The Danger of Sexting

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THE DANGERS OF SEXTING
Before we can get into the dangers of
Sexting, let‟s make sure you really
know what this is. According to
Wikipedia, Sexting is , “the act of
sending sexually explicit messages or
photographs, primarily between mobile
phones.”

Most people aren‟t aware of the
dangers really involved when sending
a sexually explicit picture through
their phone or the Internet. Over the
past several years, the number of
people Sexting has increased while
the ages of those people creating the
sexually explicit images and videos
have decreased. Take a look at an
example provided by PEOPLE
magazine in 2009:

“On a typical day Ben Hunt
and his best friend John Eicher,
both 14, send each other about
a dozen routine text messages.
But on Jan. 15, while at school,
Hunt sent Eicher something on
his cell phone that suddenly put
their futures in peril: a photo of
a girl in their class exposing a
breast. Eicher didn‟t see it as a
big deal. „I really didn‟t think of
deleting it,‟ says Eicher, an
eighth grader who at the same
time attended the Lawrence
School in Falmouth, Mass., with
Hunt. „I was, like, whatever.‟

PAGE 1

But school officials, alerted
to the photo by two students
sprang into action. They seized
Hunt‟s phone, and the police
arrived. It turned out the photo
had been taken by another
make student of his 13-year-old
girlfriend, who had allegedly
posed for the shot. The fact that
both boys had received the
picture unsolicited, and that
Eicher had done nothing more
than open the file, didn‟t matter.
To the shock of the boys and
their families, authorities initially
said
they
were
weighing
whether to charge the teens and
four other boys who had
received
the
photo
with
trafficking in child pornography,
meaning they could face jail
time and having to register as
sex offenders.”

The dangers of Sexting aren‟t always
well known and when you find out
about them, it may be too late. That is
why it is important to get in the know-

THE DANGERS OF SEXTING
how now. Sexting is something that is
being taken very seriously and in
order to combat the negativity that
comes from Sexting, law enforcement
officials around the nation are taking
the necessary steps to prevent these
situations from happening in the
future.

The consequences of Sexting are
severe and could either ruin a
reputation or a life. Look at this next
example, provided by Today at
msnbc.com, of a girl who sent a
naked picture of herself over her
phone:

“Hope Witsell was just
beginning the journey from
child to teen. The middleschool student had a tight-knit
group of friends, the requisite
poster of “Twilight” heartthrob
Robert Pattinson and big plans
to become a landscaper when
she grew up.
But one impetuous move
robbed Hope of her childhood,
and eventually, her life. The 13year-old Florida girl sent a topless photo of herself to a
boy in hope of gaining his
attention. Instead, she got the
attention of her school, as well
as the high school nearby.

PAGE 2

The
incessant
bullying by
classmates
that
followed
when the
photo
spread put
an
emotional
weight
upon Hope that she ultimately
could not bear.
Hope
Witsell
hanged
herself in her bedroom 11
weeks ago [2009].”

What happened to Hope is sadly a
recurring theme among the youth of
today. That is why it is so important to
know how to prevent Sexting and
what to do if a “sext” is ever received.
The first, and probably most
important, step in seeing if your child
is experiencing some online drama is
by starting a dialogue between you
and
your
child.
NetSmartz.org
recommends asking questions like,
“Have you ever sent or received a
sexual message or naked picture on
your phone?” This is a good first step,
but it is also important to let your kids
know what to do if they ever come
across content like this. Follow these
guidelines, from NetSmartz.org, to
keep your kids safer...
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