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To some teens, sending sexual explicit images is a normal way to interact with their peers

They see nothing wrong with sexting, especially if “everyone is doing it.” A report in the June 2019 edition of JAMA Pediatrics revealed that at least one in seven teens engages in sexting. Meanwhile, as many as one in four teens receive sexually-explicit texts and emails.

Many teens don’t realize that sexting has very serious consequences . A Drexel University study found that the majority of teens aren’t aware of the legal ramifications of underage sexting.

Sexting Constitutes Child Pornography

When nude pictures or partially nude pictures involve minors, many states consider this child pornography. State laws vary, in some states exchanging nude photos of minors also is considered a felony—even when the photos were taken and shared are consensual.

As many as 61% of teens don’t realize that sexting is considered child pornography. They said that if they’d known, it probably would have deterred them from sexting.

As parents we have to take the time to have the talk with our children about the consequences of the click. For tips and conversation starters grab a copy of the Digital Etiquette Issue, or download the free MASKmatters app and read the online version.

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