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8/18/2009

Sex and Pictures

Sexting? Sending each other naked and/or pornographic pictures on their cell phones? Is that what kids are REALLY doing?

There was a report on Chicago television last night that says, essentially, that's exactly what they're doing.

The thing is this - if the 'sexting' involves pictures of someone under 18 years of age, they could be arrested - both senders AND recipients - and, at the very least, become REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS!!

Our kids!!! Sex offenders?? SEX OFFENDERS!!!!

Does this bother anybody but me?

Discipline? Absolutely.

Punishment? Absolutely.

Register as sex offenders? Not on your life.

Yes, kids make stupid choices. If they did everything right, they wouldn't be kids. No, they're not supposed to be experimenting. No, they're not supposed to be sexually active. But are they? Do they? Damn skippy they do. Just like we did when we were kids. (Okay, so some of us kept ourselves to ourselves and made it to adulthood before we 'experimented'; before we became 'active'. SOME of us.) The point is, are our kids 'Sexual Predators'? Do they deserve to be Registered Sex Offenders - a stigma which never goes away?

If, like me, the prospect of this bothers you - if, like me, you don't think it's appropriate to register KIDS as Sex Offenders - what do we do about it?

Ndinombethe.

27 comments:

Myst_72 said...

It's pretty scary that young girls feel the need to 'display' themselves in such a way.

No, I don't think they need to be registered as sex offenders, but what to do about it?
I have no idea.
Maybe by removing the photo sending options from their phones...but then there is always the internet.....

G
xx

Jientje said...

What a scary thought. SOMEthing needs to be done about that, I agree. That "label" is way too heavy for kids playing silly games.

moneythoughts said...

This comes out of the mind set of "zero tolerance" and other such idiot like applications of the human brain. I wonder if it is native to the States, or, whether there are such idiots in other countries as well. I am sure this is something we could find in other lands, though perhaps not directly involving sex.

Remember expelling a little girl from school for bringing a plastic knife to spread peanut butter on her crackers? Yes, that kind of stuff happened under "zero tolerance".

You must remember that laws have to be applied with common sense, and common sense is not always that common. Police are hard wired differently that the civilian population. Legislators will have to change the law when it comes to kids sending pictures of themselves or friends on a cell phone. Otherwise, we will become a nation of sex offenders.

Employee No. 3699 said...

I love that you said 'damn skippy'!

This is the first I've heard of this. Children should absolutely not be registered as Sex Offenders just because they did something stupid. That just seem ludicrous to me.

Ashlie- Mommycosm said...

I have teenaged nephews who are complete boneheads. I could totally see them getting busted with pix of their underage friends.

I think it's a bit harsh, personally. There should be punishment and consequences, but not in the form of being a registered sex offender. Not sure of the answer though.

Maggie's Mind said...

The same kind of thing has happened with high school kids dating when one is a couple years older, and they have sex, and her parents press charges. There have been so many news stories on it. Their lives ruined, labeled a sex offender and all of the complications that go along with it (making it harder to find a place to live, get jobs, etc.). It amazes me that we aren't smart enough to have some common sense. I've heard some states at least have an age difference factor instead of hard and fast (no pun) age laws to deal with the above problem. Unfortunately, sexting doesn't have that kind of common sense loophole and, at least for now and probably for way too long, just adds another way for kids to wind up in unnecessary trouble that follows them forever with a stigma that doesn't even fit. Sad, really. As you said, punishment of some sort, sure. Ruined life over being not all that untypical of a teen? Harsh.

Dawn Royer Photography said...

wow!! I think that is a little to harsh for the teens to be registered as sex offenders. I think that should be some kind of punishment but NOT registered sex offenders. It also doesn't help when the so called teen celebrities that kids look up to are doing it! How many times have we seen pictures of Miley Cirus, Vanessa Hudgens and I'm sure many more....from their private phone pictures being sent around the internet! How do kids today do it and not be afraid that their picture will be sent around??

Shadow said...

we received a similar 'warning' from the bean's school, to be on the look-out for this kinda stuff. so yeah, i guess it is happening...

Jac said...

I hate the idea of making kids sex offenders. Kids do stupid things by nature; that's why they are kids. They make mistakes, they learn from them.

Now I think sexting is ridiculous. And I think they should be punished. But not in a way that will follow them for the rest of their lives.

We have a neighbor who is a sex offender, and in my opinion should not be. He is 26, when he was 19 he had sex with his 16 year old girlfriend... her mom got mad at him, called the cops. They got married two years later; and have three kids. Yet, he's a sex offender because of the one situation. I think it's absurd and unfortunate.

Casdok said...

Sounds compleatly OTT. But not sure what could be done. Difficult one.

CaraBee said...

This sort of stuff scares the bejeezus out of me. The thought of my baby girl sending pictures of her girlybits to someone? SHUDDER. How do they police that anyway? Someone would have to turn them in to be caught. Unless there is now some agency monitoring cell phone pictures, in which case, can you say 1984? But I digress. No way, no how should kids be labeled as sex offenders for this. That is just plain ridiculous. What do we do? Find out the legislation and write/call our legislators about it. And keep our eyes open for any new laws they try to pass. Oh yeah, and keep a f*&%ing eye on our children, because ultimately who's responsibility is this??

Hyphen Mama said...

It's unfortunate that legislation can't use common sense. Like Fred said, Zero Tolerance gets a lot of innocent people into a pickle.

