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'Sexting' trend highlights need for laws to catch up with technology
A study finds one in four teens may engage in sexting, sending a nude picture to a friend
July 19th, 2012
11:09 AM ET

'Sexting' trend highlights need for laws to catch up with technology

By Barbara Hall, CNN

(CNN) – Nearly 30 percent of high school students in the Houston area admit they've sent a nude picture of themselves to a friend by email or text. That's according to a study by the University of Texas Medical Branch. If the sample represents national rates, as the study authors believe, millions of kids could be engaging in this risky behavior. And emotional and legal consequences can be severe.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only 19 states and Guam have some type of legislation that addresses teen "sexting."

[2:43] "Generally the legislation reduces penalties or creates educational or alternative kinds of programs for kids," says NCSL Senior Fellow Pam Greenberg.

In the 31 states where "sexting" has not been addressed, teens who are caught taking or sending sexually explicit images can be prosecuted under existing child pornography laws.

[2:38] "The kids who send these kinds of messages to each other are not real sex offenders. But our laws still often treat them that way," says Penny Clute, a retired City Court Judge in Plattsburgh, New York. "We don't have laws yet that recognize this phenomenon, this actuality, the reality of what kids are doing."

When a high school boy sent Allyson Pereira's topless photo to all of his buddies, she did not go to the police because, she says, she sent him the picture in the first place:

[2:00] "I would have been charged with making and distribution of child pornography and faced 10 years in jail, having to register as a sex offender, and that would have been completely devastating on top of everything else I was dealing with, " she says.

Pereira's case prompted legislation in New Jersey that ensures sexting teens are no longer treated as sex offenders. The law went into effect last year.

soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. bryguy

    the cool thing for sex offenders is that most of these photos end up online they have to love that. It needs to stay a crime... if some girl wants to show some guy here breasts she should do it in person sober.

    July 22, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. keltari

    The laws in this country are so ridiculous. It wasnt that long ago that a woman showing her knees and elbows at the beach was taboo. Its just skin people, get over it. If we stop sensationalizing it, they in no longer becomes an issue.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Special K

    I grew up in Europe. I used to run around the beaches there butt ass naked. Since then, I have been back and seen people of all ages still doing the same. Was I viewing child pornography and am I a pedophile? I f'n hope not, and if someone called me such, I would knock them back to kingdom come....

    The laws in this country are outdated as with many laws and are based on old puritan beliefs. We should punish child abusers and predators, not people who see a child nude whether it's in real life or in a photo. I mean are parents, doctors, nurses, coaches, siblings and anyone else who regularly sees nude children pedophiles? That's ridiculous...

    July 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Art Bencomo

      You've got that right, this is so stupid! If teens don't send nude pics of themselves to each other, that doesn't mean that they're not gonna be seeing each other naked in person. People need to get over the idea of total control and start installing moral values in society once more.

      July 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John

    All things considered, perhaps it's time for the government to worry about something important?

    July 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. zlulz

    yep, clearly trolling all of you dumbdumbs.

    Child Porn is considered porn of anyone under 18. Somehow you guys think there's a difference between downloading/viewing this on the internet and on a phone. Yet you guys seem oblivious to the fact that 9 out of 10 of those pictures online were originally sent with a phone.

    You guys do realize that sext are explicitly sent to get the other person off...its not like this is some classy artistic expression bs.

    July 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      I think you are slightly mistaken. Kids tend to do things for attention, not to get off. Sexual predators do such things to get off.

      Think of when you were a teenager, it seems most adults forget.

      July 19, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ReekRend

    zlulz is trolling you guys, obviously, and it's working. That's why his name is zlulz, look up "lulz".

    But in conclusion, no there should not be any laws at all regarding any sex media unless there is physical abuse going on. A number of people have already stated it very well in the comments and why it's the only sensible option.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Elijah

    30%!!! I doubt it. And it's a bit hypocritical to be concerned about this while the same instituions showing 'concern' are pushing condems to these same kids so they can have actual sex and then provide them with fee abortions.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kali

    I'm nineteen years old and grew up in Chicago, IL. Over the past six years, almost every one of my friends has at some point sent a naked picture to a significant other through the internet or their cell phone. It's a pretty common practice, and is (in my opinion) the modern-day equivalent of exchanging printed naked photos (as I'm sure those of you from previous generations were accustomed to). Even if it's stupid, it's a part of our culture now and legislation should be drafted to account for that.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Kali, unless the kids had their own darkroom, just how did these photos from generations gone by get processed?

