A Quick Thought About “Sexting”

Back in the mid-to-late-90’s, before cameraphones or affordable digital cameras, if you wanted especially sexy photos of your honey, you had to either know someone who knew someone who had access to photo developing, or you had to know about THAT ONE PLACE in town that would develop and print ANYTHING. (Within reason.)

Or you had to find a Polaroid One-Step at the thrift, which is the route we went. And, boy, the two times we used that Polaroid were fun and sexy at the time, but overexposed and unsexy afterward.

People who came of age even just five years after we did had a completely different experience. These days, kids and young adults have easy access to digital cameras and cell phones that don’t care what kinds of photos you take. I can completely understand why hormonally-charged adolescents and post-adolescents would get off on sending sexy pictures of themselves to their boyfriends.

What’s unfortunate, though, is that the part of the brain that makes decisions and judgments is the last to develop, as I understand it. Doesn’t texting a sexy picture of yourself to your Significant Other sound pretty erotic? Sure it does — until you think one or two steps ahead. I know that there were plenty of times I was guilty of that sort of reasoning — well, not about sexy pictures, but about other things, like words said and notes written and homework ignored and classes skipped.

Is there a solution? Sure. Make sure your children understand the permanence of the internet, and teach them how to think critically and project the consequences of their actions. It’s not a quick and easy fix, like putting a content filter on your internet and TV, but it’s a thorough and responsible solution. I know I can’t really pass judgment, because I don’t have children; but I do know what my mother taught me about sex and responsibility, and what I learned on my own.

If I’d had a digital camera or a cameraphone back in 1997, would we have taken sexy pictures like we did with the Polaroid? I’m not sure we would have, since the novelty wouldn’t really have been there. If we had, though, they might have looked a little less… embarrassing.

7 thoughts on A Quick Thought About “Sexting”

Comments are closed.

  1. The one you are dating now might love that sexy pic of you, but what will he/she do with it when/if you brake up. Mama always said don’t put anything on paper you don’t want everyone to see.

  2. Yay Mom! Common sense always dictated to me not to put anything out there that I don’t want everyone to see or remember.
    Hence I don’t twitter, blog, or post a bunch of pics to my Facebook. When the FBI visits you as a freshman at your house, you get an INSTANT understanding. But that’s a story for a different time.
    Most teenagers are immature and impulsive.
    And parents not actually paying attention to what their kids are doing doesn’t help.

  3. Do parents realize that sexting can be the next step toward having sex? Both of my daughters received naked pics from boyfriends as a way of testing them to get a reaction. If they sent one back of themselves, sex was closer at hand. If they reject it, the boys seemed to move on. Sexting can be innocent, yes, but it is also what predators do to test for future advancement of grooming the next victim. Teens say that it’s innocent fun, okay, but the one sending it ALWAYS has ulterior motives, and sex is at the top of the list (or why send it naked)!!!

    Teens are pulling quite the con to get parents to think it’s just a hobby or fad, try convincing a prosecutor of that. Sending teen porn is illegal and they should get a record for doing it (unless stealing, robbing banks, and shoplifting is now legal for teens). Would you allow another teen to keep waving a bottle full of wine at your teen and expect it NOT to go to the next level sooner or later; drinking it.

    Parents and prosecutors must realize that sexting is sending porn and illegal at the state and federal level, and must be enforced – or the rapes, molestings, and bad happenings are going to multiply so fast that they won’t have enough counselors and jails for it all.

    Both of my daughters are in their 20’s now, and say they have been trading naked pics for ten years on camera phones, laughing at adults (and me) that parents are so naive. Plus, it does no good to check your child’s phone, as files can now be encrypted so that you never find them, let alone get them open!

    SEXTING IS A CRIME AND GROOMING FOR PREDATORS, and if you don’t think that that lovable boyfriend is not looking for sex – I got a bridge to sell you! There are ten of thousands of men and women in prisons in the U.S. for making porn, what makes a teen think they can make it legally? There are hundreds of thousands of men and women in U.S. prisons for sending and/or receiving teen porn. Why should teens be able to send it with impunity?! It should be legal for all – or illegal for all. PERIOD!

    We are not talking about sending dirty messages, (that is true sexting), we are talking about sending naked pictures of teens – PORNOGRAPHY. Hundreds of thousands of adults are in prisons for doing exactly that, so welcome aboard teens! Teens cannot act dumb and say they didn’t know. Most teens are smarter technically than adults in this area. They have been sending porn for as long as cameras have been in cell phones, 10 years. Society cannot throw away an adult for innocently looking at porn on their home computer screen, then say ‘silly teen’ to a minor and let them go free for exactly the same act on a cell phone. Many of the naked teen pictures that adults are going to prison for now where created by willing teens sending them! They get caught…and suddenly it’s called sexting.

