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Sexting corrupts no matter how old you are

Jen Ashenberner
The Advocate

For those who don’t know, sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit text messages or images via cell phone.

People of all ages do it without thinking twice about the consequences of pressing the send button. It’s so easy to convince yourself that you and the person you’re sending the message to are the only ones that will see the message.

In reality, once you send it, it’s out there and you can’t take it back no matter how much you scream, cry, or beat your phone against the wall.

There are examples everywhere. Oregon has an existing law for involving minors and teens are being prosecuted in states such as Indiana and Pennsylvania. According to some psychologists, some teens are using it as a method of abstinence.

Jen Ashenberner

Jen Ashenberner

Then there are the adults who engage in sexting, like our local Trailblazer Greg Oden. I’m not going to go into too much detail or berate him for what he did. However, he is a great example to prove to people (if after all of the articles about sexting they still aren’t convinced) that with one click of the send button you could end up the butt of a really bad joke. He made what was more than likely a snap decision, which turned out to be a very bad decision personally and professionally.

What I don’t understand is why the government isn’t doing more to prevent sexting? The only law I could find in Oregon is based on the premise that a minor is involved.

Let’s say Oden’s “girl-toy” forwarded the nude photo of him to her three girlfriends and one of their teenage kids forwarded it to 50 of their friends. Who get’s prosecuted? Oden? His “girl-toy?” The teenager? All of them?

And so what if it doesn’t get into the hands of children? What about all of the people who didn’t ask to see it in the first place? Aren’t they victims in a sense?
I understand what the law is intended to do: protect our kids. I also understand the First Amendment and that this is probably covered under all of America’s freedoms. But those freedoms are in place to protect people from harm.

You can’t stop a message from being received. Unless a phone number is blocked or your messaging feature is turned off, anyone can send you a message. Maybe the person on the other end doesn’t want to see you naked.
Oden should be prosecuted even if it hasn’t been seen by children, just as any other adult who takes part in sexting should be prosecuted. The simple fact of it is that it could end up in the hands of kids.

I equate receiving an unwanted picture or message to harassment or at the very least indecent exposure. Those are both criminal offenses punishable by law. Sexting could be categorized as either of them.

Without regulation, as with porn, sexting should be against the law. The people who are using modern technology for this lewd act are just proving that the world wasn’t ready for such technology. They are acting irresponsible and just like a child should be punished.

The Advocate reserves the right to not publish comments based on their appropriateness.


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So, who should be the judge of what pictures or messages a reciever deems objectionable? It is very subjective, isn't it?
I might find messages with religous references highly offensive while I have no problem with nudity. Nudity by itself is not sexual or lewd, it is in the eye of the beholder.
But on the other hand, I'm an atheist living in the liberal, socialist (or are we? Look it up!) country of Sweden so who am I to have an opinion.
#1 - Anders Thor - 01/29/2010 - 03:52
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