Teen Nude Trading

Sexting scandals of recent months have given new urgency to discussions on the role cellphones play in young people’s sexual exploration and interactions, with some parents, educators and advocates demanding stronger measures against mobile sexting.

Kids continue to sext at alarming rates across the United States and may not understand that what they send or receive could have lasting repercussions. While parents cannot control what their teens are doing with their smartphones, some apps can help monitor activity or prompt minors to double-check images before sending.

But the most effective method for keeping kids safe may be educating them about the dangers of sexting and how to use their phones responsibly. “Tell your kids ‘Do you realize someone else can see that photo?’ and if they do not understand this then that’s an opportunity to discuss its repercussions.” Lexx Brown-James suggests this as an approach towards better understanding repercussions of using social media too heavily for personal gain.

Rhinelander, Wisconsin police were informed in November that high school students in Rhinelander had been exchanging explicit photographs among themselves, prompting a swift investigation that soon identified dozens of students involved with the sexting ring – many were arrested – raising a critical dilemma for prosecutors: when to employ traditional criminal law against youthful indiscretions while at other times turning over responsibility to schools and families instead.