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New Jersey ‘Sexting’ Law Advances

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Teens caught sending racy photos would no longer be considered child pornographers.


Contributor: Miriam Martin

This raises really interesting questions! I’m a bit stuck on the “We want to make sure these kids know they did something wrong" comment. Teens are having sex ... we realize that, right? When they have sex together, are they doing something illegal? Not unless one of them is not actually a teen, or it's non-consensual. So the problem is that they're sharing sexual images? Certainly, if images of a young person are being shared more broadly than that young person intends (i.e. not just to her "love interest") or if somebody is making money off the sharing, that's a problem. But for the 20% of teens we're talking about, they're choosing a method of sexual expression that is arguably one of the safest as far as avoiding sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy is concerned. We need to back off with the "shoulds" and "should nots" and focus instead on making sure young people have the technical information and self-esteem that they need to make wise decisions about sex.