child safety

The Danger of Sexting Amongst Teens

At one time, the most significant problem with teenagers and cell phone use was using text messaging to cheat on exams. Now, there is a new problem facing teens, their parents, and even their teachers and that is "sexting amongst teens."

"Sexting" is a term that is used to describe teenagers passing semi-nude to nude photographs to one another via the picture messaging feature on their cellular phones. These photographs can be of the teenagers themselves or of another teenager. At this time, there are teens all over the United States facing charges for child pornography due to distributing these pornographic images to classmates and friends.

This is a practice that is becoming increasingly dangerous and problematic in schools of all sizes. Here are some of the dangers of sexting amongst teenagers:

  1. As stated above, a teenager can face child pornography charges for distributing nude or semi-nude images of a minor under the age of 18.
  2. Photographs can be distributed on the Internet, resulting in hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people viewing them.
  3. Sexting amongst teens can be a doorway to bullying, as seeing such an image of another teen can prompt a bully to make fun of that individual for what the bully views as "flaws". A teen who takes a picture of him or herself is subjecting themselves to victimization.
  4. If caught sexting at school, suspension is usually a punishment handed down by the school administration.
  5. There is a perception that the teens who are sexting are"easy". It is fair to say that sexting enables a teen to be more talk and less action, thus causing a very dangerous misconception.
Technology is an amazing part of our lives because it keeps us in touch with loved ones, allows us to keep track of our children, and simply makes life more convenient. In the case of sexting, that convenience is being abused and it is important that teenagers understand the dangers and the consequences of this far from harmless activity.
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