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The seriousness of sexting

Whenever teenagers have access to a cellular phone, sexting could become a problem, without the right type of communication between a teenager and parent or guardian. Before communicating about the consequences and ramifications of sexting with your teenager, you may need answers to some basic questions. What is sexting, how is it transmitted, and is it permanent? Why is sexting serious? What can parents do to prevent sexting?

What is sexting, how is it transmitted, and is it permanent? 
Sexting occurs when a person sends partial or fully nude photos of themselves to someone else. Teens usually use their cellular phones to take the picture. The person texting can choose how they want to send their pictures. Snapchat is a popular app some teenagers use to send pictures because they believe the photo disappears; or does it. The person receiving the sexting can take a screenshot of the picture and send it to others, increasing the likelihood it is permanent. 

Why is sexting serious? 
When teens sext, often they do not think about the consequences or ramifications of their actions. The police and prosecutors consider the person sexting as possessing and distributing child porn. If convicted of sexting, registering as a sex offender is a likely consequence. Other ramifications of this type of action: depression, anxiety, fear of going to school, loss of self-esteem, and more. It is evident that sexting can have serious consequences and cause harm. 

What can parents do to prevent sexting? 
Communicating with your teenager about the consequences and ramifications associated with sexting is the best way to prevent it. Provide your teenager with articles about the seriousness of sexting. The more teenagers know about sexting, the less likely they are to do it. 

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