Once You Click Send...
It's Out of Your Hands!
Think Before You Click!
When you put information out on the internet or send a text message you never know for sure who will see it. One simple Facebook status or a text message could end up harming your future. You need to think before you click!
Information Spreads Quickly!
What Is Sexting?
Sexting is the exchange of sexually suggestive messages or images between minors via cell phone.
A girl might take a sexually suggestive picture of herself and send it to her boyfriend. Her boyfriend may forward the picture to one or two friends, who then decide to forward the picture to others. In this way, the girl’s picture could travel all over the Web, amassing countless viewers in a very short period of time. When teens sext, they may not think about the consequences of their images becoming public. If an image surfaces at school, its creator and anyone caught distributing or possessing it may face removal from athletic teams, student groups, loss of privileges and may face suspension. Unfortunately, sexting images can easily follow teens, victimizing them again. Sexting photos may even resurface years later during online searches by college admissions officers, employers, friends, and significant others. The images may also find their way into the hands of online sexual predators and be passed around for years after the teen has become an adult.
How to Avoid Sexting, but Still Build a Relationship
Ways to Avoid Sexting
- Use humor: “Ha Ha! Real funny!”
- Stress your discomfort: “I’m way too uncomfortable doing that.”
- Emphasize feelings: “If you really cared for me, you wouldn’t ask me to do that.”
- Change the subject: “Um, let’s do something else, okay?”
- Write a text or IM telling the person you are thinking of him or her.
- Plan a special date, then text your partner clues about what it might be, and when and where you should meet.
- Spend time online together, but only share really private stuff when you are together in person.
Sexting and the Law
In most cases, sexting is illegal. This is because many states have laws that prohibit sending or receiving sexual images of minors (usually under 18). Some states have even prosecuted teens for child pornography or felony obscenity, and as a result, many of these teens are now on a list of registered sex offenders. When you sext, you put both the recipient and yourself at risk. That’s because even if someone receives an unsolicited sext, that person can still face charges of child pornography.
Note: Sexting does not include situations in which young people are coerced or blackmailed into sending sexually explicit images of themselves to adults. These adults are predators and the incident should be reported to law enforcement immediately.