Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sexting and Internet Porn

Teenagers are changing Internet porn, and that’s a fact. The days of airbrushed, big-breasted models showing some skin are rapidly coming to an end in favor of teen girls who take pictures of themselves and send the pictures to their boyfriends or upload them to the Net themselves. The problem is, these girls are young.

Scenario 1: Two high school students are dating, and they are sexually active. The male convinces the female to send him nude photos of herself or to allow him to snap a few pics of them having sex, which she agrees to. If you think for a second that those pictures aren’t getting distributed to several sites once the relationship ends, I have beachfront property in Iowa you may be interested in purchasing.

Scenario 2: High school girl has a nice body and simply loves attention, so she takes a slew of sexy pictures of herself and freely gives them to anyone interested. Of course, these pictures are going to get distributed on the Net at the speed of lightning, and now we have our issue. You don’t have to visit porn sites to know that these girls are taking less-than-acceptable pictures of themselves and sharing them.

So now, we have a rash of fourteen to seventeen-year-old girls who have explicit pictures of themselves all over the Internet. Should this be considered child porn? Taking or collecting pictures of extremely young girls or boys (we’ll say ages 0-twelve, just for the sake of this post) specifically for enjoyment is child porn. But there is a big difference between a naked nine-year-old and a naked fifteen-year-old. Many of these girls don’t even include their faces in these photos, and their bodies look exactly like the bodies of nineteen-year-old girls. Therefore, it’s virtually impossible to tell the difference between an eighteen-year-old girl and a sixteen-year-old girl when looking at their nude pics. You can’t exactly demand identification from an Internet image.

So, how should this be handled? I know the phenomena of sexting and children has been addressed by the law, at least in some places, but that isn’t going to stop these high-school kids from sending nude pictures or uploading them onto various sites. It’s something that will need to be dealt with, and soon. While I don’t believe, necessarily, that looking at the breasts of a sixteen-year-old girl who has uploaded images of herself should be classified as child porn, there’s a reason people over eighteen cannot have sexual relations with people under eighteen. So, what is it then, exactly?

I’m not talking about morally here, either; we all know that checking out pictures of a high-school girl who has posed nude rubs us the wrong way. I’m talking legally and logically, mostly: what should these pictures be classified as? They weren’t taken without consent or under duress or even illegally, because the girls are all too happy to take their iPhone into the bathroom with them and snap sexy photos, either for their boyfriends or with the intent to upload them to the Web.

Sexting isn’t going away, either. As long as pretty girls have camera phones, they’ll be taking nude pictures of themselves and sending them off. Boys do it, too, but I’d be willing to bet that the large majority of women aren’t scouring the Internet for pictures of erect penises. Just saying.

What are your thoughts?

7 comments:

Dahkness said...

Legally speaking, girls have been charged with distribution of child pron in the past for distributing pics of themselves, even just to their boyfriends. It's the wonky area of sex offender laws: two teens caught having sex can find themselves branded as sex offenders the same as a 50 yr old man caught with a teen. Under the law, there is no difference, both had sex with a minor. However, everyone but the 50 yr old that got caught would see his situation as far worse than the two teens.

Amberr Meadows said...

My daughter is 5. I really dread the teen years. I would have a heart attack if she turned up naked on the net.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Possibly this is one argument for why kids shouldn't have phones. When I was this age, if I spoke on the phone, it was in the hallway - where my parents could hear everything I said. If I was on the coomputer - it was in the living room where my parents could SEE everything I did.

Two interesting points:

1. Age of consent in most places in Australia is 16. No idea why we elected to make it younger than you guys.

2. We have new laws for child porn that haven't been tested. Basically, if it's a nude photo of someone under 16, it;s child porn. If you receive child porn, you are guilty of a crime - even if you didn't want it and couldn't have prevented it being sent to you. As I said, these laws haven't been tested yet in the courts. Obviously there are likely to be a few issues with them because how do you STOP someone sending you photos?

Derek Odom said...

That is so interesting, Ciara! It will be fascinating to see how those laws mutate and change with necessity. 16, eh? 'oly 'ell.

Thank, Q said...

I think that more should be done by the phone companies to assist in stopping teen sexting. Maybe have an option on a minor's account that emails the parents every time a photo is sent or received from the teen's phone.

Unknown said...

Thats a great idea Thank Q. That option, and a gps tracking option for minor's phone accounts would be helpful to a ton of parents. Without that I would be left with only option "B".. which is screaming, "WHAT THE FU@K ARE YOU THINKING YOU STUPID B!TCH!!!" Which I'm sure has already been tested, and probably had a pretty low success rate. :)

Thank, Q said...

LOL @ Unknown!