By Mark Theoharis. Since cell phones first saw widespread adoption in the s, they've become not just ever present, but have developed vastly expanded capabilities, such as the ability to take and instantly share photos. Some states have adopted laws that prescribe penalties aimed specifically at teenagers or adolescents who send such photos. These laws make the penalties for teen sexting less severe than if an adult would send similar photos to an under-age person. To get state specific details regarding sexting, jump ahead to teen sexting laws by state. Sexting laws are a relatively new phenomena in the law.
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But sending nude or seminude pictures, a phenomenon known as sexting, is a fast-growing trend among teens. Phillip Alpert is a registered sex offender as a result of sending a nude photograph of his year-old girlfriend. The result: 1 in 5 teens say they've sexted even though the majority know it could be a crime. Phillip Alpert found out the hard way. He had just turned 18 when he sent a naked photo of his year-old girlfriend, a photo she had taken and sent him, to dozens of her friends and family after an argument.
Sexting can happen on any electronic device that allows sharing of media and messages including smartphones, tablets, laptops or mobiles. In the UK the age of consent for sexual intercourse is However, it is an offence to make, distribute, possess or show any indecent images of anyone aged under 18, even if the content was created with the consent of that young person. The law is contained in section 1 Protection of Children Act The police have said that sexting by children will primarily be considered as a safeguarding issue.