phones are designed to take photos, and send and receive information at
the touch of a button, but sometimes, people don't stop to think of the
consequences, which could be devastating to your career, your future
and even your freedom.
Everyone remembers Brett Favre for his
on-field heroics. But his career was later marred with allegations of
sending sexually explicit images to a female sideline reporter.
recently, the nation watched as Rep. Anthony Weiner's career unraveled
after admitting to tweeting sexual photos to several women.
"I am deeply sorry for the pain I have caused to my wife," Weiner said in a press conference after the admission.
But a study by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy says sexting is a growing problem among teens.
The findings show 1 in 5 between the ages of 13 and 19 have sent or posted nude or semi-nude photos or video of themselves.
That number jumps to 1 in 3 between the ages of 20 and 26.
a real danger in the immaturity of a teenager or a preteen combined
with all the sexual charged atmosphere of our culture," said Marnie
Ferree, sex addiction therapist at Bethsda Workshops.
the average age of exposure to internet pornography is 6. And
computers and mobile devices are making it easier for kids to start down
a frightening path.
"Technology is the great accelerator for
sexual addiction," Ferree said. "Clinically, we call the internet the
crack cocaine of sex addiction."
She said even a single photo or online post could lead to a serious problem.
know one might think, well I'm just sending this message or photo to or
making this comment to someone I know, it can get re-tweeted or shared
widely and the cat's out of the bag," Ferree said.
picture gets up there, there is no way to assure that it s ever going to
completely go away," said Steve Kozy President of the Software
Cozy said all it takes is a simple "right click, save as" and the image is out of your control.
are adult websites that have different names called my ex-girlfriend
and guys love posting pictures up there," Kozy said. "They are all over
Sending and receiving inappropriate messages can not only create an embarrassing problem, it can also land you behind bars.
could potentially put yourself in a situation where you d have to
register as a sex offender," said Rick Dumas, criminal defense attorney.
sexting between two minors could lead to a felony because its illegal
for any person regardless of age to possess images of a minor engaged in
"I think it is kind of uncharted territory there s not really a statute on point right now," Dumas said.
Tennessee legal code says it's also illegal for an adult to send
explicit images to a minor, even if a sexual relationship between the
two is perfectly legal.
"For instance a 20 year old and a 16 year
old can have sexual relations, it's not against the law," Dumas said.
"But as far as texting goes, it s either adult or minor."
Kozy said there s also a danger when pedophiles pose as kids online to encourage actual teens to send them sexual images.
you have to do is have pictures of a 15-year old girl that you want to
be," Kozy said. "You're not asked for any information but e-mail
address, make a password. You can be whoever you want to be."
Ferree said smart phones can be great tools but if misused could open a gateway to a dangerous future.
"We're handing them a very opportunity to in some ways destroy their lives," Ferree said.
Thursday, July 14 2011, 11:34 PM CDT
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