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