By Mark Theoharis. Since cell phones first saw widespread adoption in the s, they've become not just ever present, but have developed vastly expanded capabilities, such as the ability to take and instantly share photos. Some states have adopted laws that prescribe penalties aimed specifically at teenagers or adolescents who send such photos. These laws make the penalties for teen sexting less severe than if an adult would send similar photos to an under-age person.
It looked like a porn site—shot after shot of naked girls—only these were real teens, not grown women in pigtails. And then there was Jasmine in a fuzzy picture looking awkward. So she waited until first thing the next morning and called a local deputy sheriff who serves as the school resource officer, and he passed the message on to his superior, Major Donald Lowe. But he immediately realized that this was a problem of a different order. Investigation into the Instagram account quickly revealed two other, similar accounts with slightly different names. Between them, the accounts included about pictures, many of girls from the local high school, Louisa County High, in central Virginia. Lowe has lived in Louisa County, or pretty close to it, for most of his life.
Today's teens are always connected. They live out their lives online and in the public eye. They share photos on Instagram, tweet live from concerts, and message their friends instead of calling.
Sexting is making sexually suggestive images and sharing these images using mobile phones or by posting them on the internet and social media. The images might be photographs of yourself or someone else naked or partially naked. You might think that sexting is something risky, dangerous and illegal. For teenagers, sexting is often fun and consensual. Your child and her friends might also see sexting as part of building relationships and self-confidence, and exploring sexuality, bodies and identities.