      July 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • Herbert from Family Guy

        Polaroidshhhhhh.

        July 19, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Alex

        They are called Polaroids.

        July 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
        • Hugo

          Alex and FG, good point. But if that behavior was widespread, then the existing laws are what the legislatures intended. I don't see how that supports Kali's conclusion at all. It would defeat it. Ouch.

          I thought the laws should be changed to make the punishment less harsh but you two provide quite the compelling argument in favor of keeping the harsh laws in place. Oh well. My bad.

          (I think the laws should be changed but I've been defeated in that view.)

          July 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • michael finan

        Polaroid

        July 19, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Kali, more the the point. If such practice was widespread in previous generations then the argument that state legislatures should revisit the law to allow the actions you say they should allow, fail.

      You might want to rethink your argument because part of it (if true, which I don't think it is) contradicts your conclusion.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Not a Scholar

      Back in the stone ages (my time) it was "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" and it was called natural curiosity. If a minor chooses to take a self photo and send it to a friend, SO WHAT!! Get over it. The only legislation needed is one to stop old farts from criminalizing innocent behavior. Now, on the other hand, if you are sending them to someone that does not want them, or you are sending photos of other people, or you are an adult and the photos or the recipient is a child, hammer time!!

      July 19, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joseph

      I'm in my mid-twenties now, but I still remember high school, and it was never common practice to send each other nude or semi-nude pictures. If you did, you were considered a fool, because you never know where it's going to end up (and high school relationships aren't exactly known for their longevity).

      There certainly was the small cluster of kids that were running around getting drunk and having sex, but the majority knew who they were and avoided the trouble that reliably unfolded. Is are PARENTS, teachers, and peers not explaining the laws about sex offending? Loosening the rules seems like a poor idea – they're there for a reason. It doesn't do any good to say, "oh, you broke the rules...but because you're not happy about the consequences, we're going to make it easier for this sort of thing to happen in the future."

      July 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. scott

    We don't need more laws from Hypocrites. Do people really think that making a law against something cures all?
    All it does is create a new class of criminals, so we can keep our law enforcement busy and justify the absurd expenditures on "Law enforcement".

    July 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grant23

      Well this article focuses on making laws in order to prevent kids from being treated as sex offenders. Either way, the practice is dangerous and has to be discouraged. Remember that these pictures don't always remain private; they end up on the internet where any [adult] perv can have access to them. Children are not expected to always be able to think rationally – this is why we have parents, and this is why we have laws.

      July 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Scott, why are you arguing against a proposal for less law by saying we don't need more law?

      July 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derp

      If you read the article it is to reclassify sx-ting as its own offense, so that children don't end up registered SX offenders. Which I am sure costs the american tax payer a lot more money...

      Reading gud

      July 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Not a Scholar

        So you are saying we need laws to prevent people from creating laws, in order to save money? NO Stop creating legislation for silly reasons. It still costs money.

        July 19, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. puftwaffe

    Unfortunately, a lot of criminal offenses ultimately require a bright line that is often arbitrary and does not take into account the people and circumstances that just barely fall on either side of it. Take age of consent and all of the legally idiotic Romeo and Juliet exceptions that have been carved out in several states in recent years. Sure, it seems to make sense that an 18 year old that is having sex with his or her 17 year old partner of 2 or 3 years shouldn't be a criminal, but the alternative makes even less legal sense. At the end of the day, a minor s either capable of consenting to a given activity or they're not. The age of the adult partner is absolutely irrelevant, whether 18 or 58. There are similar problems with carving out exceptions to child pornography statues, especially given the draconian penalties that adults suffer for the same or related offenses. I can guarantee that many adults have gone to prison for third hand (or worse) receipt and possession of images willfully created by minors who many feel should suffer almost zero consequences as a result. I'm sorry, but I'd rather have nonsensical laws that apply quite uniformly as opposed to nonsensical laws that create a vast disparity in their ultimate application.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      The existing laws are nonsensical anyway. AoC should be based on puberty if anything. Laws vary by state, etc. It's all silly. Use a significant biological event that occurs in every human's life since that makes a whole lot more sense than picking numbers at random.

      July 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Hugo

        Bob, puberty can happen at 8. Do you really think almost every 8 year old can make an informed decision about sex?

