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Introduction The sexting trend is gaining popularity with both teens and adults. Haag and Cummings (2010), define sexting as “the sending of sexually explicit messages and/ or photos, primarily between mobile phones” (p.1). However, sexually explicit messages and photos can be sent through social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and over various electronic devices, such as tablets. Although sexting between consenting adults is considered an acceptable activity, both adults and teenagers are using electronic devices and social media outlets to engage in inappropriate sexual activities (Matte, 2013). Since many teenagers are not legal adults, the legal issues of teen sexting must be considered. In addition, the…show more content…
These sexts are often shown to or forwarded to friends and acquaintances. Sometimes, the explicit photos contained in the texts are uploaded on social media websites such as Facebook and Instagram or sent through email (Stone, 2009). Adults can easily access sexts shared with friends and posted online. Since taking, possessing, and posting sexually explicit photographs of teenagers under the age of 18 is a form of child pornography, teen sexting should be illegal (Matte, 2013). Frequently, teenage girls under the age of 18 date older males. Although teenage boys under the age of 18 sometimes date adult females, this relationship is not as common as the aforementioned relationship. According to Matte (2013), “51% of teen girls cite pressure from guys as a reason to send explicit messages, while only 18% of boys say so. This is of concern when there is already a power imbalance in a relationship or an issue with self-esteem” (p.1). Young teenage girls may feel obligated to engage in explicit sexual behavior in order to appear more mature to their older boyfriends. Girls in such relationships must be aware of the potential legal risks of sexting with adult males (Matte, 2013). In some relationships, the male and female in the relationship have been less than a year apart in age (Matte, 2013). Regardless of the age difference, any adult male in possession of a sexually explicit photo of a minor can be

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