Thursday, December 3, 2009

Think Your Kid Is Not 'Sexting'? Think Again

Posted today on

Sexting — sharing sexually explicit photos, videos and chat by cell phone or online — is fairly commonplace among young people, despite sometimes grim consequences for those who do it. More than a quarter of young people have been involved in sexting in some form, an Associated Press-MTV poll found.

That includes Sammy, a 16-year-old from the Bay Area who asked that his last name not be used.

Sammy said he had shared naked pictures of himself with girlfriends. He also shared naked pictures of someone else that a friend had sent him.

What he didn't realize at the time was that young people across the country — in Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania — have faced charges, in some cases felony charges, for sending nude pictures.

"That's why I probably wouldn't do it again," Sammy said.

Yet, "I just don't see it as that big of a problem, personally."

That was the view of nearly half of those surveyed who have been involved in sexting. The other half said it's a serious problem — and did it anyway. Knowing there might be consequences hasn't stopped them.

That's because our socieity, through TV, movies, music, and even teaching in our tax-funded schools promote promiscuity and an unhealthy view of sexuality. The biggest problem here is that these kids don't think that there is anything wrong with it. They think that the only consequences are possibly getting in trouble should they get caught, but they don't even know how much trouble they could be in.

However, most of their problems may not be legal. These kids share these pictures with other kids, they wind up on the internet, and then they can wind up anywhere.

Those who sent nude pictures of themselves mostly said they went to a boyfriend, girlfriend or romantic interest.

But 14 percent said they suspect the pictures were shared without permission, and they may be right: Seventeen percent of those who received naked pictures said they passed them along to someone else, often to more than just one person.

Boys were a little more likely than girls to say they received naked pictures or video of someone that had been passed around without the person's consent. Common reasons were that they thought other people would want to see, that they were showing off and that they were bored.

Girls were a little more likely to send pictures of themselves. Yet boys were more likely to say that sexting is "hot," while most girls called it "slutty."

That's because boys think that "slutty" is "hot". They also like to brag to other boys about their accomplishments. However, most boys will never seriously date or even marry a "slut".

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