        July 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Hugo

        Bob, adjusting the question. Do you think almost every 8 year old that has reached puberty is capable of informed consent? The onset of puberty doesn't necessarily mean fertility. That can happen 2 years after puberty starts in girls.

        July 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • ConnAnn

        Bob: As someone who went through puberty at nine, I say H E C K no to that one. What next, say that AoC should be based on maturity? Because if that were the case, I know a lot of 40 year olds who should still be virgins!

        July 19, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      puftwaffe, I agree the laws sometimes don't make sense. I'm not sure of the states but I think I have them right. (So if I have the states wrong, whatever. The story still stands.)

      A boy and girl (both teens) get legally married in Nebraska. Then they go to Kansas and . But one of them is underage in Kansas so the DA starts criminal action. Now, does this make any sense? I think not.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin H

      How about taking into account choice and consent. If a youngster is rational and consenting and makes a decision to do something that the law might consider illegal – should we be prosecuting? The other issue is sexual relationships with adults – adults who are aware that a person is under age or has failed to ascertain the same should be prosecuted. However what about in cases where the young person has lied, perhaps even used extraordinary means to conceal their age? I think some kind of reasonable test needs to apply. When a kid approaches 16, 17, 18 and makes adult choices – and has made these over and over again – has demonstrated through their behavior that they are acting as adults who are we to say otherwise? So suddenly – poof the kid turns 19 or 20 and they're radically different. Boys don't become rational and fully developed until about 27 – girls mature at a slightly faster rate. So in some cases the power may be in the control of the girl, not the boy as we might traditionally think.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. HenryMiller

    "...only 19 states and Guam have some type of legislation that addresses teen "sexting.""

    As long as all the kids involved are cool with it, why should some idiot government get involved?

    And if any of the kids involved aren't cool with it, there are already laws covering the situation.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Henry, the issue is if sexting should be addressed in the remaining 31 states or not. Looking at your second paragraph, it appears you answer "yes." But looking at the third paragraph, your answer appears to be "no."

      Which is it? Yes or no?

      July 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grant23

      Cool with sending a nude pic to a friend is one thing, but that doesn't mean they are cool with having that pic distributed or uploaded. The laws you say are already in place to deal with it are not appropriate for the situation. Should a 15 year old girl who shows a pic of her nude boyfriend to other teenage girls *really* be labeled a sex offender? Nope. If she posts it on the internet, should she be penalized in some other way? Yep. That.... is what laws need to address.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DJCowboy

    Damn! I wish cellphones had cameras in them when I was in high school!! (not that anyone would have sent me nude pics anyway, would have still had to use the 56k modem to look at boobs😦

    July 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. KandyKane

    Last time I checked, if a kid is smart enough to figure out how to take the nude photo and text it to someone else, they're smart enough to make that choice themselves. Stop making this all about protecting kids who are old enough to know better. Heck, even my 9 year old knows not to let anybody see him naked or take pictures of him naked. If a 9 year old can figure at out, then so can a 17 year old.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      How old are you anyway? You must have done things in the past before you are mature. These are things kid do under peer pressure, and the certainly will grow up to regret. Doing nothing is not an option. It's adult's responsibility to guide them. What we have done now is give them tools to hurt themselves without providing instructions on how the tools are to be used.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • peterhawkins1

      The reality is that most high-schoolers have done it. Your little angel is not yet under the influence of a drug called hormones. That coupled with an expectation of privacy leads to sexting.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      OK. They should know better. Gotcha and agree. However, the question on the table is - what is the appropriate consequence?

      Consider a grade school kid. He knows he shouldn't lie but does. So what should the parent do? Should the child's head be chopped off? I hope not! That is not an appropriate consequence.

      There should be a consequence. We can agree on that. The issue is what consequence is appropriate. Punishing a 14 year old teen with "you can't have a decent job for your entire life" is far too severe IMHO.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • newsbarbara

        Hugo, this is Barbara Hall. I reported this story. You got it. This is exactly the issue many states are attempting to tackle. Yes, teens should know better. But if they made a bad decision, as teenagers often do, what is the appropriate consequence? As Pam Greenberg of the National Conference of State Legislatures so aptly stated in her January 2011 LegisBrief: The Vexing Problem of Sexting:

        "Kids are not always aware that, by sexting, they may be violating child pornography laws, which often carry felony penalties and can require registration as a sex offender. All 50 states have laws prohibiting the production, possession or distribution of images depicting sexually explicit activities involving a child. Many sexting cases, however, have extenuating circumstances and varying facts that parents, school officials, law enforcement officials and prosecutors must weigh when kids are discovered in such situations."

