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.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Marriage & Family

Oldest women in the world expecting quadruplets sparks IVF debate Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

65-year old Annegret Raunighk, the oldest woman in the world expecting quadruplets, is being frowned upon by many and has sparked debates all over Germany for her in Vitro fertilization pregnancy, considered by politicians and medical experts as "irresponsible and ... continue reading


Parents credit God for successful all-girl quintuplets birth Watch

Image of The Busby family welcomes healthy all-girl quintuplets.

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Last week, the United States first ever all-girl quintuplets were born to Danielle and Adam Busby. The babies were all born successfully without complications and were described as healthy, according to The Blaze. However, the Busby couple were allegedly advised to ... continue reading


Abuse victims cry out over horrific experience at St. Joseph orphanage in Australia Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse in Rockhampton is currently investigating child abuse accusations thrown at the people who have ran Neerkol St. Joseph's Orphanage. The victims of abuse at the questioned orphanage have revealed last ... continue reading


Pastor's wife arrested after allegedly trying to 'raise' 2-year-old 'possessed' child from death after a 25-day fast Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After reportedly holding a failed "rising ceremony" with other church members, Aracely Meza, a pastor's wife, is now in jail. The Iglesia Jesus El Rey member was charged with injury to a child by omission, according to The Blaze. The 2-year-old child, identified as ... continue reading


'Airwrecker,' 'Vejonica,' 'Mazen': Extremely bizarre baby names that actually exist Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In just about 24 hours, a Reddit thread was able to garner more than 18,000 comments, asking its users to submit the weirdest and most horrendous names they had ever known. Without much clarity as to why some parents choose them, there are testimonies posted in the ... continue reading


6 of the most important factors to consider before settling down Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Marriage is a wonderful thing that binds two people together, for better or for worse. Before taking your relationship to the next level, thanks to Crosswalk.com, here are a few factors you should think about and consider before getting married. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES ... continue reading


Viral advertisement on homeless awareness wows viewers with two-sided story Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There's always a second side to every story. Depaul International, a homeless charity, invites people to take a step back and see the other side of the story, as their advertisement creased on a wall corner presents two sides on how people see and should see ... continue reading


Separated after childbirth, told that baby died: Mother and daughter reunited after 49 years Watch

Image of After 49 years, mother and daughter meet again.

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A mother was told that her twin babies had died at childbirth, only to meet one of them alive 49 years later. As it turns out, her daughter was alive and got mysteriously adopted. The family will begin an investigation regarding the false information given by the Homer ... continue reading


7 dangerous apps your kid is already using Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Although it is not advisable for young children to have access to the Internet, there are some instances parents give their children smartphones, readily equipped with the Internet. There are applications available that have features that put can put your child in ... continue reading


Former FLDS cult member horrifically mobbed by hundreds of sect followers while picking up children after gaining full custody Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After finally gaining full custody of her children last week, former Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS) cult member was harassed by the sect's followers and prevented from picking her children up. After a seven-hour standoff the police finally intervened. ... 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, Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
13 It is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9
2 Children of men, how long will you be heavy of ... Read More

Reading 2, First John 2:1-5
1 My children, I am writing this to prevent you from ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 19th, 2015 Image

St. Alphege
April 19: Archbishop and "the First Martyr of Canterbury." He was born in ... 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