It’s not surprising to know that as many as 39% of teenagers freely admit to a sexting while 51% of teenage girls said that they had been coerced to send explicit photos of themselves to strangers.
Not only teens are sexting, they are also viewing inappropriate content online, challenging the need for parents to monitor their activities on IM apps such as Kik, Line, Whatsapp, Viber, Facebook and Snapchat which have proven to serve as key media for sexting among teens.
What is Sexting?
”Sexting is the sending or receiving of sexually explicit messages, photos or videos on mobile devices”.
Why Kids Sext?
As teenage is a time for great physical changes, there are many body and self-image issues in the teens which are often easy to exploit. Sexting examples where teen boys pressurize girls to prove that their bodies are ‘hot’ and guys are exploited into proving they are ‘man’ enough.
Some do it to show their commitment in a relationship and so do it satisfy their overflowing hormones, and sexting apps often provide an ideal environment to encourage such activities.
The Consequences of Teenage Sexting
The world is just a global village now, with technology growing stronger and distances minimizing. Information once released is no longer contained with forwarding to huge audiences being the key event of audiences any social media find. Owing to sexting, many naked images shared by teens have floated and gone viral in states which are humiliating for the victim, and result in public shaming and bullying.
Teenage is the key time in your child’s personality development hence such incidents can render a teen socially incompetent. Not only that but it can damage reputations which could destroy the professional development of your teen.
Should Sexting be Legal for Teens?
The question is quite easy to answer for me at least even though the courts have been slow to pass sexting laws related. Teenage is a time of increased confidence and grandeur, considering themselves invincible teenagers often make rash decisions that they regret later.
Hence, sexting should be illegal for teens as we have observed how private photos have leaked out and made their way like wildfire over the internet especially shared via Snapchat.
Sexting Law for Minors: Is It against the Law to Sext?
The sexting laws have been passed, even though they are slow and variable from one state to another state and target different age groups. Connecticut has sexting laws that target teens, whereas Louisiana laws enforce that everyone under 17 isn’t allowed to send or keep explicit photographs.
In Texas, “it is illegal for one minor to electronically send an image of someone younger than 18 years old to another minor; this includes images of the sender, recipient, or another underage person”.
Many bills have been passed to decrease the massive rise in sexting including one passed in the Kansas Senate, SB 391. This makes minors transferring nude photos of other minors a misdemeanor offense if the offender is 19 years of age or younger.
This bill was passed to discourage teenagers from sharing explicit photos of each other. For now, it is possible to receive a criminal record if found sharing intimate images of each other as well as to be on a list with the Disclosure and Barring services (DBS)
How to Stop Teenage Sexting Addiction?
The only way to prevent a problem is to find out the root cause and eliminate it. The best way to get started is bridging the communication gap and making it easy for your child to talk about any and everything that is troubling him, no matter how awkward it is.
1. Talk about It before It Happens!
I know EVERY parent just dreads having the sex talk with their kids, I mean we haven’t even broken the ice on that topic yet and now it’s sexting that needs to be talked about? Geez, as awkward as it sounds it’s not worth delaying it, as it’s better to warn your child before something actually happens.
2. Explain the consequences
Once your teens, it is no longer your private property, it’s been made public. Explain the fact that an image once sent can’t be retrieved and it becomes a property of the recipient who can choose whatever he wants to do with it. One touch and the image can be broadcasted to millions of viewers causing extreme embarrassment to the sender.
3. Tell Teens that Sexting gives a Chance to Bullies
There are plenty of perverts and bullies out there, and it’s necessary to identify that such people won’t stop once in possession of compromising images. The social humiliation that such people can subject your teen too is much worse than any social pressure on them to send sexting messages.
4. Make the change you want to see
Sick of all the vicious images you’ve seen floating around your school/college? End the cycle, now. Delete any objectionable content you receive and tell your friends to do the same. You can now be a part of the solution rather than be a part of a problem.
They are Not Communicating, Now What?
You may be looking for ways to deal with sexting and lowering the risks to your teen. As a parent, you have the right to know what’s happening around. What your teen is doing on internet and cell phone. Because you have a reason to do so as you want to do for them.
Resource that can help Parents
- MobiStealth – a parental monitoring service that helps parents block unwanted activities, monitor sexting messages, apps installed, iMessage and internet browsing that teen doing on phones and tablets at $7.55/ per month.
- Mobicip – an advance cloud based content filtering parental control software and an alternative to Safari browser gives your school-age child a secure browsing experience available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Windows, Android, Chromebook, Mac, and Kindle Fire for $39.99/per year.
- Phonesheriff – Free parental control software that enables parents to block pornography, view social media activities, set multi-device time limits for games and apps.
- mSpy – Child monitoring software gives parents access to kids phones, tablets, computers remotely in an online control panel. Just install into your kids’ devices, and monitor Facebook messages, Whatsapp, SnapChat, Tinder, MMS, texts, calls, location, videos, and photos LIVE!
Fear no more, mSpy is your one stop solution to the sexting problem.