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Adult and Teen Sexting: News and Articles

Updated/Revised Date: 19th Sep 2022
Author: Sexual Diversity | Contact:
Additional References: Sexting Publications

Synopsis: Information regarding the mainly teen trend of sexting text and nude pictures to one another and the possible consequences of being charged with child pornography.



Sexting is sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs, or videos, primarily between mobile phones. It may also include the use of a computer or any digital device. The term was first popularized early in the 21st century and is a portmanteau of sex and texting, where the latter is meant in the broad sense of sending a text, possibly with images. Sexting is the act of text messaging someone in the hopes of having a sexual encounter with them later, initially casual, transitioning into highly suggestive and even sexually explicit. The term is used by adults who are out of the loop and not by the individuals sending the messages. While it may be shocking, the practice of "sexting" - sending nude pictures via text message - is not unusual, especially for teens and high schoolers worldwide. Roughly 20 percent of teens admit to participating in "sexting," according to a nationwide survey by the National Campaign to Support Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

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These days, the disturbing new trend in teenage flirting is sending nude or semi-nude photos from cell phone to cell phone: instead of "texting," they call it called "sexting." Sexting (sex and texting) is the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically, primarily between cell phones and chat rooms.

Three teenage girls who allegedly sent nude or semi-nude cell phone pictures of themselves, and three male classmates in a western Pennsylvania high school who received them, have been charged with child pornography.

"This is a serious felony. They could be facing many years in prison," CBS News legal analyst Lisa Bloom said of the six teens in Pennsylvania.

Teenagers are saying the media is making sexting out to be something so horrible that all kids could face sexual assault charges when it is all done in fun. However, news reports increasingly document legal repercussions after indecent photos appear online. And attorneys say there are many unanswered questions about whether young people who send their photos could face prosecution for obscenity.

Sexting doesn't stop with teenagers. Young adults are even more likely to have sexted; one-third of them said they had been involved in sexting, compared with about one-quarter of teenagers. The dangerous combination of teenagers behaving provocatively and impulsively is not new, but the accessibility to technology is. With cell phone cameras, they have been handed a tool so easy to use for some that it's impossible to pass up.

Criminal charges aren't the worst consequences. In at least two cases, sexting has been linked to suicide. Last year in Cincinnati, 18-year-old Jessica Logan hanged herself after weeks of ridicule at school; she had sent a nude cell phone picture to her boyfriend, and after they broke up, he forwarded the picture to other girls.

In another incident, 13-year-old Hope Witsell hanged herself after relentless taunting at her school near Tampa, Fla. She had sent a nude photo of herself to a boy she liked, and another girl used his phone to send the picture to other students who forwarded it along. The St. Petersburg Times first reported on Hope's death this week.

"There's the invincibility factor that young people feel," said Kathleen Bogle, a sociology professor at La Salle University in Philadelphia and author of the book "Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus."

In Rochester, N.Y., a 16-year-old boy is now facing up to seven years in prison for forwarding a nude photo of a 15-year-old girlfriend to his friends. If your children have sent nude pictures of themselves, make sure they stop immediately. Explain that they risk being charged with producing and distributing child pornography. If they've received a nude photo, ensure they haven't sent it to anyone else.

Sexting and pornography or music video viewing among adolescents: Is there a link?

Are adolescents who view pornography or music videos more likely to engage in sexting, in which they share sexually explicit content via text, photo, or video using cell phones, email, or social networking sites? A study of the media consumption and sexting behavior of more than 300 teens is published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers.

In "The Associations Between Adolescents' Consumption of Pornography and Music Videos and Their Sexting Behavior," authors Joris Van Ouytsel, MSc, Koen Ponnet, Ph.D., and Michel Walrave, Ph.D., University of Antwerp, Belgium, determined whether viewing pornography or watching music videos was predictive of sexting among adolescents, involving sending or receiving sexually explicit text messages, pictures, or videos. They found a statistically significant link between pornography and sexting for both boys and girls.

"The results found in this study may be useful to consider during both prevention and treatment," says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, Ph.D., MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California, and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium.

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Latest Sexting Publications

The above information is from our reference library of material relating to Sexting that includes:

Sexting Frequency Estimates by Youth Under 18 Years of Age thumbnail image.
Research reveals sizable number of people under 18 engage in sexting, electronically sharing sexually explicit material, with estimated 1 in 7 sending sexts and 1 in 4 receiving them.
Publish Date: 26th Feb 2018 - Updated: 16th Mar 2018
Teenagers Still Sexting Naked Selfies to Each Other thumbnail image.
New study confirms substantial numbers of teens are sending and receiving explicit sexual images via cellphones.
Publish Date: 8th Oct 2014 - Updated: 27th Nov 2014
Teens: Hormones, Sexting, and Cellphones thumbnail image.
Study results show sexting may precede sexual intercourse and creates the idea sexting behavior is a credible sign of teenage sexual activity.
Publish Date: 6th Oct 2014 - Updated: 12th Nov 2016

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• (APA): (2022, September 19). Adult and Teen Sexting: News and Articles. Retrieved September 23, 2023 from

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