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"SEXTING": A trend among our teens?

by Maggie O'Mara

Bio | Email | Follow: @maggiektvb7


Posted on May 20, 2009 at 7:39 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 22 at 11:10 AM

Do you know what "SEXTING" is?

Sexting 1.jpg

A new crime is being committed by teens all over the U.S. and it's happening here in Idaho too. It's called "SEXTING". You might be thinking... what in the world is that??? Well, it's serious, and if you are a parent, you need to know about it.

This all stems from a case in Nampa. A freshman at Nampa High School allegedly took an inappropriate picture of herself with her cell phone - and text messaged that picture to her boyfriend. Now that indecent picture is being sent from student to student via cell phones. What these kids may not realize is - the picture is considered child pornography because the girl is underage.

"Being in possession of photos that are sexually inappropriate falls under the child pornography code, that's why this is such a big deal. The consequences can have long lasting damage. It's absolutely overwhelming how decisions can follow your whole life and this is a good example of how that happens." - Nampa Police Lt. Stacy Mowry

Sexting 2.jpg

So, just how BIG of a problem is this? We did some research and the findings were startling - to say the least!

In a recent survey of close to 700 teenagers:

*20% said they had sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures and videos
*11% were under the age of 16
*21% of teen girls and 39% of teen boys say they have sent such content to someone they wanted to date
*15% sent pics to someone they only knew online

(Survey conducted by CosmoGirl and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy)

Nampa police officers want Idaho parents to talk to their kids and remind them that this is a crime. Any picture put on a phone or posted online could follow them for years, and potentially affect their futures.

Watch Ysabel Bilbao's full story on "SEXTING" on our homepage, and then tell me:

Will you talk to your kids about "Sexting"?