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The Controversial Issue Of Teenage Sexting

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In today’s generation, teenagers have not known a life without technology. To them, it is second nature. Teenagers, with their raging hormones and access to technology, are inevitably going to discover sexting especially since it is growing due to its popularity in social media. It is more common than people may think. To minors it may seem like a harmless act to explore their sexuality. However, the law says otherwise. If they engage in sexting, adolescents can find themselves with a criminal charge. To gain a clearer understanding of the controversial issue on teen sexting, it is essential to know the development of adolescents, the impact sexting has on teens, and finally the sex laws set that relate to sexting. Adolescence is a time…show more content…
“Unlike physical pictures, they’re endlessly easy to copy, save” and “they’re immediately and personally identifiable” (Dewey). In addition, a lot of teens think as long as their face is not in it that they are safe. However, even with no face, the sext holds other information such as a phone number, location, or even your cell phone carrier (Dewey). By sending a sext, a teenager is trusting that person to keep their information private, but unfortunately, that is not always the case. In the common case where a sext is distributed without consent, there are negative consequences for the teen who essentially produced the sext. This consists bullying, sexual harassment (“US Sexting Laws”), and even stalking, especially if the sext falls into the hands of a sexual predator (La Mance). Moreover, it damages an adolescent’s reputation, this includes harsh outcomes if it goes against a social idea such as religion (Mello) and it may cause difficulties with a potential school or employer (“US Sexting Laws”). Even if the sext is not distributed there is always the risk of manipulation in a relationship, which puts the sender in a difficult situation because they do not want any of the negative institutional effects. As a result of these potential scenarios, the developing teen’s emotional state is susceptible to depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, fear, loss of self-esteem and…show more content…
In the United States, a minor can be tried as an adult starting at thirteen years of age, depending on the crime and in certain circumstances, almost every state now allows for youths below the age of 18 to be tried as adults (Hollingsworth). Although these rules vary from state to state. In addition thirty four states in the United States including District of Columbia have adopted a revenge porn law (). Revenge porn is “nonconsensual pornography, defined as the distribution of sexually graphic images of individuals without their consent. This includes both images originally obtained without consent (e.g. by using hidden cameras, hacking phones, or recording sexual assaults) as well as images consensually obtained within the context of an intimate relationship” (). One of the major risks of sexting is the uncertainty that the person receiving the sext can distribute it without the sender’s consent and ultimately ruin the sender’s reputation. While sharing naked photos of adults is often times a misdemeanor, sharing any nude or sexual images of children under the age of 18 is considered child
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