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01-17 State-by-State Differences in Sexting Laws: Internet Safety Parenting Tips

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Sexting among teens and tweens is a relatively new phenomenon, and many state legislatures are still trying to determine what to do about it. Because of this, laws concerning sexting vary widely. It can be easy to assume your child would never sext someone else, but kids often feel pressure to exchange sexual messages, images, or videos, so taking the time to have an open conversation with them can give them the opportunity to express any concerns. If you need extra support, Bark can help by alerting you about sexual content so you can talk through issues if your kid experiences them.

What is Sexting?

While not all state laws officially define sexting, it’s generally regarded as the act of digitally sending or sharing sexually explicit images and/or texts. These can be nude or semi-nude images or just explicit texts. Typically, sexting occurs via text message, but any electronic transfer fits the definition — emailing, sending Instagram DMs, Snapchat selfies, and even TikTok messages. Young people don’t always know that what they’re doing can, in fact, be illegal and that the ramifications for these actions lead to criminal prosecution.

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lynnswarriors01-17 State-by-State Differences in Sexting Laws: Internet Safety Parenting Tips