Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Under the Influence (be warned: she streams audio, which I normally hate but started to endure to read her stuff; her music choices are good, I just have a dislike for streaming audio on blogs) wrote about sexting the other day, and I had not heard the term before.

Apparently the Today show even highlighted this issue. A young girl took her life after sexting turned into teasing and cruelty.

When I was growing up, the only way to have a nude picture of oneself was Polaroids. If you took a pic of yourself with a regular camera, the drug store would not process nude photos either (actually, I think they would process and keep them).

And Poloroids at the time could not be copied. So even if a Polaroid was taken, the number of people to see the photo is limited, and if you were to get the photo back, you could destroy the evidence. So when I was growing up, taking nude photos of oneself was not common, and if done, the damage is limited.

Hitting the send button on a cell phone is can be done without thinking. Remember drunk dialing? With drunk dialing, there is normally not any evidence to be disseminated to friends. Heck, when I was slutting it up years ago, a friend asked for a photo of me, and I took a photo downstairs only, thinking at the time that I was hiding my identity. The next day I was so embarrassed that I had sent the photo – and I don't have proof it was shared. Now that I am clear-headed and removed from the situation, of course the photo was shared. He probably sent it to all of his buds. Oh, was I stupid. And I was a grown up.

The story that started this deals with teens. On the Today show, they said that the sender of the photo, if under 18, could be convicted of child pornography (and registered as a sex offender). While I am okay with it being a crime, I hope it is listed a tad differently. I mean, if I am scanning the neighborhood for sex offenders, I think there is a difference between men and women who take pictures of little girls and boys or do things with them. I just don't want a 17-year-old girl who sends a nude photo to her boyfriend get placed on the list. I want to be disgusted by sex offenders, and once you place some on the list who are less gross, you make the sex offender list less toxic. And that needs to be a toxic list.

I don't watch Today, but after clicking on the story on sexting that I was writing about today, I saw the following, "Human-like robot makes runway debut". It premiered on March 23. Apparently, a human-like robot takes to the runway during Tokyo's fashion week. In the story, the robot looks like a Japanese woman and weighs 95 pounds. Luckily it costs around $200,000. When the price drops and there is an optional attachment to make other parts more interactive, it will mean the downfall of civilized society.


lady macleod said...

I "see" you over at Ian's place and was curious. Your blog today makes me do the mother's sigh of relief that my child is 25 years old and married, and not stupid - she's the one always reminding ME that "once it's on the net, it's out there forever". I love the 21st century but it does present us with new as well as the old dilemmas.

I enjoyed my visit and shall return.

Under the Influence said...

Thanks for the shout out. Sorry you don't like the audio, but if you have any song requests, please let me know! (You can also hit the "pause" button to not listen.)

I was pleased to see with the local case (which happens to be in my school district and did not result in suicide or other major issues) that the prosecutor did not pursue felony (child porn) charges, but a misdemeanor for a lesser charge. I don't think teens entire lives should be ruined because they sent/received a nudie photo between "consenting" though stupid teens. I am a little up in the air about the other local case (not my school district) where the photo was then disseminated out of maliciousness and revenge.

It's such a tough issue and once again shows we "humans" are having a hard time keeping up with technology and how fast the world moves along these days.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, there is a CLEAR difference between sharing an explicit text message with friends and being a sex offender. Sex offenders are predicators and repeat offenders. They pose an immediate risk to those they prey on. Seventeen year old boys are horny and thinking with their penis, for the most part. Today's society does not understand the importance of the body, does not recognize the importance of privacy, and it's getting out of control in some respects. I can't imagine twittering everything I'm doing everyday and worrying about sending a sexy hot picture of my naked body and having it get around the HS. Kids shouldn't have to deal with this. It's so hard to fathom, and I'm only 25!

So much to say, so little time! :)

74WIXYgrad said...

Sending nude photos of yourself to another consenting adult=stupid.

An adult sending nude photos of self to underaged people=illegal and stupid.

Minors sending nude photos to minors. Also illegal and stupid.

Adults taking nude photos of minors and sending them to anyone should be put UNDER the jail.

Whatever happened to decency?

Leesa said...

Lady M: Yeah, Ian is a peach.

Under the Influence: Just because I don't like streaming audio doesn't mean others don't like it.

Brown-Eyed Girl: I understand the difference, but our laws don't right now.

WIXY: I understand, but people can do stupid things in a moment's time.

Advizor said...

Love the post, and yes, we need to figure out a way to help kids without criminalizing being stupid and under 18.

As for "Sexting" as a word, Marina @ "Hot for Words" has a feature just for you...


Xmichra said...

there should be a defined partician for sure. I understand the premis for wanting the circulation of underaged pornography stopped... but ya. this is a little much. there is a big difference beween a 13 year old girl being "persuaded" into taking pictures and sending them to a 50 something man, and a 17 year old boy sending a penis pic and sending it to his 19 year old girlfriend.

BIG difference. there should be clearer lines for sure.

what is it about the streaming music you don't like? I used to have in on my blog, but forgot it in my last template. But i rather like the music.

Gary Baker said...

I am not defending sexual predators in any way shape or form, but I do think that their needs to be consistency in the law. One of the reasons I hate the idea of "hate" crimes so badly is that it criminalizes intent, which is seldom provable beyond a reasonable doubt. So if the crime is sending the photograph of a minor, what makes it worse for an eighteen year old to send a picture of a seventeen year old (photo obtained with consent) than the seventeen year old to send it themself? I know this post isn't about the "A" word, and I don't think anyone wants to go there right now, but if we accept that girls down to 14 or so (statutes vary by location) are capable of making that kind of choice which determines their future, then why does the "young and stupid" defense attach here? It seems to me that you can't (or shouldn't be able to) have it both ways.

Leesa said...

Advizor: I like that. Not criminalizing stupidity.

Xmichra: I know, a bit difference.

Gary Baker: An interesting arguement.

Anonymous said...

I had this conversation with my 16 year old last night. I don't like the blanket label of sex offender. I'm conservative, but on this topic I end up pretty liberal.

We don't label bank robbers or violent criminals and make them register and keep web sites of them AFTER they have paid society.

I DO think the repeat sex offenders - those who force their will on children - should be hung from the yard arm or shot by firing squad.

BUT the 14 year old girl sending naughties of her newly shaved pubes to her friend ... not a sex offender. She may qualify for something like contributing to the delinquency of a minor - which her parents should be charged with as well.

And the 18 year old boy having sex with his 16 year old girlfriend on Friday in the back seat. Not a sex offender. Not necessarily a good decision maker, but someone contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Not someone who should be labeled for life.

Its the same argument I have for teachers who have sex with students. It's wrong no matter if its' a female or male teacher. Their victim is legally not considered competent to enter contracts or make sexually oriented decision even though they do. The law is there to protect the innocent.

Malach the Merciless said...


Leesa said...

Knot: I don't think girls taking pictures of themselves and sharing them are sex offenders - but that's the way the law sees it.

Malach: I wonder how you found my blog. Doesn't seem to be your type of blog (not that I am complaining). Just curious.