The Dangers of Sexting


An Innocent Flirtation Can Alter Your Life Forever

While sexting is becoming more and more popular, so is ignorance toward its consequences. Sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit photographs or messages via an electronic device falls under the category of sexting. The real trouble begins when minors get involved.

A study conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy shows that 51% of teen girls feel pressured to send/post sexually suggestive content.

There are many reasons why girls send semi-nude or nude photos. If their peers are sexting, there is more pressure on them to conform. Many are experimenting with their sexuality and wanting to feel sexy or dealing with pressures from a boyfriend, friend, or stranger.

What begins as playful flirting may have serious repercussions. Sending as photo with the intent to harm another person, may be considered cyber bullying and child pornography.

The most common scenario is when a young couple sends each other an explicit photograph, but one of them decides to send it to their friends, after they breakup.  

Having your photos exposed to the student body in a very private way can have a detrimental effect on that student’s performance in school, social life, and attitude at home. Unfortunately, there have been many incidents where teens felt so humiliated when their photos were texted to students at school they ended their lives. 

For many parents who have lost their children to suicide after their pictures were shared at school, this is a very serious matter. So far, there has been child pornography charges filed against some teens in the United States.  Being a registered sex-offender before hitting age 20 is something that can very well ruin a future with goals that were once attainable. Charges relating to child pornography may affect a student’s chances at getting a job. Consequences include but are not limited to jail time, expulsion from school, organizations, sports teams, etc. If charged, the law will put you on the same level as those who have molested, raped and explicitly photographed children.

Pointing, whispering, ignoring, or making fun of a victim of such humiliation are ways that make a passerby just another bully. Treating this person as if you would treat them without the incident is the right path to take.

There are countless articles written, studies done, and television specials made to educate the public about these things and it’s as easy as turning on the computer or the TV. Just a simple talk can be the difference, and it is especially effective if it is all discussed before giving phone and social networking privileges. It’s always a good reminder that texting and being on social sites is a privilege, and if this privilege is taken advantage of, a world of consequences can follow.

Leda Costa, a volunteer with Beyond Bullies, contributed to the article,

Nov 19 2012 in Whats New admin Comments Off on The Dangers of Sexting

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