Police Detective Mike Mohney told WBST.com that sexting is a serious crime because [when teenagers sext it can lead to] “bullying,” and “real severe things like people committing suicide or violent crimes against others because they’re so embarrassed about it.”
Mohney’s statement is a perfect example of the inherent contradiction of ruining kids’ lives for sexting. If the goal is to avoid “severe consequences,” why would they pursue charges in the first place? If sexting-induced embarrassment is a source of violence and suicide, certainly the risk of embarrassment is made much worse by branding the offender a pedophile—for abusing no one but himself—and sentencing him to the sex offender registry…. Authorities warn that the consequences for the underage are just too dire, but the most awful outcome is the one the authorities themselves impose on perpetrators: criminal charges. Can you imagine being a 14-year-old, trying to get your life back on track, after being socially stigmatized, expelled, charged with a crime, and publicly branded a sex offender? All because you took a picture of yourself?
Teens who create and share sexy photos aren’t child pornographers. They are teenagers. To pretend the law can suppress their natural curiosity about their own bodies, and each other’s, is to subscribe to vindictive madness and paranoia about human sexuality. These kids aren’t hurting themselves—we’re hurting them.
Tag Clouddiamonds race justice religion terror discipline police wall street climate change healthcare banks Iceland power LGBT reparations wealth Catholic Church cynicism bicycling Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Walmart humor environment email Abstinence sex work discourse crime President drunk driving cars God torture disease Natural Resources Defense Council National Wildlife Federation children misogyny language Senate GLBT medicine fraud reproductive rights Ecology Center video sex social liberalism idealism Black Lives Matter bank lifespan Stephen Fry messaging grift feminism christianity Ugh wellness surveillance authoritarianism law injustice geology racism Tea Party data abortion inequality election Daily Show sexism employment wiretapping Johnson & Johnson immigration electoral college voting sadness logic debate gay rights men self-care rape discrimination Trumpism revolution sign Michael Lind religious freedom birds criminal justice economics reproductive health women abuse violence guns slavery Pirate Party corruption FISA Green Party