Social media and access to the internet has heavily influenced juveniles in many ways. Many people especially teens are not aware that sexting is illegal. Sexting is considered child pornography and minors are not supposed to be in possession of any nude or half nude pictures. Children are not aware of the potential harm it could cause by sharing nude pictures of themselves to another minor. The act is illegal and ignorance to the law is no excuse. Children are not at the age to consent to distribute or upload child nudity.
When children are exposed and used for sexual violence it illustrates that violence is a learned behavior” (Wake Forest University 2000, November 9). Teens go thru their immature and inexperience phases. The effects cause them to take serious risks such as experiencing peer pressure from friends, trying to fit in or be liked, victimized as an adolescent, frequent encounters with the Police and diagnosed with mental disorders.
Alcohol and drugs also play a role. Resources are limited, and it opens a window of opportunity for juvenile sex offending. Children offend when they are bored and have nothing else to do. When I was a kid, I did things I felt I could get away with. I did not think about the consequences. I believe juveniles go through a phase and eventually will grow out of offending and become law-abiding citizens as they gain maturity.
The growing problem of sexting and the laws regarding this form of pornography are cell phones. Cell phones used to be portable but now they serve as a computer with the capabilities of uploading pictures, and videos to upload and share. It has led to more sexting on a mobile device and used by juvenile males and females. It is important for parents to discuss computer etiquette with their children at a young age.
Many of our children sext because they think it’s funny, and they feel more attractive to their peers. Once a picture or video is sent out via text message or video call it can be easily uploaded to a social media site and it’s out there in the internet world forever.
Juvenile cases are handled by the Juvenile Justice system. Many times, juveniles who commit a nonviolent crime the Referee gives them a slap on the wrist and advised not to do it again. Children feel more confident when offending in a group than alone. It amazes me how the system protects the privacy of its juveniles who commit vicious crimes.
Brette Sember, in his online article How U.S. Criminal Records Work claimed, if a juvenile was charged and convicted as an adult for sexting or distributing pornography it gave the court the authority to place them on the registry (2008). Juvenile criminal records are handled quite differently than an adult offender public records.
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