. It's a step in the right direction.

Parental responsibility is also a factor. Properly raised children should know better. Still, parents cannot constantly police their teenage children. Teens find time to spend alone in bathrooms and bedrooms where they can engage in inappropriate-even criminal behavior.

Another option would be to give parents the ability to disable a teen's cellphone camera. Although this would not stop teens from taking and sharing explicit photos of themselves, it would certainly make the practice more difficult, thus stemming the tide of images they produce.

It is important for parents to remind children that images and messages they post to the internet, via text, social networks, and even via popular messaging apps, are in fact permanent. Even applications that claim to delete data after a specified period of time cannot secure compromising images or prevent data from being stolen.

The law can be tweaked to protect teens from themselves. Unfortunately, the dark side of the internet, as seen explicitly in child pornography, can't be.

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More Marriage & Family

Family Tips: How to promote optimism in your child Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As parents, there are moments when it is very easy for us to get swept away by the fire in our heads during moments of uncertainties, problems, anxieties and even anger. Because we unconsciously get dragged down by the heat of a moment, we sometimes end up hurting our ... continue reading


10 silly reasons why being in a relationship is awesome Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While we're all for power in the single person, being in a relationship can be a great thing, especially if you are comfortable with the person. You get warmth and love, but there are quite a few other great things, often taken for granted, that you are gifted when in ... continue reading


Are you having a bad hair day? 13 ways to turn your boring ponytail into something exciting Watch

Image of Don't let your hair drag you down anymore; tie it up and take control.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's one of those days; your hair isn't cooperating at all and you've reduced yourself to a simple ponytail to reign in your wild hair. However, the ponytail doesn't have to be an unfavorable, last ditch resort anymore. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After you ... continue reading


Need change, but can't commit? 11 ways to temporarily change your hair, that won't leave you with regret Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hair is a funny thing; it's with you all the time and you become so used to it and comfortable with it. At the same time, you can begin to get completely sick of it, but remain afraid of changing it. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - If you make a drastic change to ... continue reading


Watch what happens when you ask adorable kids questions about love Watch

Image of Jubilee Project's latest video shows kids may know more about love than most adults.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's amazing how much insight young children have that often goes unnoticed. This group of kids under the age of 12 were asked questions about love, and what they say is brilliant. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Jubilee Project, a nonprofit group seeking to ... continue reading


3 easy ways to meet your match this Valentine's Day Watch

Image of Places to meet potential romance are behind every corner.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're single this Valentine's Day, take heart - there are a lot of places in which to meet other people who are anxious to get to know you! Let's cross off the most obvious one - single bars. With their loud, deafening music, and alcohol-impaired patrons, ... continue reading


Lift up love and marriages around you with these 6 ways to pray for marriages Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While it is important to try to express appreciation and love to your significant other every day, there are a choice few days in the year that remind you to reconnect and make time for each other. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Valentine's Day is shaped all ... continue reading


Do you hate Valentine's Day? Here's how to fight back! Watch

Image of Hate how Valentine's Day is celebrated? Tired of gender stereotypes reinforced by slick marketing? Fight back, retake the HOLY DAY for St. Valentine and the people who are most worthy of your love.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Valentine's Day is supposed to be the feast day of St. Valentine, the Roman saint who gave his life for his steadfastness in faith. Despite the sacrifice by the early Catholic cleric, the modern interpretation of the holiday has devolved into a secular orgy of ... continue reading


10 ways to avoid those 'love blunders' this Valentine's Day Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (News Consortium)

The custom of showing affection and attention to loved ones on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, has become part of the fabric of our culture. There is a kind of unwritten law or expectation that, on that day, spouses are supposed to do or give something that signifies ... continue reading


40 beautiful quotes about love that will ignite the flame in your heart Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When you fall in love, your whole self is consumed. You are constantly enthralled with thoughts of your loved one. Here are 40 beautiful quotes about love that will bring a certain someone to mind: LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - 1. "If I loved you less, I might be ... continue reading


All Marriage & Family News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 17:5-10
5 Yahweh says this, 'Accursed be anyone who trusts in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 16:19-31
19 'There was a rich man who used to dress in purple ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 5th, 2015 Image

St. John Joseph of the Cross
March 5: St. John Joseph of the Cross was born about the middle of the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter