But for teens who do sext, there are both psychological and legal risks, especially if coercion is involved and the images wind up being distributed beyond their intended audience. Sexting is certainly not just a teen issue, but these tips are specifically for teens and parents of teens. Scroll down for tips for both parents and teens. There are also cases where the teen is responding to peer pressure, bullying or even threats. In rarer cases, adults solicit images from teens. Possible consequences : The consequences of sexting can range from nothing at all to extremely serious. In most cases, nothing bad happens because the image is never shared beyond the person it was sent to. And as you know, digital photos are easy to copy and paste onto the Web, where they can be archived and searchable pretty much forever. Severe consequences : In cases where the images have been seen by others beyond the intended person, the consequences can be quite severe in terms of possible criminal prosecution, trouble with school authorities or serious social and psychological consequences including increased bullying, social isolation, shaming and severe anxiety, fear and depression. Experts caution never to assume that any single incident or event is the cause of a suicide, but there have been a few tragic cases where teens have killed themselves after nude images have been widely distributed.
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How common is it?
By Mark Theoharis. Since cell phones first saw widespread adoption in the s, they've become not just ever present, but have developed vastly expanded capabilities, such as the ability to take and instantly share photos. Some states have adopted laws that prescribe penalties aimed specifically at teenagers or adolescents who send such photos. These laws make the penalties for teen sexting less severe than if an adult would send similar photos to an under-age person. To get state specific details regarding sexting, jump ahead to teen sexting laws by state. Sexting laws are a relatively new phenomena in the law.
What teenagers wish their parents knew about sexting
Sexting can happen on any electronic device that allows sharing of media and messages including smartphones, tablets, laptops or mobiles. In the UK the age of consent for sexual intercourse is However, it is an offence to make, distribute, possess or show any indecent images of anyone aged under 18, even if the content was created with the consent of that young person. The law is contained in section 1 Protection of Children Act The police have said that sexting by children will primarily be considered as a safeguarding issue. The police must, by law, record all sexting incidents on their crime system but as of January , they can decide not to take further action against the young person if it is not in the public interest. This will be at the discretion of the police. The government has also produced Departmental Advice on Searching, Screening and Confiscation which states that schools have the power to search pupils for devices, search data on devices and delete any indecent images.
Sexting is making sexually suggestive images and sharing these images using mobile phones or by posting them on the internet and social media. The images might be photographs of yourself or someone else naked or partially naked. You might think that sexting is something risky, dangerous and illegal. For teenagers, sexting is often fun and consensual. Your child and her friends might also see sexting as part of building relationships and self-confidence, and exploring sexuality, bodies and identities. Young people do worry about their images being shared with other people including friends and family members. Many try to reduce this risk by making images only for people they trust, and with whom they have or hope to have a romantic or intimate relationship. Young people want to be able to talk openly and honestly with their parents about sexting. And talking with your child is the best way to help him learn about:.