Cell Phones, Sexting and Teenagers

2233 Words9 Pages
I. INTRODUCTION A. Cell Phones, Sexting, and Teenagers The personal cell phone unheard of in the beginning of the last century, has forever changed the way people communicate. Some of our nation’s teenagers are being caught in the crossfire between technology and the law. Teenagers are charged with possession and distribution of child pornography when caught using cell phone technology to share with others intimate, provocative, seductive, or sexually explicit photos of themselves. Radley Balko writes of the absurdness of these prosecutions in his article, Ruining Kids to Save Them. While technology continues to rapidly grow, legislative processes lack the ability to keep pace. Laws that promote the public policy of keeping our nation’s children safe from sexual predators, are used to prosecute teenagers for participating in an activity called sexting. The numbers in a 2009 poll taken by the Pew Internet and American Life Project show 71% of children, 12 – 17 owned cell phones, which they are actively using to sext. In 2008, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy concluded that one in five teenagers has “electronically sent, or posted online, nude or semi-nude pictures or video of themselves.” In 2009, a survey conducted by Cox Communications revealed that nineteen percent of teens from ages thirteen to eighteen engaged in sexting. This note analyzes how state governments have responded to the rising number of sexting teenagers
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