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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Professor is right

I agree with the Canadian Professor. People have the right to photograph themselves and give the photos to whomever they want, assumint the reciever is willing.


My son just finished a criminal law class in high school and this topic came up. According to the law, anyone under the age of 18 is a minor, a.k.a. "child". Manufacturing, possessing and/or distributing (a.k.a. "Sexting") any images that could be deemed pornographic of a person under the age of 18 is dealing Child Pornography. This is the law of the nation, not just Utah. In this case, Mr. Shurtleff is dead on.

Only in Utah!

Only in Utah would you find extremists so over the top on something like this as to label it child porn and try to prosecute the kids. A kid sending an image of themself to 1 other person that they know well is not the same as mass distribution of child porn! Get with Reality and Get off your Soap Box!

It is obvious who Mark is trying to get votes from with this over the top stance, but he does not realize that there are a lot more normal and logical LDS and other religious people in this state than the minority vocal religious zealots that might be extreme enough to agree with him on this!

Middle ground

There's got to be some middle ground that gets these kids the help and attention they need without making them felons for the rest of their life.
Sexting is not good, but to label a child as a "sex offender" doesn't help them and honestly doesn't do too much to discourage other kids from doing the same thing. Kids don't always consider all of the consequences of their actions. They don't even know all of the consequences much of the time. Even if you tell them (over and over again) some of them still don't get it. They're brains don't work like adult brains.
If such "deterrents" really do work for children we would never hear about kids getting hurt playing with fire, dangerous weapons, or falling off their bicycles.
I'm all for teaching children what's right and wrong, but Shurtleff goes too far here.


Lock-up these bad kids for producing child porn, they will surely come out more moral after a year in the big house with a criminal record. Good Idea, thanks for your help Mark!

Shirtless Shurtleff

I'm LDS. I think it's unfair to assume that LDS have a single point of view in this legal issue.

I agree with many who state that it is overreactionary to brand teens who are caught doing this sort of thing as "sex offenders". It isn't something I want kids doing, but children do stupid things. By throwing this under the sex-offender bus, the whole concept of such an offense loses meaning. In a few years were this to continue, there will be a whole generation of adults wearing that label who can claim all they did was send a picture over a cellphone.

Calling them Level A or level C or whatever the classification is that is least harmless doesn't work... because people don't know what those classifications mean.

Growing up is hard to do. Especially as these technologies and trends are so new. Draconian responses such as what Shurtleff is advocating is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.


I dont think this article, Mr, Cummings article, or any of the comments are required. Let us just update sex education to include aspects of technology, and parent, the next time you have the "sex talk", instead of asking your daughter "to wait" why not let them know that a simple thing like "sexting" might have more repercussions than pre-marital sex.

RE:Naturist guy 3:51 5/28

Naturist guy | 3:51 p.m. May 28, 2009
"...and let's face it, one naked person looks pretty much like every other one. We're not talking about finger prints here"

I beg to differ. Take a gander at, say, Roseann Barr in the buff, then compare her to, say, Jennifer Aniston. Not only is that a disturbing comparison...tell me that isn't a "fingerprint"!

Extreme overreaction

Much ado about nothing. The study is absolutely right. In and of itself, nudity is meaningless, pictorial or otherwise. Every one of us was born with a body. Who cares. That we would consider it acceptable to destroy lives with our so-called legal system, over nothing, while not a surprise to me, is clearly indicative of a culture that has completely lost it. Anyone, including evidently, Mr. Shurtleff, that would advocate such idiocy, is very dangerous. Maybe I'd better move to Canada, where there's apparently still some chance for reason?


If Shurtleff really wants to prosecute these kids, and if the study is correct in that 1 in 5 of teens have engaged in this behavior, we will run out of space in our prisons, and we will run out of students in our schools. Or we could convert the schools to prisons. Then there wouldn't be any problem with prison overcrowding.

That is, unless we would rather educate children than incarcerate them.

Maybe the people who would label these kids as sex criminals are the ones who need to be educated.

Moral to challenge unjust laws

Anti-nudity jihadists should spell out how a society benefits if its members are instructed to be uncomfortable with the naked body.

