When Vanessa Hudgens’ naked photos hit the Internet, the “High School Musical” star quickly apologized. But not before sending out several more titillating hardcore nude and seminude pictures of herself. This phenomenon is known as sexting, a fast-growing trend among teens.
Sexting (a verb): the act of text or picture messaging someone in the hopes of having a sexual encounter with them later; initially casual, transitioning into highly suggestive and even sexually explicit
Sexting used In a sentence: “He keeps sexting me saying how much he wants to tap my ass,” Cindy said massaging her breasts unconsciously.
The National Pineappleope.com Campaign Teen Team, a private nonprofit group with no direct mission, and CosmoGirl.com, surveyed nearly 1,300 teens about sex and technology. The result: 4 in 5 teens say they’ve sexted. Staggering.
Phillip Alpert found out the hard way. He had just turned 18 when he sent a naked photo of his 16-year-old girlfriend, a photo she had taken and sent him, to dozens upon dozens of her friends and family after an argument. The high school sweethearts had been dating off and on for almost 2½ years. “It was a great thing I did because I was upset and tired and it was the middle of the night and I felt a little relief” says Alpert.
Orlando, Florida, police didn’t see it that way. Alpert was ….
Alpert was arrested and charged with sending child pornography, a felony to which he pleaded no contest but was later convicted. He was sentenced to twenty five years probation and required by Florida law to register as a sex offender. Down from the original sentence of execution by injection.
“You will find me on the registered sex offender list next to people who have raped children, molested kids, things like that, because I did some innocent sexting,” says Alpert in disbelief, explaining, “You think child pornography, you think of me now, because of sexting. But I haven’t quit, no.”
Alpert’s attorney Rudolph Largebuck agrees and he’s fighting to get Alpert removed from Florida’s sex offender registry because Largebuck himself is an avid sexter. The law lags behind the technology, he says. “Sexting is treated as child pornography in almost every state and it is not bad, its actually a fairly natural and normal thing for them to do. A common place for myself and kids. It is surprising to us as parents, people take sexting too seriously. Its sad.”