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Over the past decade, technology has altered the way youth communicate and interact with their peers. Consequently, new forms of electronic communication e. Some of these harmful behaviors include engaging in cyberbullying, publicly posting sexual images, and communicating with or being solicited by prospective sexual predators online. Although there is no consistent legal definition for the term "sexting", most state laws generally concentrate on images that are transmitted through cell phones. Different definitions of sexting have produced conflicting findings among studies on the actual prevalence of sexting among youth.
One of the first studies to examine the prevalence of teen and young adult sexting behaviors was conducted by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and CosmoGirl. This study Sex and Tech defined sexting as the sending or posting of nude or semi-nude photos or videos. Lenhart utilized a different sexting definition and asked respondents whether they had sent or received sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude photos or videos of themselves or someone else through a cell phone. The findings of this study revealed four percent of teenagers reported sending a sexually suggestive image of themselves, with males and females equally as likely hot teen sexting send such images.
Further, in a study that defined sexting as images including naked breasts, genitals, or bottoms, the rate of participation among youth dropped to one percent versus 9. The majority of sexting research suggests similar findings regarding the types of youth engaging in this risky behavior and the motivations behind these decisions.
Sexting is predominant among older teenagers and young adults. Older teenagers i. Prevalence of cell phone use has also been associated with incidents of sexting. Sexting is relevant to school safety for the potential harm it can inflict on the students who participate in it.
Students who engage in sexting are placing themselves at an increased risk of victimization, particularly hot teen sexting regards to cyberbullying. When sexually explicit content is transmitted through the internet, it becomes impossible to control, and there is no guarantee that it will stay confined to the intended recipient. There have been many cases where teenagers have sent sexually explicit messages to boyfriends or girlfriends, only to have these messages forwarded and displayed to others whom they were never intended to reach.
The national attention on high profile sexting cases initially generated a legislative reaction to this new type of sexual interaction between minors, ignoring alternative legal and educational interventions Ryan, However, in the last few years, sexting legislation across some states has incorporated less stringent penalties, with the sustained goal of sexting prevention and curtailing harsh punishments toward youth offenders.
Legislative reform is the most shared alternative in response to sexting under child pornography laws, which entails less severe punishments i. Texas in particular, passed legislation allowing courts to implement less extreme charges and penalties that still discourage the practice of sexting without the life-altering consequences of a possible felony conviction and sex offender status.
In addition, NetSmartz Workshop is an interactive, educational program by NCMEC that provides online safety education for youth, parents, educators, and law enforcement. As the accessibility of technology for youth increases, the potential for such access can result in, especially for youth, little oversight or supervision to aid in the prevention of inappropriate communication with peers. Parent education, in particular, should focus on setting limits on minor's cell phone use and monitoring phone behavior Calvert, Anti-sexting policies allow campuses take a lead role in addressing and punishing sexting-related cases that are exposed or identified in the hot teen sexting setting.
Since many sexting episodes are initially reported to a school official, the creation of multidisciplinary teams can determine which incidents represent harmless activities between minors, better dealt with through education and counseling, or malicious and ificantly risky behaviors that necessitate reporting to the juvenile justice system Willard, Sexting among youth has become a concern as methods of communication become more common through an electronic platform.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of adults to educate youth on appropriate communication between peers as well as with other adults.
In order to implement effective prevention strategies, it is imperative that educators, parents, law enforcement, and legislators understand the motivations surrounding sexting behaviors. Cox Communications. Hinduja, S. Sexting: A brief guide for educators and parents. Cyberbullying Research Center. Retrieved from www. Lenhart, A. Teens and sexting: How and why minor teens are sending sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images via text messages.
Teens and mobile phones. Washington, D. Retrieved from pewinternet.
Mitchell, J. Kimberly, Finkelhor, D. Prevalence and characteristics of youth sexting: A national study. Pediatrics, 1 : Ostrager, B. TTYL: Translating the law to accommodate today's teens and the evolution from texting to sexting. Family Court Review48 4 : Ryan, E. Sexting: How the state can prevent a moment of indiscretion from leading to a lifetime of unintended consequences for minors and young adults.
Iowa Law Review Sacco, D. Sexting: Youth practices and legal implications Publication No. Sex and tech: from a survey of teens and young adults. Van Ouytsel, J. Sexting: Between thrill and fear—How schools can respond. Clearing House, 87 5 Willard, N. Wolak, J. Sexting: a typology. Crimes against Children Research Center. How often are teens arrested for sexting? Data from a national sample of police cases. Pediatrics4 : Teen Sexting and Prevention Strategies April Over the past decade, technology has altered the way youth hot teen sexting and interact with their peers.
References Cox Communications.Hot teen sexting
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Teen sexting in the media: try not to panic