What is Sexting?

"the sending of sexually explicit photographs or messages via mobile phone"

Sexting is the sending of sexually explicit text messages and pictures using a cell phone. It is done primarily by teenagers and young adults, involved in an intimate relationship as a means to flirt and be intimate, when apart. Some surveys have suggested that 20% to 30 % of young people have sent nude or semi nude pictures and text messages that are sexually explicit in nature.

Sexting is the combination of the words 'sex' and 'texting' and can be considered the modern day attempt at phone sex. It came about in the early 2000's when camera phones and the ability to send text messages became available and popular, and couples in long distance relationships found it as a way to remain intimate while being apart.

Sexting is popular among teens because it is normally their first foray into relationships and their first attempt to being sexual with the opposite sex. It can be seen as an innocent and safe way to interact with a boyfriend or girlfriend as it does not involve actual sexual intercourse, and may be seen as an alternative to sex by girls being pressured by boyfriends.

There are many risks involved in sexting as pictures once sent can be easily disseminated among peers or over the Internet. There have been many instances where explicit pictures of high school girls have been pasted around their school ruining lives and reputations. There is no way to control what the receiver of the photographs will do with them. These pictures can be forwarded to others and there have been instances where girls have been blackmailed in order to prevent photographs being disseminated.

Sexting that may involve minors sending pictures of themselves to friends has created a gray area in the US where there are strict child pornography laws. In some states there have been laws enacted where minors sending pictures of them self have been charged with distribution of child pornography, and those receiving it have been charged with possession of child pornography. There have been many cases across the US where teens have be charged with felonies associated with sexting. Some states have since tried to amend those laws to change the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor.

There have been many celebrities, politicians, and sports stars that have been caught up in scandals involving sexting. Some experts say you should always approach sexting with caution. Be realistic about your relationship and know whether your partner is emotionally close to you not to forward your pictures. Pictures that have been sent in jest or a moment of lust can sometimes change to become a nightmare for the individuals sending them.

Public Figures Caught Sexting

Anthony Weiner Caught Sexting Again Because He Just Can't Help Himself. The gossip website TheDirty.com says it has sexually explicit conversations between Weiner and a 20-something woman. The conversations happened after (fucking AFTER!!!) Weiner resigned from Congress in the midst of scandal, flames and smoke emanating from his once-promising political career.

If you're a married public figure running for mayor of the Big Apple and you've already been caught and lost your job and almost lost your family over this, then you have a PROBLEM. That's not just poor judgment, that's addiction.

Anthony Weiner issued a statement: "I said that other texts and photos were likely to come out, and today they have. As I have said in the past, these things that I did were wrong and hurtful to my wife and caused us to go through challenges in our marriage that extended past my resignation from Congress. While some things that have been posted today are true and some are not, there is no question that what I did was wrong. This behavior is behind me. I've apologized to Huma and am grateful that she has worked through these issues with me and for her forgiveness. I want to again say that I am very sorry to anyone who was on the receiving end of these messages and the disruption that this has caused. As my wife and I have said, we are focused on moving forward."

Weiner just announced that he will not drop out of the mayoral race in light of these revelations.
source: http://thestir.cafemom.com/in_the_news/158744/anthony_weiner_caught_sexting_again

Peyton Siva caught sexting with Jenna Shea She also made headlines in November for announcing via Twitter that Houston Rockets star James Harden allegedly flew her in from Los Angeles and paid her $20,000 to sit courtside.

Trying to hook up is not a crime, not even if you already have a girlfriend. Siva's likely grasped this during four years of a stardom local enough to keep his business his own, but in one night he learned a valuable lesson. Win a national championship, and you're big enough that someone out there will want to blow up your spot.

source: http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlesports/2013/04/09/seattles-peyton-siva-caught-sexting-with-notorious-twitter-model/

Sexting & State Laws

Police can confiscate family computers and cell phones when investigating your child's involvement in a sexting case. At least 20 states and Guam have enacted bills addressing the issue of sexting and minors since 2009. All 50 states have laws in place to protect minors from exploitation through the distribution of sexually explicit images.

If your state doesn't have a specific law about teen sexting, the case will fall under child pornography laws, and garner up to three potential felony charges. Possession of child pornography, even if your teen isn't in the picture. Distribution or sharing a photo, regardless of who is in the picture. Promoting means taking the picture, even if the teen takes it of herself.
source: http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/988263/what-parents-need-to-know-about-sexting-laws