20% Of Teens Do Child Porn

According to a survey released by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy approximately 20% all teens – 21% of teen girls and 18% of teen boys – have sent or posted a nude photo of themselves to someone else electronically. It seems that the teens refer to this as “sexting.

While some people may see no problem with sexting and others may be shocked and outraged by such adolescent sexualization, the immediate issue is that teen sexting is illegal. It’s a felony! The teenagers can be charged with possessing and distributing child pornography – even when it’s images of themselves.

Recently Police in Greensburg, PA arrested six teenagers, three girls for trafficking of child pornography and three boys for possession of child pornography. Police in Greensburg said a 14-year-old girl and two 15-year-old girls at Greensburg Salem High School sent the pictures to their teenage boyfriends, who are 15, 16 and 17 years old respectively. All six are currently facing felony charges.

From WTAE-TV:

It’s very dangerous. Once it’s on a cell phone, it can be put on the Internet where everybody in the world can get access to that picture. You don’t realize what you’re doing until it’s already done.

If these do get on the Internet, anybody can get a hold of them, and who knows what they are going to do with them. That’s the biggest thing. Taking nude pictures of yourself — nothing good can come out of it. The best thing to do is to use a phone for what a phone is made for — talking to people. If you’re taking pictures, make sure the picture is of something that isn’t illegal

Capt. George Seranko
Greensburg Police Department

Greensburg police said that they’re concerned the nude or semi-nude pictures of the teenage girls have circulated beyond their boyfriends, meaning that even more students could be arrested and charged with possession of child pornography, a Class 3 felony under Pennsylvania laws.

The Greensburg police’s response to the teenagers’ sexting is not a lone incident. Police departments and Prosecutors across America have taken a stern and punitive stance against sexting.

  • In Ohio, a 19-year-old cheerleading coach was convicted of indecency charges after taking a topless photo of herself and a 15-year-old girl
  • In Texas, a 13-year-old boy was arrested on child pornography charges, after receiving a nude photo of a fellow student on his cellular phone.
  • In Wisconsin, a 17-year-old was charged with child pornography after posting naked pictures of his 16-year-old girlfriend on the internet.
  • In New York, 16-year-old boy faces seven years in jail for circulating an image of a girlfriend to friends.

Child pornography or “kiddie porn” is fairly close to being the lowest, vilest, and most reprehensible crimes misborn out of the evil of men’s minds and America need strong laws in order to combat such disgusting, abhorrent and depraved behavior – but this is ridiculous! I cannot believe that charging teenagers with disseminating and/or possessing child pornography for sharing nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves with their friends was ever the intent of the laws in question.

What possible beneficial societal purpose can be achieved by arresting teens for sexting nude pictures of themselves? Does it seem sensible to burden them with a felony record and to force them to spend the rest of their lives on the Sexual Offender Registry?

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7 Responses to “20% Of Teens Do Child Porn”

  1. Josh Brandt Says:

    This kind of thing is disgusting at best. I have friends (or former friends) who are sick like that, and they need to grow up. But I wouldn’t wish felony charges on them. Congress should address this and pass some specific legislature lessening the consequences for “sexting” (which is a pretty lame name btw)

  2. jonolan Says:

    Thanks for commenting, Josh.

    It’s not something that Congress – or any other part of the federal govt. – can really address. Federal laws covering child pornography are limited in scope an are not being applied in these cases. This is an issue that needs to be fixed at the state level.

  3. zhann Says:

    Personally, I think that it is the kids decision. If a stop is put to this, it can only be through the childrens parents. There is no need for governments to control decency. What one person sees as a profanity isn’t necesarily offensive to everyone else. Personally, I find Organized Religion far more offensive than kids sending naked pictures of themselves. Now, if a 3rd party attempts to profit off of this, that is something that should be stopped. Otherwise, kids will be kids … they will grow up.

    I may not have sent naked pictures of myself as a child, but some of the things I have done were far worse from a legal standpoint as well as from a personal safety standpoint.

  4. Josh Brandt Says:

    Yes religious people are always so offensive, and are obviously a threat. Because encouraging abstinence, tolerance, and love to a person is far worse than people sending nude pictures to a person who you are most likely having sex with prematurely, which by the way the public school system encourages by giving out free condoms in offices. That is a threat, not religion. Stop being an idiot and find something else to blame our problems on. Premarital sex is dangerous, most religions are not.

  5. jonolan Says:

    Zhann,

    I think there is a certain need for the government to enforce the standards of decency set forth by the majority of society. I just don’t think that arresting teens on sex offense felony charges for “sexting” each other is anywhere near the right way to go about.

    Josh,

    I’ll let Zhann and you hash out the argument about the relative threats respectively posed by premarital sex and organized religions or churches. I will say this though – a lot of supposedly religious people don’t seem to preach “tolerance, and love” very often. That may have colored Zhann’s opinions.

  6. Josh Brandt Says:

    I really have no desire to further that argument. It would be completely pointless. If a person is against religion, it is incredibly difficult to convince them otherwise. Just not worth it.

  7. zhann Says:

    Jonolan, I agree with you whole heartedly. I think it is a mistake to involve government in every little thing that someone in society finds offensive. Kiddie porn is not simply offensive, it takes advantage of innocent children. I feel that this is a better reason to attack those that profit from it, or even those that distribute it for free. However, sexting doesn’t necessarily negatively affect anyone unless the receiving end decides to mass mail it … at which point, the one sending it learned a valuable lesson and will not likely repeat that mistake, assuming they are aware.

    Josh, I agree with you. Scientology has done immense good around the world. They have helped countless homeless, impoverished and those dreadfully ill. Muslims have helped exponentially more, and continue to do so. By many counts, Muslims are not only the fastest growing religion in the world, but are also the most charitable.

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