Should Teen Sexting Be Decriminalized?

Filed under: Teen Culture


Sexting is a crime in most states. Credit: Corbis

A teenager sending nude photos to another teenager is considered a sex crime in most states. Because of child pornography laws, a 15-year-old who stupidly sends a picture of their privates to a "friend with benefits" could wind up on sex offender list for life.

Some think the current punishment for sexting is too extreme. A bill is being considered in Florida that would make a teen's first sexting offense "a non-criminal threat." A similar bill just passed in New Jersey; judges can now send offending teens to education programs instead of prison.

Even Texas, a state not known for being soft on crime, made some changes to their sex crimes laws in order to reflect modern technology.

Clearly, the rise of teen sexting is a problem. It is certainly poor judgment and should not be handled lightly. But, should courts treat teens who commit this dumb act the same way they treat child pornographers?

What do you think? Should teen sexting be decriminalized? Or should the law remain -- one strike and you're out?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.