Sexting: A grown up approach


Teenagers will be teenagers, and during that period of their lives their hormones are rampant and the opportunity to explore takes on attractive new levels. Throughout this time there are many dangers and one of which seems to have taken hold of the media's imagination is the apparent craze of 'sexting'. This is the new mode of communicating juvenile lust, whereby the sender of a text attaches anything from, titillating to pornographic pictures of themselves and then presses send. The recipient usually being the latest crush. In the United States there have recently been some high profile cases of teens being arrested and charged with child pornography and shackled with the tag of being sex offenders.

But as highlighted by this article there are two very different approaches to dealing with teens just being teens. In the first the district attorney in Pennsylvania offers the offenders the chance to attend a six month educational course that would help them understand their actions better. The second is the legislative approach taken by Vermont that reduces the crime to a misdemeanor when done between two consenting 13-18 year olds.

Both of these are rationale approaches (even if parents of three of the teens in the first example don't seem to think so) and should be considered if this problem be broached by politicians here. The teens are acting in a consensual way, there is little harm being done (but to themselves should the pictures spread further than the intended recipient) and their natural behaviour, in conjunction with modern times, should not land them with a criminal record.