, 2011 - News 11
pril 13 The Express - A
SEXTING Mary* participates in the illicit activity of sexting. “Its not like I keep track [of when I sext]. Like I don’t do it once a week, but I do sext,” she said. But why, I asked Mary, a junior, does she do it? “I do it for fun. I’m not, like, addicted to it, but it adds to a conversation,” she said. “It’s better than just saying ‘Hey, whats up?’”
Sexting, according to dictionary.com, is the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically, primarily between mobile phones. Despite not being reported on recently, sexting continues to make an impact on teenagers across that country. In recent years, sexting has turned from a harmless, flirtatious game to a criminal
felony. According to a survey published by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 66% of teen girls and 60% of teen boys say they sext to be “fun or flirtatious,” the most common reason for sending sexy content. Additionally, 39% of all teenagers have sexted, with 37% being girls and 40% being boys. According to NBC news, in 2009, all the female students at Greensburg Salem High School in Greensburg, Pa., who were 14- or 15-years-old, faced charges of manufacturing, disseminating or possessing child pornography while the boys, who were 16 and 17, face charges of possession. “I think people are sexting more than they are actually having sex,” Mary quipped during our interview. Currently in the state of Colorado, authorities treat sexting on a caseby-case basis. That means, that depending on the case, punishments can range from monetary fines to charges of sexual exploitation of a minor. “I think it’s dumb that they are making laws based on people’s sexuality,” she said. “I understand if
it is a really old guy and a teenage girl doing it, and there should clearly be a law, but if you’re dating someone, it should be o.k. If you’re going to get caught having actual sex, they’re not going to arrest you.” But for Mary herself, its all just harmless, sexy fun between people who are moving toward a relationship and trust one another. “I don’t think anyone in their right mind would send a [naked] photo to someone who they don’t trust,” she said. “I honestly think that sexting belongs between boyfriend and girlfriend, and people who are moving towards a relationship.” But according to Detective Ron Tanguma, most photos that are sent between boyfriends and girlfriends are usually forwarded to other people. “Most case have to do with boyfriend and girlfriend break ups, which can get pretty nasty,” he said. “One usually wants to breakup and the other doesn’t, and most photos are usually forwarded to other people out of spite.” Despite the misconceptions that sexting is harmless fun, sexting is actually a dangerous activity with many consequences. Consequences that can lead to dangerous outcomes. “Sexting consequences can range from felonies and misdemeanors,” Tanguma said. *“Mary” is a pseudonum to protect her identity. tyler blair
Smoky Hill High school Newspaper, Issue 5, 2011.