While parents are trying to discourage their children from sex and overexposure, a town in New Mexico is making it hard to ignore. Teens have been given the green light to “sext” at will, without any legal repercussions.
Yep that’s right. A New Mexico law just passed that has deemed it okay for teens to engage in sexting. For those who don’t know, sexting is the act of having sexual conversation or even partaking in sexual acts via cell phone. That means sending naked pictures, typing racy messages, recording and sharing videos, and even Facetiming sexual acts via telephone. All of the listed activities are permissible without penalty. One would think this behavior would be reserved for adults but in New Mexico, kids can do it too.
While this may seem crazy, this law was designed to keep kids out of trouble. Before this law was passed, kids who were caught sharing naked or sexy pics, could be charged, convicted, and branded as a sex offender for life. As it stands right now, teens between the ages of 14 – 18 can willingly pass explicit photos and video of themselves back and forth without penalty. Raging adolescent hormones are hard to control and giving them permission to consensually send explicit photos back and forth might not be the best idea.
We are living in a time where the Internet is giving access to a lot more information than we are used to. The porn industry is alive and well on the internets and anyone who can spell site names can see it. Porn ads are targeted at young children and often place ads in places where children are sure to see it. There are celebrities who are proud of their bodies and are constantly posing nude to show the people how much they love themselves. Take all of these things and throw sexting into the mix and there’s a real problem brewing. Senator George Muñoz is the brains (or lack thereof) behind this bill and he feels that “kids will be kids, and they’re going to make mistakes.” Being convicted of child pornography and being deemed a sex offender sucks but does he not know that willingly sending a picture of your genitals to another person is not a mistake?
New Mexico is not and in all probability will not be the only state to put a bill like this into place. Parents need to educate their kids about sex, “No means no,” and being discreet about their bodies. Being respectful of other people is key when it comes to keeping sexual pics/videos/texts from being sent around maliciously.
It is extremely important that parents go the extra mile to monitor their children’s activity on social media. Parents need to be up on all the latest apps being used by kids for sexting. The most popular items to look for are “ghost apps” and apps that disguise photo albums as calculators or other things and require passwords to view. SnapChat is a favorite for many because the content deletes in 24 hours and Kik deletes conversations once a person logs out. Kids are pretty savvy when it comes to hiding things from their parents. Technology brought that aspect to a whole ‘notha level.
What do you think about making sextinng legal for teens?