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 July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Marriage & Family

Millennials stuck at home: Why are so many young people choosing to live with their parents? Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

One in three young adults still live with their parents, even after the increase in salaries and wages, compared to the past years. The causes of these arrangements are still undefined, but some are suggesting that the rising cost of housing may be one of the biggest ... continue reading


Warning: Signs you are dating an emotional manipulator and why you should leave ASAP

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are no perfect people or perfect relationships, however, we should always be conscious to when someone does cross the line with you - whether they are deliberately causing the other to feel bad or not. According to an expert, there are certain signs that someone ... continue reading


3 wonderful phrases guaranteed to improve your marriage

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While it may not be all bliss, marriage can be happy if both husband and wife know how to communicate with each other truthfully and effectively. Most of the time, relationships fall apart, not because the couple doesn't love each other anymore, but because they feel ... continue reading


Exorcism at the Park: Several witnesses speak of bizarre exorcism at local park Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A strange and unexpected incident where three people were seen performing an exorcism at a public park in Texas occurred on July 30, according to several witnesses. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - "They start getting louder and louder," explained one ... continue reading


Are you a conspiracy theorist? New study aims to find why some people are more likely to buy into conspiracies Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Although many would like to think otherwise, one professor believes conspiracy theorists are not classified as crazy or mad people; they just have specific "intellectual character traits" that make them more predisposed to believing in certain things. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Young boy shocks mailman with inspiring wish Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During a routine mail delivery, a mailman from Utah encountered a young boy searching through a junk mail bin. Curious, he asked the boy what he was doing. The boy's response prompted him to lend a hand. Through a Facebook post, the pair has now received a worldwide ... continue reading


Christian minister barred from juvenile detention center for refusing to sign form agreeing not to call homosexuality 'sinful'

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice detention center is being accused of unconstitutional action  by a Christian minister after its officials reportedly repealed his volunteer prison status because of his denial to comply with an LGBT policy. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Internationally famous magazine that 'glorifies porn and sexual violence' FINALLY COVERED UP in thousands of stores Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A campaign against the popular magazine Cosmopolitan has caused two supermarket and drug store chains to announce that they will now be covering up copies of Cosmopolitan magazine with blinders. This campaign aims to protect minors from the magazine's sexual content. ... continue reading


If I were the Devil

Image of

By Paul Harvey

If I were the devil . If I were the Prince of Darkness, I'd want to engulf the whole world in darkness. And I'd have a third of it's real estate, and four-fifths of its population, but I wouldn't be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree ... continue reading


Restraining order issued against release of infamous Planned Parenthood videos Watch

Image of A Placerville-based company, StemExpress began in 2010 to provide human tissue, blood and other specimens to scientific researchers. Cate Dyer, pictured, is the CEO.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A series of nauseating videos, where Planned Parenthood officials are shown striking deals for baby body parts for stem cell research - for cash on the barrelhead, has been widely seen online and elsewhere. The group responsible for disseminating these videos, ... 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, Numbers 12:1-13
1 Miriam, and Aaron too, criticised Moses over the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 6-7, 12-13
3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 14:22-36
22 And at once he made the disciples get into the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 4th, 2015 Image

St. John Vianney
August 4: St. John Vianney, Priest (Patron of priests) Feast day - August ... 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