When I was in high school, I was 15 and my boyfriend was 17. At the point he turned 18, my parents could have done all kinds of things to ruin his life. I'm lucky they loved him and didn't. Can you imagine if he were a registered sex offender today because of a legit relationship way back then?

Is sexting ever appropriate? Yes, when one is 37 years old and their husband lives in another state... it is appropriate. And I really really hope nobody is watching.

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

I hadn't heard sexting could lead to a sex offender status. I'll have to stop doing that.

Kidding!

If it's a creepy person sending naked pictures of himself/herself as a way of electronically flashing someone, if you will, then that might be something for the courts to look into. Sending naked photos of others might be bad news, too, but if the sender and receiver are willing participants, then I think it gets fuzzy pretty quickly about what you can tell people they can and can't do. As Carabee mentioned, who wants their kids sending naked photos of themselves to someone who could be a predator, so you have to know who your kids are hanging with.

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

I hadn't heard sexting could lead to a sex offender status. I'll have to stop doing that.

Kidding!

If it's a creepy person sending naked pictures of himself/herself as a way of electronically flashing someone, if you will, then that might be something for the courts to look into. Sending naked photos of others might be bad news, too, but if the sender and receiver are willing participants, then I think it gets fuzzy pretty quickly about what you can tell people they can and can't do. As Carabee mentioned, who wants their kids sending naked photos of themselves to someone who could be a predator, so you have to know who your kids are hanging with.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

What bothers me about this is that we seem to have become an over-reactive society. So-and-so teacher hugged my child and it upset him so now no teachers are allowed to hug any of the children. That kind of over-reactive B.S. I have no problem with putting them on probation or something to scare the bejeezus out of them for doing it. But ruining their good names for the rest of their lives because of a teenage impulse to see the naked body part of another? Totally wrong.

Tara R. said...

I think at least two kids have already been convicted and are required to register. I've thought for a while that there should be levels of offender status.

These kids are definitely not on the same level as truly heinous pedophiles.

Loraine said...

As disturbing as it is, I think the sex offender thing goes a big step too far.

But I do fear for the self- esteem of our kids and the pressure that drives them to do it in the first place.

Joyce-Anne said...

You are right, kids are kids. They do stupid and dumb things. But, are they sex offenders, no.

Joyce-Anne said...

I also shudder at the thought that in a few short years, my 8 year old daughter might be tempted (and possibly pressured) into doing the same thing...

Zoeyjane said...

Like Maggie, I think the door for this was opened the first time a judge set the precedence that an 18 year old could be charged with stat rape for sleeping with his 15 year old girlfriend. Laws. Most of them are quite silly.

LceeL said...

Myst_72: There is always an avenue for mischief.

Jientje: I agree.

Moneythoughts: Frightening thought.

Employee: As to me.

Ashlie: I don't know, either.

Maggie's Mind: I agree. Very harsh.

Dawn: I don't know.

Shadow: It is definitely happening.

Jac: Truly so, Jac.

Casdok: I don't have an answer, either.

CaraBee: Yes - where DOES that responsibility lie?

Hyphen Mama: I am SO jealous.

HollyATOM: Yes- know who they're with.

Coal miner's Daughter: I agree. totally wrong.

Tara R: True, Tara. So veery true.

Loraine: Pressure - so bad for kids.

Joyce-Anne: Agreed, Joyce-Anne.

Zoeyjane: Silly. That's one word for it - but somehow not strong enough.

MissyBoo said...

It's not just kids either! It would mean anyone could be registered - though more particularly disturbing when it is kids!

I'm with you this is way too extreme!

Heather said...

I think this is a little ridiculous. Personally, I think that is WAY too harsh. We've all done a few things that we shouldn't with social media/cell phones/video cameras/ digital cameras.

Its the day and age, and as scary as it is, it's only getting worse. I'm not sure WHAT their punishment should be, but IMO, it's not really the law's place. It's the parents of the kid who is sexting.

*shakes head* I have no idea. Just no sex offender registry for some teens who will be ruined for their entire life! These are harsher than a teen getting caught driving drunk which could KILL SOMEONE.

Food for thought.

NicoleB said...

The world is getting really ridiculous in that regard I think.
Oh boy..... :(

Honeybell said...

Weighing in a little late . . .


The thing that bothers me the most about that is the title SEX OFFENDER needs to mean something. It shouldn't be diluted with things like this. Sending nudie pics to a boyfriend (as long as BOTH parties are minors)is NOT a crime in my opinion. It's stupid, but not criminal.

If I found out something like this was going on with my teen? Just like anything else. Call the parents. Take away the phone. Ground him for a while. Most importantly I would TALK TO MY KID.

Miss Ash said...

Oh now... this hits a nerve.
I've heard about this-- and it makes me crazy. What has our "system" become?

It's certainly not a "justice" system; there's nothing "just" about labeling a child a sex offender for being... a child!
Now, if you've got someone who is over the age of 21 "sexting" a child who is under the age of 16... well, that's MAYBE a little different. But not necessarily.

Karen said...

My 16 year old nephew did that--he sent a photo of his penis to a co-worker at his hardware store job. And then they showed it to a female co-worker. Both of them got fired. They should have gotten fired. But then my dumb butt nephew went in and threatened the boss, and got arrested for THAT. I'm glad he is not my son.