        So there is no easy answer.

        July 19, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
        • peterhawkins1

          Make it a misdemeanor when they are underage. Wow that was easy!

          July 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • peterhawkins1

        Don't forget the 20 each years for production, possession, & distribution for each picture. That's 60 years for each picture (in VA anyway). Send 10 pics of tits to your BF = 600 years hard time. Yeah OK.

        July 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kevin

    I agree that they need to change the laws. I think that sexting among minors should obviously be discouraged, but it shouldn't be illegal (and cause kids to wind up with criminal records) if the person who takes the picture of themselves and the recipient are both minors or at least within a certain number of years (to address the situation of a 17 year old dating an 18 year old or similar cases.) There should be some kind of statue in place to protect the people whose significant other decides to forward the picture to all of their friends with penalties being more reflective of harassment than of a sex crime. And I think it should remain illegal for a mature adult to solicited nude pictures from minors (once again, with the exception of a significant other that is very close in age.)

    Sexting can have negative consequences, but I think that a run through the legal system and a criminal record probably has more serious and longer-term negative consequences than the sexing itself most cases.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ichorrid

    Why is there a need for laws? How about you just hold the parents of the teens accountable. Or even better, let the teens learn their lesson on their own even if it has to be the hard way. Let these kids grow up. There's no need for Uncle Sam to hold their hands.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  16. OMG

    If sexting is child pornography, then an underage teen masturbating is committing child abuse.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vesstair

      And experimenting at band camp is (statutory) rape.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      In my state it's O.K. for a 60 year old man to bang a 16 year old. I love the laws. It's ok to sleep with them as long as you don't take any photos.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  17. quelle surprise

    yes...teens seeing each other naked is the problem and not the ignorant parents that don't explain sex to them...

    ahhhh...how long has it been since the US had a good moral panic on its hands? yup the sky is falling...

    July 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Bill

    We have too many laws on the books already. Don't need anymore.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Egad Bill, the proposal that you object to is for LESS law.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  19. AManley

    Where are the parents of all of these teens sending pictures? Do the parents not realize that because they bought the cell phone and more than likely it's on their plan, they can block the kids from sending the pictures and texts in the first place? If they don't know how to o it, then they need to ask their provider how. Parents need to be in control of these kids, not the law.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      AManley, OK... And what's your comment on the article?

      July 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  20. evan

    we need more laws! law and order law and order... those who disobey must be sentanced to death!

    July 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Sy2502

    It's not laws that are lagging, it's parental education. We teach kids everything they need to know about not talking to strangers, not taking rides from strangers, but we teach them nothing about the dangers and problems of new technology (cell phones, Internet, social media). I understand these things have taken society by storm in a relatively short time, and that many parents aren't themselves very familiar with it, but parents need to get themselves up to speed.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Sy2502, many laws say that a kid sending a topless photo of herself to her b/f makes her a sex offender. This is OK with you? Really?

      As for parenting, how can you possibly know what I've taught my children? Are you spying on me?

      In any event, how are parents supposed to get up to speed? Are you up to speed? (Are you ready to answer some questions to demonstrate you are actually up to speed?)

      July 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • bob

        If your child is stupid enough to take pictures of him/herself naked, they should be ready to deal with the fact that little Johnny or Little Suzy is going to forward it to all of his or her little pals. I think the shame is enough to keep them from doing it again. If not, send 'em to boot camp for supplying indecent photos of a minor.

        July 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Wyobob

    If you don't like it then don't do it. If you don't want you children doing it, don't give them a cell phone. Personally I think that they should outlaw any picture/text phones for anyone under 18.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Wyobob, what about that boy who scared off the sexual predator by sending streaming video of the predator to his mother? The predator fled once he realized what was happening.

      OK by you to have this boy end up as a victim? Or would you like to rethink that plan of yours?

      July 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ryan

        Hugo....what about the days before Cell phones were around? Kids still found ways to fight off predators. It's not like having a Cell phone is going to actually cause predators to think twice. I have to agree with wyboob. Kids don't "need" a cell phone. Just like they don't need an xbox or playstation.

        July 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
        • Hugo

          Ryan, Sarah Wood is presumed dead (and almost certainly is).

