Bad judgment lands another teen on the sex offender list. But as alarm grows, the Wall Street Journal asks: Are the troubling trend statistics inflated?
Attention parents, school administrators and other concerned citizens: The sexting phenomenon has reached danger level orange. Or red. Or whatever color indicates full-blown, media-crazed alert. Even Tyra recently spent an entire show discussing the topic (which she emphasized is a “very, and I mean you guys, very graphic new phenomenon”). And I would plunk down what’s left of my savings on a bet that “Law and Order: SVU” is putting the final touches on a sexting script.
Let’s take a trip through recent headlines: An 18-year-old from Orlando, Florida, has been sentenced to five years and forced to register as a sex offender after sharing a naked picture of his 16-year-old girlfriend with his friends. He is fighting to get his name removed from the registry, but for now, will remain on it until he’s 43 years old. Over at CNN, Mike Galanos, host of CNN’s “Prime News,” adds his name to the list of critics concerned that labeling kids as adult pedophiles might be taking all of this a bit too far. As he writes, “It’s clear we need to change our laws to catch up with technology.”
Galanos quotes a ubiquitous statistic, one that has been used in nearly every sexting article to date, bolstering parents’ worst fears: a poll conducted last fall by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and CosmoGirl.com found that 20 percent of teens had sent or posted online nude or semi-nude photos or videos of themselves. But the Wall Street Journal is questioning the reliability of those numbers. Apparently, the same adolescents who are comfortable using technology to explore their sexuality may be more likely to respond to a poll conducted online, thereby inflating the poll’s conclusions.
But whether it’s one in five or one in a thousand, it’s quite clear that at this point, some teens are going to bare all (or some) digitally. As Tracy Clark-Flory wrote in her February feature story on sexting, “These digital offerings bring the potential for humiliation and blackmail if the photos or video get into the wrong hands — and, let’s face it, they often do.”
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Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
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A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
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Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
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Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
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O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
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Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
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When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
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A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
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