By Ave Mince-Didier. Sexting is the sending of nude or suggestive photographs by text message, and, when teenagers do it, it can be illegal. Pennsylvania lawmakers have enacted a specific law that makes teen sexting a crime, but a less serious one than child pornography. However, depending on the circumstances, teen sexting could also be considered child pornography or obscenity. For more general information on sexting laws, see Teen Sexting. In , Pennsylvania enacted a law criminalizing the transmission of sexually explicit images by minors. For example, both a teen who sends a photo of a nude classmate and one who receives the photo could be prosecuted under Pennsylvania law. For example, a boy who shares nude photos of his ex-girlfriend after they break up could be charged with a more serious crime. Pennsylvania's teen sexting law does not apply to images taken or distributed for commercial purposes, or images of sexual intercourse, penetration, or masturbation, or any other hardcore sexual images. However, it is considered child pornography also called sexual abuse of children to photograph or film a child under the age of 18 engaging in a prohibited sex act sexual intercourse, oral or anal sex, masturbation, or lewd exhibition of the genitals or cause a child to engage in a prohibited sex act for the purpose of being filmed, recorded, or photographed.
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What is sexting?
By Ave Mince-Didier. When sexting involves naked or sexual photos of children younger than 18, the images are considered child pornography and people, even teenagers, sending and receiving such images can be prosecuted and convicted for serious crimes. In contrast, the consensual, non-commercial, and private sending of sexually explicit photos of adults to other adults is generally permitted.
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Is sexting a crime?
Sexting or taking, sending and sharing pictures via digital technologies could expose you to risk and can be considered a criminal offence, especially if it involves harassing people of any age. Find out what you can do to protect your privacy. Sexting or sharing photos online can be considered cyber bullying—which is a criminal offence if it involves using the internet or mobile phone to make threats, stalk someone or menace, harass or seriously offend them. If you think you are being cyber bullied get legal help or talk to someone who can help. Sexting can include images from film, movies, videos, photos, and digital images sent by SMS, email, chat rooms and publishing on blogs. If you make or possess have illegal sexting images or send them to other people you may be charged with distributing child exploitation material, which is a serious crime. If you know the sender, let them know you do not want them to send you any more images.
But for teens who do sext, there are both psychological and legal risks, especially if coercion is involved and the images wind up being distributed beyond their intended audience. Sexting is certainly not just a teen issue, but these tips are specifically for teens and parents of teens. Scroll down for tips for both parents and teens. There are also cases where the teen is responding to peer pressure, bullying or even threats. In rarer cases, adults solicit images from teens. Possible consequences : The consequences of sexting can range from nothing at all to extremely serious. In most cases, nothing bad happens because the image is never shared beyond the person it was sent to. And as you know, digital photos are easy to copy and paste onto the Web, where they can be archived and searchable pretty much forever. Severe consequences : In cases where the images have been seen by others beyond the intended person, the consequences can be quite severe in terms of possible criminal prosecution, trouble with school authorities or serious social and psychological consequences including increased bullying, social isolation, shaming and severe anxiety, fear and depression. Experts caution never to assume that any single incident or event is the cause of a suicide, but there have been a few tragic cases where teens have killed themselves after nude images have been widely distributed.