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eng201 assignment 2

eng201 assignment 2 - 1 Densen Rebecca Densen ENG 201_G1...

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1 Densen, Rebecca Densen October 13, 2011 ENG 201_G1 Soma S. Feldmar Sexting: Do Teens Really Understand? The new era we are currently in revolves around technology. Adults are adapting to it, children are brought up with it, and it is making our world easier and smaller. Although new technology does have a lot of benefits, it has caused a lot of issues as well. Technology is now given to young children and teens without an understanding of the many dangers of it. Among these evolving technologies are cell phones, and one danger that can come from cell phone use that is often misunderstood is the practice of what is called “sexting.” Sexting is sending and receiving a sexual photo or video via text message (Dobias). The receiver of these images can send them to anyone without the permission or knowledge of the original sender and can ruin someone’s reputation, career, or even their life. The individuals involved are mainly children or teens who might not understand that because this technology makes the world smaller, it can lessen the privacy they believe to have. They also may not understand that sexting between minors is illegal. Sexting has become an issue in society because cell phones are given to children and teens before they understand the dangers and responsibility that comes with owning a cell phone. “Sexting” is the term now given to the sending or receiving of sexual images or videos via text messaging (Dobias). This term was brought to the public’s attention after a 15-year-old girl in Ohio faced child pornography charges for sending a revealing photo of herself in 2008. Although the charges were dropped if she completed a diversion program, she revealed how
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2 common this practice is amongst teens and brought a new issue to light (Clark-Flory). What teens do not understand about this practice is that it is illegal in many ways. The law is that if one is under the age of 18 the sending and receiving of these images is illegal and is considered child pornography. Even if one is of age and is sending them to someone under the age of 18, it is illegal and considered distribution of pornography to a minor (Celizic). Because of the child pornography charges involved, participating in this is a serious felony and can result in jail time (“Sexting” Shockingly Common Among Teens). To make matters worse those involved will also become a registered sex offender for the next 20 years. This caused many lawmakers to not know what to do with these cases: they do not know if it is fair to label a child a sex offender for this or not (Koch). They aren’t even sure if jail time is an appropriate punishment because of how many teens sext today (Sexting). Teens are constantly getting caught sexting because many do not understand the consequences they can face. Take 18-year-old Isaac Owusu from Burlington Vt. for example. He faces 90 days in prison, 5 years probation and is a registered sex offender for receiving a video of two of his 16-year-old female friends performing sexual acts on each other. It is said that he has
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