    Very few adults that look at porn at home go out and commit a crime, in fact, it’s more likely that a teen looking at a naked picture on a cell phone or home computer will commit a sex crime because they do not have the restraints that an adult does (hopefully).

    Teens have been doing this for ten years (at least), and sending them to all U.S. states and around the world – catch on, they are breaking the law, no excuses, or make it legal for all to do. And what if a child in another state where it’s legal sends one to a child in Texas? All states should be legal, or none. Home computers have been sending porn (to and from minors) for 20 years, the cell phone just got cameras 10 years ago, now they send porn on cell phones – no difference, they just changed the name out of denial.

    If I rob a bank in a VW, or rob a bank in a Chevy, is there a difference? I robbed the bank! I sent porn! A modem in a cell phone and a modem in a home computer are the EXACT same vehicle of transmission. ALL use Interstate phone lines, so the federal government should say ‘no’ to sexting, period. Or any parent can simply say it’s their child’s phone. You know that families swap phones to go shopping, on a trip, etc. The parents will be in possession of the phone with naked pics in the memory, or hidden in a file, but they are in possession of child porn and should be charged as well. Legal for all, or legal for none.

    And if u think it’s an innocent act, why don’t they send a picture with clothes on? They are trying to get the other person excited and groomed for a future sexual situation. Grow up America, ALL naked picture-senders get a “record”, or none; selective prosecution is unconstitutional…. If you want to see that sending porn is legal for teens, then you MUST let the hundreds of thousands go in prisons for the exact same thing! It’s all sexual in nature, period. Just changing the name to sexting doesn’t make it moral (or a lot of bars will quickly be re-named churches), and I can rob a bank and simply change the words to ‘early withdrawal’ and it’s legal – NOT!

    This opens the door to making/selling/using drugs by 15 year olds and saying the exact same excuse (just a silly teen, let them go)! Stealing a car! Shooting a gun! Robbing someone! So let all porn makers/senders/lookers go or start building larger juvenile jails – because they are criminals. There is NO WAY that parents can control their own children on this, or most subjects any more.

    Parents are pressuring the prosecutors to let their children go because of sexting, fine, silly teen, slap on the wrist, but how about the adults that simply looked at teen porn free on their home computers with no ill-will in mind? They lose a spouse, house, job, career, families, friends, savings – it’s all the same thing, pornography, and parents are in denial if they defend it.

    And do you really expect a teen to legally send porn for years, then they hit 18 and cannot do it any more?! That would be like telling teens that they can drink all they want in public for free, then at 18 they are criminals if they do it. MOST Homo sapiens will become addicted to a thrilling thing if they are allowed to do it unrestrained, and America’s teens are no different. The prisons are full of people that simply looked at porn and their lives were ruined (they didn’t make it, they didn’t buy it), now an entirely new generation will be legally aloud to create, send, and receive naked pictures of minors.

    One news article in Vermont said that sexting was simply a fad…. We are dealing with hormonal teens that now have a way to make, send or receive anything they want, period. Wait until they grow up, you WILL NOT believe what type of society we have then! And well over 50% of children are molested by their own siblings or friends, wait until those pictures get out…. The Gennie is out of the bottle. Don’t believe me? Try taking a cell phone away from a teen….

  4. You make some interesting points, Randy, although I do think that some of them would be better made in a larger forum than my little 20-hits-a-day personal blog. 🙂

    I disagree that sexting is necessarily a “gateway drug” to other illegal acts, though; you’d have to show me numbers and references on that claim.

    Also, at least in my state, pornography itself isn’t illegal; only child porn. So, if a teen continued to send suggestive images after he or she turned 18, it would technically be legal, so long as the recipient was also of age. Whether it would be wise or not is quite another story.

    Your comment brings up an interesting point, though: if a teen takes a suggestive photo of him or herself and distributes it, is it (or should it be) illegal on the same level as an adult exploiting a teen? After all, the distribution was voluntary, not coerced or forced by an adult, so there’s no primary exploitation happening. Again, not that it would be a good idea, in any case.

    I hold to the premise that the only surefire way to protect children from the potential harm of sexting is to make sure they’re ready for it, long before they’re likely to experience it. Peer pressure is strong, yes, but its power can be lessened. I’m curious as to what percentage of teens who have received a lewd photo have proceeded to share a physical sexual act with the person who sent it.

    Luckily, that’s something I won’t have to worry about myself for years to come.

  5. The solution to this problem, and most, is in comunication!!! And you don’t wait until you child is a teen. From the time a child is born they are a individual with ideas of there own. Don’t talk to your child, comunicate with them. I hope Diana always knew I respected her thoughts and openions, to me she was always “a person” I didn’t wait until________________you fill in the blank, to let her know the truth about life.