Criminalization of sexting: Should "sexting" between youth/juveniles be criminalized (yes), or legal/decriminalized (no)?

  • It should be illegal but not the same offense as "child pornography"

    Child pornography laws were put on the books to protect children from exploitation by adults, and in the public mind such an offense is associated with that sort of evil. A teenager taking a picture of themselves is not even comparable. Nor is a teenager taking a picture with consent of another teenager. Such cases should still be illegal just like it is illegal for juveniles to smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol, but it should not be classified as the same crime as child pornography but instead as a misdemeanor offense, with no sex offender registration and unless they are repeat offenders or probation or parole violators no jail time. The sentence should be a fine, and some probation. And parents should be allowed to ask for restraining orders between the parties involved until they are both adults.

  • Yes, because it is very dangerous

    Children always want to have fun and long for excitement. This is great but sexting is no fun but contains high risk. Therefore parents, adults and laws are responsible to protect children from any harm for their body and soul . Not only can pictures come into the wrong hands of criminals! Even best friends can use them against you one day. Nevertheless it is also the onesidedness of sexuality presented here which is to be critized and the wrong values. Children gain a completely wrong picture of sexuality, trust and self worth. Therefore we should convince our minors to guard their own privacy and honour this of other people.

  • Yes, because sexting is directly connected to child pornography

    Raising awareness for explicit contents should be a general concern, especially among juveniles. Obviously many teenagers have no idea what they are up to when they send pictures to friends and they are cerntainly not aware of the dangers of taking naked pictures. Sending those pictures around can definetely be considered as a propagation of child pornography because minors can be seen in those pictures. The perpetrators should be punished for spreading those contents because this seems to be the only way to stop this dangerous game. However, it should not only be illegal to send those pictures around, but it should already be illegal to take explicit pictures in the first place. For example, if the boyfriend of a 15 year old girl takes naked pictures of her, it should be considered child pornography because there seems to be no other way to stop this hazard. As we can see in the media almost weekly, other ways do not seem to work. Look at Amanda Todd's case, for example...This girl is dead because some pervert guy was spreading pictures of her boobs. Actions like that can destroy lives and should therefore be punished by law.

  • Yes, sexting should be illegal.

    Young people need to realize that what they send once does not magically disappear. It can be saved forever, forwarded and shared. Kids need to have more of a motivation not to engage in behaviors that they may regret one day. Young people's brains have not yet matured, and they're not often able to understand the consequences of a behavior. By making sexting illegal and with obvious immediate consequences, this would probably at least avert some of them from making bad decisions.

  • Yes, because its a crime.

    Sending pictures of others around is a crime anyway, so it should especially be punished if the content of those pictures is explicit. The range of people who will have access to those pictures can not be controlled anymore and that is why it should be illegal to send those pictures around.

  • Yes, because sexting is directly connected to child pornography

    Sexting should definetely be punished by law because it is directly connected to child pornography. Whenever explicit content of minors is published, this can be regarded as child pornography and sending naked pictures of young girls around can certainly be seen as a crime. Actions like that can destroy lives as many examples have shown (e.G. Amanda Todd). Any person that takes pictures of minors and sends them to others should be punished because there is hardly another way to stop that hazard. Obviously nothing else works.

  • Yes, it should be illegal

    Young people are too easily attracted by modern ways of sharing their secrets e.g. bikini photos and bathroom photos etc.. They are too convinced of the effect of their physical appearance to think about negative consequences. They might fall victim to certain photographers who are looking for material on the net.

  • It is very dangerous

    Children like to have fun and long for excitement. This is great. But sexting contains no fun it is high risk. As we all know pictures can be used against you one day and easily come into the hand of criminals. It is also the onesidedness of sexuality, the lack of trust and privacy which is to be highly critized.

  • Unconstitutional and violation of first amendment

    There is no justification to punish any person for publishing or sending nude picture . Such kind of law would violate first amendment and several provision of the US constitution. But there is an exception : If that nude picture or video is being send without the consent of the third parties then such act should be criminalize because it would be classified as sexual harrassment.

  • Unconstitutional and violation of first amendment

    First Amendment clearly stipulated that freedom of speech and expression should not be adbridged. Sexting law is unconstitutional because it violate freedom of speech and expression even if it occured with or between consenting minor. Also I would favor to decriminalize child porn since once you have reached the age of sexual consent .You are capable of given consent to sexual act. IF you are capable of given consent to sexual act,you should be able to take part in pornographic performance.

  • No it should not

    To a certain extent. If 2 teenagers around the same age sext each other and they keep it within there own phones/computers then there's no crime and no victim this should be legal what should be illegal is if a guy or girl receives a photo and sends it to different people that should be illegal other than that sexting is ok. Some laws of sexting are dum like in Virginia, where your a sex offender and/or 5 years in federal prison etc etc

  • No, it should not be criminalized

    Sexting is a decision of youths. If they want to send pictures of themselves naked, it's their own decision. Criminalization is not gonna stop it, only youths behaviour is gonna be demonized. In times of public surveillance, it would just open another gate to check messages and pictures of thousands of people.

    Posted by: Coco
  • No legal basis

    I do not see legal basis for criminalizing sexting eventhough I do not think its a smart idea.
    If we start to cut down on idividual freedom where will it end?
    We can not start to forbid whatever we do not like it or do not agree with.
    So all in all I think parents and schools need to step in and educate the children about the the risks of sexting.

  • Sexting among juveniles

    Can hardly be criminalized and punished accordingly , as we need to identify definitions and key transgressions of the law first in order to then make "sexting" visible as well as plausible in order to initiate just punishments. It is of great need here to frame the horizon of "sexting" first, to address a mileu of potential danger and to first clarify and contextualize what "sexting" means and how it is related to fatal effects and consequences. To make "sexting" illegal conduct one needs to narrow down the audience, to then find responsibles for the circulation of explicit materials. What about children who forward these contents without actively altering nor understanding their meaning, are they to be held guilty and fully responsible for their actions- thus be held criminal ?

  • This is not an issue for the law.

    Schools and parents should educate their children to see the danger in sexting. Even campaigns warning against the dangers would help. Simply forbidding it is the wrong thing to do, because it involves taking freedom from people that haven't done anything wrong. If teens actually enjoy it, then who cares? As long as they have been properly informed about the dangers, it is their personal thing. Especially since forbidding it would simply add the thrill of doing bad things.

  • No, but parents should be involved.

    Instead of making sexting illegal, parents should be informed about this phenomenon. Most adults are not familiar with this term and would probably be overwhelmed when faced with it. With this background knowledge, parents could step in earlier and talk with their kids about it. Furthermore, parents should seek talk with their kids and explain to them, why sexting isn't good at all.

  • No, peoples rights should never be taken away from them without valid cause

    Sexting between youth/juveniles is something that should be controlled by parents and not by law. Unless there is valid evidence or research saying that sexting is causing harm to people, it would be unjust to take away the rights of people who are doing nothing wrong. It should be determined by the child's parents whether their behavior is appropriate or not and requires some form of disciplinary action. Also, making it illegal would mean that billions of texts would have to be monitored to look for illegal activity, which would require way too much manpower and time that should be spent elsewhere.

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