Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sexting - Growing Trend For All Ages - CNN

We discussed sexting on CNN tonight.  Sexting is typically a word we've associated with teenagers these past few years but we are all starting to realize that a high percentage of adults are on board as well.  And as we all know this past week with Weinergate put the spotlight back on the topic altogether. 

Pew Internet Research 2010 Survey: 
Adults and Sexting
  • 31% of 18-29 have received sexts 
  • 17% of 30-49 have received sexts
  • No differences in sending by gender among adults, but men more likely to have received sexts (21%) than women (11%)

But I think the most interesting demographic is one that is not represented in the poll, seniors.

According to the AARP a lot of adults turn to it too but in a much more private matter.  And I think for them the use of the technology is a diversion from the old fashion note passing approach.

According to a relationship coach Susan Blake for AARP "They want to flirt. It makes them feel lively and young.”

If you're interested the AARP website also offers some sexting tips.  

But sexting between minors is a bigger issue. 
According to an Associated Press-MTV poll released late last year. More than 25% of all teens surveyed said they had engaged in sexting – that’s a big number. 

As more and more teenagers are engaging in back and forth sexual texts state governments have struggled to find the balance of appropriate punishment. 

And for two minors each state is different - in the most extreme of cases sexting could be considered child pornography and force the registry of a sex offender - a stamp living with them for the rest of their lives. 

Probably one of the most popular cases occurred in 2009 in PA when three teenage girls sent three teenage boys nude pictures – all faced child pornography charges.  They ended up being sentenced curfews and community service but you can imagine the scare and embarassment for both the teens and parents.

Over 12 states are looking to create more lenient penalties. NY in the past few weeks is just one state trying to look towards an educational program as a penalty, specifically "Cyber Crime Youth Rescue Act".  This would alleviate minors from facing criminal charges.

If you're a parent know the laws and level with your kid.  I give a lot of talks on sexting and I use personal examples of friends that ruined their reputations.  Stats don't hit home as much as real stories do and also the severity and embarrassment of lifelong criminal charges.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Katie for the info on sexting. I never want to be the parent who says "not my kid". I'm looking forward to future blogs on this topic.



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