          July 19, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      @Wyobob...I guess you don't care much about personal freedoms. If you're so willing to take away the liberties of others then you better be ready to have yours taken away. There should be no law that makes the possesion of a picture illegal no matter how distasteful some may find it. If an adult is "producing" child p*rn then by all means prosecute it and put an end to it. But prosecuting for possesion is too slippery a slope and gives the "authorities" too much power.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Daremonai

    I think this highlights just how out of control our 'protect the children' laws have gotten. In the effort to protect kids from adults preying on them, we have made control over their own bodies illegal and natural urges life altering crimes.

    If interest (or even sex) with someone your own age can get you branded as a pedophile for the rest of your life.. something is very very wrong.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Daremonai
      Well said..
      A 17 year old sending a picture of herself to her 17 year old boy friend is NOT child p0rn0graphy.
      These people should be ashamed of themselves for trying to turn this into something it’s not, just to force their morals onto others.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ryan

        Actually Tom, the definition of Child p0rn is a nude picture of anyone under the age of 18 years old. So legally yes it's child p0rn. So are you saying that if a picure of a 14 year old who took a picture of herself or himself to send to their boy/girl friend and that picture ends up on a website then it's not child p0rn? You have to draw the line somewhere. Otherwise make it legal to take and view such pictures. You can't have your cake and eat it to.

        July 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
        • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

          @ Ryan
          Look how far you had to stretch to make your point. You lower the age, then add a ‘what if”, then you bring in this concept of having your cake and eating it to which doesn’t apply to anything I said. Your argument it pathetic. But I suppose you can try to twist anything to make a point right? Politicians and religious leaders do it all the time.

          July 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
        • Andy

          Actually Ryan, the definitiion of regular p*rn is ambiguous at best. The famous "I'll know it when I see it" quote shoud be enough to tell you that legislators have no business making laws that legislate morality or taste. You can see dozens and dozens of n*ked 14 year olds on most any beach outside the USA and that does not make you a peodophile. The only thing "dirty" that might be going on is what is playing out in that individual viewers mind. Though they may think otherwise, police & legislators can't read our minds, nor do they have any business attempting to do so.

          July 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
        • Hugo

          Ryan, I think we can agree that it's not desirable to have 14 year old children taking topless photos of themselves. Right?

          But does that action rise to the level of sexual predator crimes? If not, why punish them as if they are a sexual predator?

          On a different path, the basis of age of consent laws is that under a certain age, a child is unaware of the true nature of the act. So why is it a 14 year old kid should be treated like an adult when it comes to a topless photograph but shouldn't be treated like an adult when it comes to an act that could result in pregnancy?

          July 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Ego_Death

    another example of people trying to justify gov't over reach. all these laws will do is ruin peoples lives and prevent them from getting a job in the future. Its a personal liberty issue. Teens should be allowed to do wht they want. They know if they send a pic its going to get passed around. no reason to get the law involved.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • MICHAEL WHITE

      I agree and concur with you. I just don't think it should be illegal at all. If it were sold and distributed, that might be a different matter, but it would have to be as a unit and not just distributed from teen to teen. I don't see why a teen can't take nude photos of their own body. After all, it's their body!!

      July 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  25. not an authoratarian

    zlulz: so by your logic, anyone who takes a picture of their kids in the bathtub when they're babies should be locked up because they're manufacturing child porn.

    People with uptight attitudes like yours are the reason we have idiotic zero tolerance laws that get misapplied to teenagers in the first place.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • zlulz

      hmm lets see...pic of your kid in the bathtub for family album....or pic of you nude so your significant other can get off. CLEARLY there is no distinction there right?

      July 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Hugo

        zlulz, um... of course there's a distinction. The problem is that the "logic" you offered doesn't make room for such a distinction. You appear to be complaining about your inability to be clear to others and then blaming them... (sigh)

        July 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
        • zlulz

          what is so hard to grasp in understanding my logic? You asked for a distinction. I gave you one. People take bath photos of their kids and put them in family albums and not to get sexual pleasure out of. Sext are sent purely for sexual pleasure.

          I could care less about people sexting that are 18 and up. Those under 18 shouldn't have "special" laws made for them because a majority of the time those pictures end up on the internet where they are passed around as child porn.

