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Sexting: Is It Child Pornography? Essay

1382 words - 6 pages

Teenagers in this world of technology have surpassed the written laws put into place to protect our citizens from child pornography. When child pornography laws were placed into the law books there was no internet, no mobile phones, and no social media. These laws were put into place to protect the vary people and children that are using technology. Technology that is used to produce explicit photos of those same people. The problem we are facing now is that the law does not cater to individuals. Is sexting between teenagers actually child pornography? According to the laws yes it is and this must be changed. Teenagers are being charged with production, distribution, and receiving of child pornography and charged with felonies and made to register as sex offenders, this is wrong and the laws must be changed.
The Department of justice’s “Citizen’s Guide to U.S. Federal law on Child Pornography” says According to Section 2256 of Title 18, of the United States Code, it “defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (someone under 18 years of age). Visual depictions include photographs, videos, digital or computer generated images indistinguishable from an actual minor, and images created, adapted, or modified, but appear to depict an identifiable, actual minor. Undeveloped film, undeveloped videotape, and electronically stored data that can be converted into a visual image of child pornography are also deemed illegal visual depictions under federal law.” Pictures that can be considered as child pornography do not have to show a sexual act, it just needs to contain a minor dressed or undressed in a manner that can excite. This can be underwear or a bathing suit, and applies to anyone under the age of 18 years old. Child pornography distribution can be the use of the internet, downloading to a CD, showing to a classmate, or printing out the images and passing them out. A person receiving an image considered child pornography can be charged, even if it was not a requested image. Which could cause an enormous amount of problems since teenage girls and boys could and do exploit this hole in the law. Meaning a guy and or a girl could be doing nothing wrong and could receive a sexual message and could still be charged.
Sexting is defined as sending sexual messages, typically with a cell phone by text messaging. These messages usually contain photos or videos of the sender, they can be sent to one person or to a large amount of people. This is usually done by teenagers and they are sent to other teenagers, usually a friend or someone they are dating. Sexting seems like a harmless exchange between friends, but the problems arise when someone not intended to receive the photos or videos does receive them. Photos sent out can be copied, posted, and reproduced. The U.S. Courts are now defining sexting as “an act of sending sexually explicit materials through the mobile phone” (

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