Did you know that approximately 24% of minors have sent, received or forwarded a sexual photo or video? Now that most minors in the developed world have access to phones, tablets, and social media, sending a nude photo has never been easier. But this is becoming a problem. More and more minors are starting to sext without thinking of the costs they may have to pay in the future.
Sexting or sex texting is the act of sending, receiving or forwarding a nude photo, or video showing sexual content. Sexting is common among teens, but why do they do it? In most cases, teens sext to look attractive to their partner, or someone they want to be in a relationship with. They can also send these pictures as proof of commitment, or simply as a joke between friends. I think that minors do not understand the consequences of sexting. Once you press send, you have no control over what happens to the photo, or who will see it. In many cases, the photo will stay between you and your partner, but in some unfortunate situations, pictures can be leaked or forwarded to others. They may even be posted online as revenge, or used against you as blackmail. This can lead to embarrassment, bullying, and emotional distress for the sender. But they may not be the only one to suffer. The receiver(s) could get charged with possession of child pornography, and/or be put on the sex offender registration. In the end, sexting could have both the sender and receiver(s) in trouble.
Sexting is becoming a bigger issue as more minors have access to phones and tablets. I think educators and legislators make changes to prevent more teens from making a poor mistake. In Canada, it is illegal to take, send, receive or forward a sexual picture if you are a minor. If the authorities find out, both the sender and the receiver(s) will get charged. Instead of humiliating them by dragging them into legal problems, charges, and putting them on a sex offender list, why don’t schools have a program where they can talk to minors who have been caught sexting? I think it would be much easier, less stressful and less embarrassing for the kids involved. They should not have to have their name on a sex offender list for a mistake they made when they were young. Legislators should also pass a law so that sexting is a part of the school curriculum. If minors are educated about the dangers and consequences of sexting, they will be much less likely to participate in it.
In conclusion, sexting is an issue that needs to be dealt with before it gets too late. Minors have easier access to devices where they can take, send and receive sexual photos. I think if legislators and educators take the time to make changes to the law and set up programs to help minors who sext, it would make a big positive impact.