          July 19, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  26. bob

    Americans have so many insecurities about their bodys, and taboos on sex

    Grow UP

    July 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • realitypolice

      Bravo. Glad someone had the common sense to post that. When will people realize that is not the sending of the photos that scars the teen- it's our shock and outrage that convinces them that they've done something horribly wrong and that they should be humiliated. And the idea of prosecuting them under child pornography laws is an atrocity, plain and simple.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Swearengen

        But face it – locking folks away ibn prision is good business in America. Why is it called sexting anyways? Nudity is not sex. I'm so glad I'm from and live in Canada – we are far more "grown up" when it comes to sex and nudity.

        July 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @ bob
      It’s not an American thing. In the Middle East they would k!ll you for something like this. It’s a conservative/religious thing.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  27. steveo

    I bet about 50% of people in general engage in this type of activity. All you have to do is look at reddit's 'gonewild' section to see how popular it is.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Vince

    This is what happens when you make idiotic laws in the first place. Child porn laws should not apply to teenagers. They are not kids! And they certainly should not apply to nudity! Nudity is not sex! Our prudishness has no bounds.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • zlulz

      You sound like a classic Pedo.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Hugo

        zlulz, exactly who were you addressing with the pronoun "you?"

        July 19, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • WNERVIS

      Agreed! Society wants to control desire, in general, and that desire is teethed in jealousy. Jealously and envy.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nathan

      Amen, brother.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Alex

    Instead of distributing child porn Allyson Pereira ought to be charged with felony stupidity. I know that teenagers are not the most fore thoughtful segment of the population but somethings should obvious, teenage boys brag and share their 'conquests'.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Njwvugrad

    Ummm...who cares, let the parents take care of it...I don't see why laws need to be made

    July 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Njwvugrad, the law is ALREADY made in many states. The complaint is the existing law is too Draconian with respect to texting.

      You say you want the parents to handle it but you state an opposition to changing a law that is preventing the parents from doing just what you propose.

      Eh?

      July 19, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Dingo

    Lets have another law, why not. Laws on top of laws on top of laws. Politicians want nothing more than to have thier name in the media. If your going into LAW as a profession, please take a step back and look at your choice cuz its one of the most ethically void professions you can acheive.....Lie lie liem etc.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Dingo, what do you propose? When the U.S. was founded we didn't have any laws regarding automobiles because we didn't have any. Do you propose that we shouldn't have added laws about traffic speed, driving on the right, having traffic signals, etc? If not, what is it that you are proposing?

      July 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  32. zlulz

    Why exactly do laws have to catch up with sexting? Is CNN now pro child porn?

    July 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • lemon

      "Why exactly do laws have to catch up with sexting? Is CNN now pro child porn?"

      No duma&&, its preventing kids from getting prosecuted by sending pics of themselves to someone their own age.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • zlulz

        @lemon, so by your logic, its okay for kids to send and spread child porn. Good job you pedo.

        July 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
        • Hugo

          zlulz, I think what lemon means is that kids are being prosecuted under laws where it's not at all the people who wrote and voted upon the law considered the possibility of sexting. Do you have any evidence that the legislatures who haven't updated the laws, when the law was being debated, considered the issue of sexting? (That's a yes or a no. If yes, please produce the evidence. If you produce the evidence, you'll find that I agree with for whichever state(s) you produce said evidence).

          July 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      zlulz, why? Because many state legislatures have not yet addressed a situation that didn't exist at the time the laws were passed.

      If a state wants to decide sexting is illegal, so be it. But they should actually decide it instead of pretending it doesn't exist. Right?

      July 19, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • zlulz

        Jesus you guys are stupid. What is child porn – nude pics of people under the age of 18. Please explain to me the difference between "sexting" and actually printing out the photo and handing it to someone or posting it on the internet. The only difference here is that this is a new technological medium for child porn to be transferred over...

        July 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
        • Andy

          @zlulz...Your name says a lot about your intelligence. Your simplistic comments say even more. You literally call anyone not offended by a nude person under the age of 18 a pedo. I generally don't engage in name calling, but you sir/ma'am are a moron.

          July 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
        • Hugo

          zlulz, you can claim that's *the* definition but can you produce any evidence to support that claim?

          In any event, you failed to actually answer the direct questions I posed to you. (Perhaps you should demonstrate you can answer questions before you call people stupid.)

          July 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Andy

        @Hugo...Don't bother trying to engage zlulz in intelligent discourse.

        July 19, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  33. DoubleEM

    We are becoming a nation of unsecured people.
    The sooner we can realize that common sense is > than individual man opinions – the better.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Couple things wrong with your statement.
      1.There is no such thing as common sense.
      2.What does: individual man opinion mean? Personal freedom?

      July 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |