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 Cloudjustice inequality Hillary Clinton sex work wealth LGBT wall street wellness disease sex banks discrimination birds religious freedom self-care Pirate Party sexism race christianity Johnson & Johnson logic medicine reproductive rights reparations National Wildlife Federation children messaging bank fraud Iceland language women discipline crime grift environment Stephen Fry healthcare police economics Abstinence Ecology Center sadness racism gender reproductive health God population Natural Resources Defense Council slavery Ugh Green Party abuse voting cynicism GLBT data men surveillance misogyny Daily Show FISA wiretapping corruption discourse Michael Lind Black Lives Matter violence employment diamonds election Trump revolution immigration torture guns Senate law electoral college lifespan email sign geology idealism Walmart Trumpism Catholic Church cars criminal justice authoritarianism injustice drunk driving climate change debate humor bicycling President terror feminism abortion Donald Trump video Tea Party rape gay rights power social liberalism religion