Sexting is the act of taking and sending sexually explicit photos electronically, primarily through cell phones. This is a serious challenge facing today’s youth. Young people fail to recognize the danger of sending intimate photos electronically. Photos are easily shared but impossible to retract. In addition to having potentially destructive social and legal consequences, sexting is a crime and may be the most under-reported criminal activity among teens.
Taking a naked "selfie" and sharing it with one friend may seem harmless; however, these photos are often shared with friends and friends of friends, or may be posted on social media. The teen in the photo has no control over who sees the photo or where it may end up. Sexting can haunt them later in life by resurfacing during a college or employment application process.
Cheezo & Sexting
The current law is designed for charging sexual predators, not youth engaged in sexting. Cheezo has developed the Sexting Solutions program to address underlying issues that lead to sexting. The six week program helps build boundaries and self-esteem. Parents must participate in the first and last session.
Children never think the trusted friend or boyfriend to whom the explicit photos were sent would ever pass them on, but they do. Once photos are sent from a cell phone they are not retrievable from cyberspace. Even deleting the photo or video may not be enough.
Sexting is illegal if the photographed person is under 18 years of age. It is illegal to possess the naked pictures, and an even more serious offense to send them or post them online. Sexting can result in criminal charges and sex offender registration.