Birmingham Maple Clinic works closely with parents, schools, physicians, government agencies and the media to help them deal effectively with the many issues facing today’s teenagers.
One such issue is Teenage Sexting. Teenage Sexting is the practice of teens sending pics, videos and texts containing nudity or other sexual material to other teens. The most frequent intention of teen sexting is to send a sexual image to a romantic partner. This is used as a flirt or as part of their sexual interaction, to only be viewed by that partner. Teen sexting can also be misused in situations that can include bullying, social/sexual pressure or distribution to unwanted or unknown recipients.
Under Michigan law, regardless of the intention of the teenage sexting, nude or sexual images of persons under the age of 18 are considered ‘Child Sexually Abusive Material’. The possession, manufacturing or distribution of even teen sexting images can result in severe legal consequences.
Many have tried to curb the practice of teen sexting by warning teens about the potential for serious sanctions. But the teenage brain is not yet fully functioning in regards to following rules or heeding warnings about future dire consequences. Teens do best when preventive measures to limit and monitor their cell phone data plan are in place. Teens do best when parents are aware of all their digital interactions and offer education about appropriate online behavior. Comprehensive sex education with ways to develop healthy, age appropriate romantic connections is also effective.
For more information about the topic of teen sexting:
- Teens check out www.ThatsNotCool.com
- Parents check out www.WiredSafety.org
To see Dan O’Neil’s full interview, please click here.