Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

Sexting: A Harmless Act or a Criminal Offense?

0 77

Technology always moves forward. You can look at computers from fifty years ago vs. where they are now and see that’s the case. You can also look at smartphones, cars, and other tech that’s better than years before.

Strangely enough, sex also drives technology forward. VHS tapes became prominent because many individuals wanted pornography they could access at home. Some of the earliest VHS tapes featured content shown at stag parties.

Now, sexting exists. Sexting can involve sending sexually explicit texts, images, or videos. If you do it with another consenting adult, you should have no problems. Sometimes, though, the police and prosecutors regard it as a criminal offense.

Let’s talk more about it right now.

Consent Makes a Difference

In the modern era, the mere accusation of a sex crime can permanently damage your reputation. If someone says you sexually assaulted them or did something else equally egregious, you can fight those charges in court. Even if you can successfully beat the charges, though, that does not necessarily mean that your family members, friends, and others in your community will look at you the same way ever again.

If you feel like sexting with someone, maybe that’s your spouse. You might send texts, images, or videos for fun. You may also send them to a partner with whom you’re in a committed relationship.

You might send a sexy text message to someone with whom you’re starting a relationship. However, if you haven’t firmly established the relationship’s boundaries or parameters yet, you can get yourself in trouble this way.

You should make sure the other person consents before you send them anything sexual via your smartphone, tablet, or whatever other device you use. If you send something during the relationship’s early stages, and the other person didn’t explicitly state they wanted that kind of content, you might ruin the relationship. You may even face criminal charges if the other person feels you crossed a line.

Sexting with Minors

If you’re an adult, sexting with minors isn’t legal. That’s why, if you meet someone via social media or in person, if they seem young, you should ask for ID. They may not like it if you do that, but you’re protecting yourself when you do.

If they can prove they’re of legal age, and they also explicitly state you should send them sexual content, then you might do it if you’re comfortable with that. You can also refuse. You may not feel okay sending sexually explicit pictures or videos unless you feel with 100% certainty that you trust this person.

If they’re of legal age and request the content, and you send it to them, you still can’t be sure they won’t use it against you if you spurn them. Several states have so-called “revenge porn” laws now, which make it a crime if someone uses sexually explicit content that you send them in certain ways, such as making it widely available without your consent.

If you want to feel sure that no one will share sexually explicit material you make and send them, don’t make or send it. That might disappoint them, but you may feel glad you didn’t create or dispense that content if things don’t work out between you.

Sexting Between Minors

Most minors now have smartphones, and that can cause some legal problems from time to time. You might have two teens exchanging sexually explicit content.

It’s legal because they’re both not legally adults yet. If one of them makes that content widely available, though, the police and the court system might hit them with child pornography charges. They dispensed sexually explicit content featuring a minor.

In most states, lawmakers keep revising the existing laws and creating new ones. The technology keeps moving forward so quickly that it’s tough to keep track. When you have teens with raging hormones and access to video cameras right on their smartphones, you might have the creation of sexually explicit content and the dispensing of it happening all over the country, all the time.

Parents can talk to their kids about the dangers of sexting, but they should try to follow those rules themselves. Something you do in the spur of the moment, at any age, might come back to bite you if you send sexual content to someone who then decides to do something inappropriate with it. If you never create the content in the first place, you won’t have these problems.

Leave a comment