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

Return to article »

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

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
@old school

Sexting a human right? Are you high on crack?


This article shows yet again that we have serious problems with the justice system. Attorney Generals, judges, prosecutors, the police, etc., are in desperate need of being educated regarding human sexuality, psychology and especially adolescent psychology. While technically minors, adolescents, especially older adolescents, are young adults and not children. They should be treated accordingly and be allowed to enjoy some rights and priveledges. If it is not illegal for someone 18 or older, should it even be illegal for someone 16 or 17? Or should it be just a minor offense?
We also need to make sure that the only thing the government outlaws to the point of making it a felony is abusive, exploitive and non-consensual sexual activity. Unless something is proven by science, reason, and empirical evidence to be harmful (and unreasonably harmful at that) it should NOT be illegal (or possibly be just a misdemeanor) even if it is in opposition to some people's view of "morality" or religious doctrine or sensibilities or traditions.

This Canadian

. . . Professor Cumming sounds like a guy that just wants free kiddie porn and doesn't want the government interfering in his obtaining it.

It's amazing what passes for scholarship and science these days.

Why don't they just

put together a new law and take it to the legislature or the voting booths next year, making it a crime, but of a lesser charge than child pornography? The kids who are caught could do community service or take a class at city hall, the way they have to do when they're caught shoplifting, and they could have a court mandated block put on sending or receiving media texts (picture or video) until they're 18. Phone companies can put the block on, it's not like it's impossible.

Or better yet, why don't parents put the block on themselves? Teenagers with cell phones don't need all the extra packaging. It was only just over ten years ago that they made Clueless, a movie spoofing, among other things, how ridiculous it would be to have teenagers carrying around cell phones in high school. Now it's standard, and probably somewhat necessary. But they don't NEED to be able to send pics and videos to their friends.

Michael Jackson

Just Beat it Shurtleff. I'm BAD!


My understanding is that the legislature voted unanimous in make sexting a misdemeanor for minors for a first time offense. As Kurt mentioned our court system is broken down. When it comes to sex offenses the judge has very little power. Utah law is such that your fate is sealed and thanks to mandatory sentencing you can go through the programs, change your behavior but still have the label. A lifetime sentence on the sex offender registry??? People need a better understanding in how our brains are wired, especially, men's. Our tax dollars would be better spent in educating and providing counseling and hope. How did we get so mean?

old school

It is rare that in one's lifetime a moral and ethical question might arise where one is asked to choose the side of evil or choose the side of good.

Today, in our lifetime, the sexual rights of children is one of these questions. During slavery it was evident that to be on the side of abolition was to be on the side of good; similarly, in Nazi Germany to be on the side of Jews was to choose the good, to be against them was to choose the evil.

Likewise, these days, the field for human rights has to do with the freedom of children to be sexual beings where the side of good is to respect the consent of children, and the side of evil is to suppress and criminalize that consent.

Yes, "sexting" IS a human right.

And considering a child, usually a boy, can have his life ruined forever because he chooses free will, the will to express his sexuality, then there is a distant but very resonate parallel between the Nazis rounding up the Jews and the current authorities of Utah--or whatever state--rounding up kids who willing consent to sexuality.


Children do not have the right to "sexting"! The problem is with technology today... what you thought was private and between friends is now out for the world to view. Teenager's reasoning ability is low. I agree with the professor's study yet we have a duty to protect our children and youth from dangers they know nothing about. The punishment does not fit the crime. That is where we have gone so crazy... where is the balance???


Shurtleff directly referenced the law when he said "... the production, manufacture and distribution of child pornography" from the charge of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. That being a 2nd degree felony with life-time registration on the sex offender registry.

This type of behavior is not predatory and making it a registerable offense is crowding an already populous registry with no risk based classification! Utah does not differentiate offenders according to threat or level of treatment, and offenses like this that would fall under Sexual Exploitation of a Minor is misleading and ambiguous of exacting.

Prosecuting teenagers would be a frivolous endeavor when 20% are taking part in it. Ignoring it may extenuate the problem but intervening legally is excessive, unless the activity is either through enticement or serious advantageous exploitation.

Lastly, why doesn't the Deseret News post a link to Cumming's paper?

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments