Comments about ‘Shurtleff denounces study that calls 'sexting' innocuous’

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

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Mark Shurtleff did the absolute right thing by taking on this issue. Our kids need to be aware of consequences to their actions...


Being the parent of teenagers, and also communicating with parents of other teenagers, and with the teenagers themselves. Teenagers do stupid things without thinking. Consequences do need to be in place, but that of a "sex offender" in this case is overkill. I know of many parents who think their teenagers are perfect and different and would not do some of the stupid things that "other" teenagers do. They are surprised if they find out otherwise. Many of these teenagers really believe it is a "private thing" sending a text to someone. They need to be taught but not labeled for the rest of their lives. Have you ever seen elementary kids get into fight and hit each other? Should they be charged with assault. Maybe we can have much of our juvenile population with criminal records. I disagree with Shurtleff on this one. Other laws with over-kill consequences should be revised too.

Mark D.

Dumbest article ever. To label a teenager a sex-offender because they send a nude pic of themselves across the web is ridiculous. I can't believe I just wasted my time reading that.

With all of the problems in the world, it's sad that there are yokels out there trying to micro-legislate their brand of morality. Personally, I think disciplining teenagers for sending nudy photos of themselves online to a crush should be left up to the parents of those children.

You can bet your 'you know what' that my daughter would never again pull something like that if I ever found out. But it's up to me on how I handle the situation, not some self-righteous politician.

Sex offender? Are you kidding me? Shurtleff needs to move to Saudi Arabia.

Stupid Behavior

Yes, this is stupid behavior. But do we need the government regulating every little thing we do? This is America and we are a free country. Down with Big Republican Government telling us how to live our lives!!


I have gone back and re-read the article. I find no reference to Mark's sugesting that children be labeled as "sex offenders." He is suggesting that steps be taken to make them aware of the seriousness of what they are doing when they engage in this sort of activity.


I don't advocate what they are doing, but one thing I don't understand. Sex offender laws originally were created to protect children, now they are being used to condemn them. These same laws that were supposed to be used against child predators, or labeling these same children as predators as well. I honestly cannot understand how anyone can think this is a good idea, has anyone ever gone online to see what this labeling entails? Do anyone think for themselves? Do anyone posses any logic that can honestly say crimilizing these teens for most of their life is in anyway good?
Where is the common sense?
Now lets describe what pornography is. Is every nude picture porn? Or is pornography nude pictures depicted in a sexual manner or pose? You would be surprised to find out, the defenitions may differ depending on where you live. But in a ultra conservative utah, the definition is a bit skewed. And anyone who thinks a nude body is porn, obviously does not think for themselves and are nothing more than sheep, being taught by the ultra conservative. So, lets go ahead and ruin their lives forever.


Shurtleff is right to take this on. Behavior such as this leads to more potentially dangerous behavior. As for the argument that kids don't know what they are doing is wrong is code for their parents aren't doing their job. There have to be consequences for behavior like this. Kids need to learn that there is a limit. There are expectations of members of polite society and just one of them is that you exercise self restraint. Whatever happened to teaching kids that there is a time and place for sex and it isn't on the phone, the computer, the TV or seedy adult theaters. If kids are going to act like adults they need to be treated like adults (including taking responsibility for their behavior) you can't have it both ways. Shurtleff is doing his job; upholding the laws of Utah and protecting society from predatory and dangerous behavior.


I do not advocate sexting, but labeling these teens as a sex offender is a bit excessive don't you think? Has anyone ever gone online to see what get labeled as a sex offender entail? They will have to register as a sex offender for most of their lives. And for what? sending nude pictures? How can taking a nude picture of yourself warrant this kind of response? The Sex Offender laws were supposed to be for sex offenders. These same laws that were supposed to protect our children, now are condemning them for life. FOR LIFE. Is this right?
My opinion, the laws that are being used against these teens, are doing far more harm then sending nude pictures of themselves ever will.


once again mr shurtleff has taken something and tried to criminalize it. so the kid made a mistake . dont give him/her a criminal record. use some common sense ... oh i forgot this is the church run state ..its either criminal or imoral to do anything out of the ordinary here

@ Arlan West

So, having the government prosecute your child for committing a crime means society is not responsible for raising your children?


Quite the contrary - taking punishment of this behavior away from the parents is putting the responsibility and cost on society.

@ Dave

Being found guilty of child pornography automatically means sex offender status.


How can one be both the victim and perpetrator of the same crime?


Why don't you do something more important than trying to label minors as sex offenders? Didn't you have lunch with that man from Utah County that is now facing an indictment Koerber (sp? - your inaction proves you're incompetent or corrupt. That man has been accused of swindling 100M from investors, and all I hear you doing is going to court over a basketball ruling, and minors for texting. Have you seen the pole on the Tribune, your support for senate was 5-6%. I hope when people go to the poles they remember the people you could have helped from being swindled and the minors you want to harm by labeling them as sex offender, Utah values?

@ anon @ 6 pm

"anyone who thinks a nude body is porn, obviously does not think for themselves and are nothing more than sheep, being taught by the ultra conservative."

Obviously, because my, or anyone else's, view differs from yours they cannot be thinking for themselves. Excellent display of tolerance. You effectively invalidated your own argument by providing a perfect example of what you're claiming all "ultra conservatives" are -- narrow-minded 'sheep' incapable of seeing an opposing/different point of view as valid.

I agree that tagging them as sex offenders is not the proper response, but I agree with his stance that we need to take a stand somewhere. From the article, I didn't see anywhere that he said they should be considered sex offenders, that was you labeling all "ultra conservatives".

Sex offenders, no. Placing them on a bad path, absolutely. "Sexting" may not be the worst thing ever, but it definitely opens a door that most of those kids, if they knew what was inside, would not want to open. That's what I hope this 'debate' is about.


Shurtleff is right on on this one. Consequences need to be steep to discourage kids from doing it.


Kids who do this need parents who care enough to intervene.

Shurtleff expanding gov't

Shurtleff is expanding government again. He thinks that the solution to everything is more government intervention. I can't see why anyone would support him. Yes, sexting is a bad thing but do we really want the government stepping in and controlling everything?


Mr. Shurtleff said. "No matter how the professor spins it, the fact is that minors sending nude photos, images or videos are engaging in the production, manufacture and distribution of child pornography."

And, "No matter how the professor spins it, the fact is that minors sending nude photos, images or videos are engaging in the production, manufacture and distribution of child pornography."

And also, "We should be teaching our youth the consequences of their behavior, rather than excusing it," And he also said. "Countless ICAC cases involve teens being exploited for the gratification or profit of others. Sexting leaves long-lasting scars."

He did not say that he would label any child a sex offender. These are words created by critics on this forum.

I believe that the identity of under age offenders will be handled much the same as it is for other crimes and there will be no public stigma unless they continue this practice after they become adults according to the law.

I think we should ask Mr. Shurtleff to explain how these cases will be handled under the law and give him every opportunity to nip this destructive behavior in the bud, with our help.


Kids are bombarded by sex at every turn of their lives...

We don't stop it on tv, magazines, jokes, or anything else..

The parents aren't going to be able to stop such actions, except to take the phone away..soooo, study away .....and intervene...when you see morals bend every way evey day...not gonna happen.


On one hand we have well thought out, studied, scientific research. On the other hand we have opinion based on dogma. Dogma wins. Welcome to Utah.

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