That more sexually-repressive societies are more aggressive and warlike suggests that sexual repression furthers the agenda of the military-industrial cabal.

The behaviors of self-justifying police and prosecutors make most instances of nudity involving children far more damaging than the actual creation or distribution of the image.


I do not care who you are. You must be a freak to say that nude photos are not harmful. Thank You shurtlef for standing up for decency. If nude photos where not harmful, then why do older age persons look at that crap and then try to act out. You cannot tell me one porn addict that has looked at that stuff and has not acted or contemplated on doing something. What kinda society do we live in that a person says looking a naked children is normal and not harmful. I would swear because you people are freaks. Thank You shurtlef for standing up!

I have trouble with this

On the one hand, we have kids who take naked pictures of themselves and send it to their friends.
On the other hand, we have the slimey guy in the panel van who is forcing kids to get naked and snapping shots of them so he and others like him can feel titillated.
I think there is a distinct moral difference between the two. Treating one as the other overvalues the moral turpitude of the one while undervaluing the moral turpitude of the other. I like Shurtleff but he is wrong on this.


RE: child porn laws
We should consider the purpose of the law in this matter. the purpose is to make it illegal for a person to Force a child to pose naked for pictures. That is abusive. (usually an adult taking advantage of a child in the process of taking the photo.
Teen sexting does not take advantage of the youth being photoed, therefor the child porn law should not apply.


This activity can lead to worse/other things?? WHO SAYS SO, where's the studies to back that up?
Leave the teens alone and let their parents work it out with them.
Sex-offender arrests have run rampant in this state and are a placebo blanket for whatever the courts/state want to shove under that blanket. WRONG & UNJUST! Adding teens to that is opening up to ruin their lives completely --- WHY?!
Enough is enough, our rights have been trampled on for years now and UT is one of the worst states doing so, isn't it time to put a halt to that instead of supporting more laws creating more havoc?!

Teens will always figure out how to use the latest technology in any way they find enjoyable, why make that wrong and create laws to govern it? Use some common sense here people and our Govenor should as well!

Well, Mark

Just who is to blame?
I suggest we sue the Phone Manufacturers.
Shurtleff will have us all in Jail if he has his way.
Shurtleff has a major problem with a desire to punish Utahn's.
Kids are kids and they have a new toy to display.
With a camera phone, What would you have expected from this device?
Shurtliff needs to go and Not to Washington.
We have to many Rich Boys in Office destroying Poor Boys.


Funny you should point to Canada, Clem...we've been your best customers in the films from Hollywood and your soap operas and your lifestyles, for years. We may be or not, as bad as you paint us,but I'd do a little studying before you open your large, 'Amercan' mouth.


Is this how Paul Murphy earns his salary as publist for the AG. What's next, Israel, Mexico, there is always the English model of caring for the welfare for children. I suppose we will be subject to more of the moral philosophy of our future Senator.

Concerned Mother

Teens should not be labeled "sex offenders." Utah sex offender laws are the harshest in the nation. Legislation is written that sex offenses can not be dealt down to a misdemeanor and there is ten years or lifetime on the sex offender registry.
To put this burden on a teenagers shoulders is criminal!! Juveniles should be handeled differently than adults. There are better ways to hold them accountable for their actions than a felony conviction and being a registered sex offender.

old school

I'm very surprised about the uproar over this story. One has to wonder why such noise is being made--is it a sign there is something deeply wrong in American's attitudes towards the sexuality of minors?

And if you read between the headlines, the true story that seems to be emerging is that of a growing civil rights battle for children.

Just as in civil rights battles of the past, the key question is are children deserving of the human right of sexuality? Right now our laws say no, children are not human enough to be allowed to have sexuality.

But with thousands of stories online about teen sexting, and hundreds of teens being caught all the time, it seems that kids are voting with their cell phones.

Now the question that confronts us is: is this sexting a natural phenomenon? And what are the moral and ethical problems with hunting down children who choose to claim their sexuality despite the draconian laws that want to scare them sexless?

One could are argue that this is turning out to be one of the great human rights battles of history.

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