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Published: Friday, May 29 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Anonymous

It seems to me the best defense against "sexting" is to teach kids about the repercussion of their actions and about the pitfalls that go along with the wonders of technology. I would also wonder if there was some underlying emotional issue prompting the behavior. Education and maybe counseling are better options. Labeling them as sex offenders at an early age only stigmatizes them without giving them a chance to change their behavior. Its more serious then spin-the-bottle, but it also shouldn't be deemed criminal.

Clem

Surprisingly, Shurtleff is right for a change--sexting creates images that will be in cyberspace forever. However, it is not surprising that the study is bogus--after all it came from Canada. The entire nation of Canada has fallen into extreme moral decay: leagalizing drug use and every form of immorality. It is not surprising that a Canadian study would encourage sexting as "part of the growing up process."

Overreaction

Shurtleff says "Sexting leaves long-lasting scars," but those scars (if they form) are nothing compared to the scars that would result from being labeled a sex offender. Yes, kids need to slapped so they don't do stupid things, but labeling them as a sex offender is a grievous overreaction.

VT

The only scars are those caused by overzealous puritanical prosecutors. Trying to tie these kids in with child-predator pornographers is absurd.

FooBass

His name is Peter Cumming?

OK, but...

How exactly does a parent "the consequences" of sexting? Presuming, of course, that the parent who buys their teen a video capable phone is actually involved enough in their teen's life to care...

justareader

Innocuous? When I played spin the bottle, nobody showed each other pic's of our genitals. When I played"Doctor" I did it privately, not so the whole world could see. Sex ting, child prnography, etc. IS harmful to the morality of any society. Adult porn is one thing but child porn...isn't that against the law? Some Canadian Professors need to be reeducated or quit professing to be a professor.
Innocuous, Hell!

1 in 5?

I hope it isn't that bad. I hope there are more kids than that that are smart enough not to take their clothes off at the drop of a hat just because they have some crush. If that study is true, we are in bad shape.

Chris

If more of us stood us for children and families like Mark Shurtleff is doing our communities and families would be much safer. Thanks, Mark, for speaking up in behalf of child and teen safety and for working to tirelessly to protect our families from Internet predators.

Gay

Yes, and if it's a 1.3 megapixel camera, the photos are probably not all that flattering. Those teens should be prosecuted. Even if no immediate harm comes from "sexting," it will no doubt, lead to worse things in the future.

Why don't we call things by their proper names, like stop using the word "gay" to describe homosexuals (who really don't seem happy) and instead of "sexting" let's call it taking photos of one's naked body parts with a cell phone and sending it. How about Cyber Exhibitionism? euphemisms?

Naturist guy

As a proponent of chaste naturism (nudism), I can tell you that these kids won't be damaged by their mere desire to be seen nude by their friends. They may, however, face the long-term consequences of having those images in cyberspace forever - but only if their faces are included. Supposedly, only genitalia was photographed, and let's face it, one naked person looks pretty much like every other one. We're not talking about finger prints here.

justareader

Innocuous? playing spin the bottle when I was younger didn't include sending pic's of genitals. Mostly just kissing. Playing doctor entailed a bit more but it was done in privacy. Not for God and Country to see. Adult porn is one thing but child porn, and I assume sexting is child porn, is not a game as STB or doctor. Its against the law...civilly and morally. Some Canadian Professors deed to quit professing to be professors or get reeducated.

Dannon

Way to go Mark, we can not let teenagers think that this is okay. It is not the same as spin the bottle or even doctor, mainly because once it is sent it keeps being sent and everyone gets it. You lose total control, plus many people are exposed to it who had no idea what it was going to be. Can't wait to have you in the senate

@Shurtleff

Amen to that!

JB

I completely agree with Shurtleff on this one. Not much else to say!

Arlan West

The professors comments and attitude merely reflect those that have been developing for the past 30 years....it is not the responsibility of the parents to raise their children; it is societies job. And now with the technology available today the society includes the entire world. Well maybe it is time to rethink the whole "it takes a village" mentality. Although there is great truth in that statement it does not negate the responsibility of the parents to be the primary moral compass that the child needs to look to. Without the parents intense involvement in the raising of their own children, all that is left is a bunch of strangers, i.e., the village doing it for them.

Anything to get his name...

in the press. Shurtleff has the biggest ego in the world.

Re: FooBass

Huh? I don't get it.

Anonymous

Conservatives are a boundless resource for humor. The Canadian is right as rain about this. I criminal charge involving sex would be more damaging to a kid.

Every parent's kid is exceptional and perfect. I've never seen a kid that didn't make a few mistakes. This is why, before conservative economics, kids had a parent at home to supervised them.

You can teach and teach. They are you. Experience as been proven to be the ultimate teacher.

I've been to Canada. The city was clean and the crime rate much less. I love listening to CBC if I'm near Canada.

If Canada is so degenerate, why are you safer in Canada? Why do you see fewer homeless? Canadians aren't being evicted because of medical problems. Drugs aren't legal.

Criminalizing Teen Sex

We are so fearful of "s*x offenders" in this country, we overreact to the point we are labeling kids as deviants for stupid but non-criminal behaviors. There's a great article on criminalizing teen sex at a site called Once Fallen, you'd be amazed to find out we're branding kids as young as age 6. That's pretty messed up.

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