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Teen Sexting Influenced by Celebs
According to a nationwide survey by the National Campaign to support Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, about 20 percent of teens admit to participating in some form of sexting.
Sexting can simply mean sending a sexually explicit text message or photograph with your cell phone. If you are missing that special someone and are a lengthy distance apart from them, through modern technology, all you have to do in order to see each other is send pictures from your Blackberry, iPhone or other mobile device. Sexting might seem like a cool, new way to flirt, but it has been known to cause trouble with parents and with police.
In 2009, six Pennsylvania high school students were faced with child pornography charges after three females sent nude or semi-nude photographs of themselves to three males from their cell phones. A teacher, who caught one of the three males using his cell phone during class and confiscated it, saw one of the pictures. Investigation led the police to the other photos.
The police captain on the case later said “(Sexting is) very dangerous. Once it’s on a cell phone, that picture can be put on the Internet where everyone in the world can get access to that juvenile picture. You don’t realize what you are doing until it’s already done.”
Phillip Alpert, a Florida residence, became a registered sex offender after sending a nude photo of his 16-year-old girlfriend to several people after an argument. Alpert had just turned 18 at the time and regretted what he had done.
“It was a stupid thing I did,” Alpert said. “I was upset and tired and it was the middle of the night and I was an immature kid.”
Along with Alpert on the Florida sex offender list are child rapists and molesters. This brings up the question “is sexting child pornography?”
Alpert’s attorney, Larry White, agreed that registering Alpert as a sex offender was not like the usual cases.
“Sexting is treated as child pornography in almost every state,” said White. “It catches teens completely off guard because this is a fairly natural and normal thing for them to do. It is surprising for us as parents, but for teens it is part of their culture.”
Just three years ago, “High School Musical” actress Vanessa Hudgens had photographs leaked online that she had taken of herself with her camera phone. The actress took the photos intentionally to send to her boyfriend and no one else. Hudgens regretted taking the photographs, and later apologized, but had a second series of photos leaked in 2009.
MSNBC’s “Wonderwall” entertainment blog created a list of the top five celebrity sexters. Hudgens was listed as number five with Jon Gosselin right in front of her at number four. Other celebrities on the list included Chris Brown, Carrie Prejean and Tiger Woods, who was listed as number one.