You’re hot, you know it (hell, yeah!), and it’s super tempting to share racy photos with your very special somebody–but the consequences of sexting can be, well, anything but sexy. Of course you trust your sweetie, but there’s no way to know that those private pics of you in bed won’t get spread around to other people by hackers, frienemies, or your ex if you break up–and they could even end up online like Scarlett Johannson’s did. Scarlett’s lucky that people forget about nude celeb photos pretty quickly, but in real life, having your foxy photos go viral can be embarrassing, lead to major drama at school (almost half of high school guys say they’ve seen at least one naked pic of a female classmates), and generally turn your life upside-down. Recent studies even show that gURLs in high school are twice as likely to be depressed and five times as likely to attempt suicide if they’ve either sent or received sexts. So it’s no surprise that gURLs everywhere are buzzing about sexting–whether they do it or not.
To try to protect gURLs and guys under 18, some states have taken a stand against sexting and made it totally illegal for young people to send sexually explicit texts–but the laws totally depend on where you live. For instance, if someone under 18 in Texas gets caught sending a sext, they would be asked to attend an anti-sexting class as their punishment. Meanwhile, in Rhode Island, if a minor is caught sending nude or semi-nude photos, they will have to appear in Family Court and have a “status” offense filed under their name, while anyone 18 or over in that state who forwards or sends out sexy pics of anyone under 18 (even if it’s their boyfriend or girlfriend) could be charged with child pornography and have to register as a sex offender. The label of sex offender isn’t anything to take lightly, either–it puts you in the same category of rapists, and can get you kicked out of college and worse. Many people, including a few government officials, think that’s going too far, and that young people should be allowed to do what they want with their cell phones and their bodies without such scary penalties.
WDYT? Is sexting just another way of expressing yourself or is it something gURLs do because they feel pressured to be sexy? Do you think gURLs should be allowed to send whatever they want over text? Have you ever sent a sexy pic you’ve wished you could take back? Get talking below!