Teen ‘Sexting’ Is No Crime: Peak Youth Regulator Addresses Parliamentary Inquiry


A youth regulator has criticised laws that consider ‘sexting’ between teenagers as a crime under child pornography.

Regulator Youth Action has made recommendations to a New South Wales parliamentary inquiry through a submission suggesting the review of teen “sexting” laws. The consideration into the sexualisation of youth will be addressed during the public hearing through the inquiry on Thursday. Teen Vogue reported that in 2015, over 100 students from Colorado high school suffered charges after they were found involved in a massive sexting ring.

Youth Action’s CEO Katie Acheson said that the way of thinking of the young generation has changed to a great extent and hence the legal bindings also needs a transformation. Considering consensual ‘sexting’ as a crime is not a solution. Youth share explicit photographs using mobile phones, which is also taken as a criminal deed under child pornography as teens are involved.

She added that sex education was unable to fulfil the needs of the generation and hence students have to gather knowledge relating to the same online. The inquiry is supposed to consider the social media platform to find out contents driven by teen sexting. One of the Sydney women confessed that sexting was nothing uncommon for their group and it was a usual topic among friends.

Acheson said the regulator wished to see a significant growth of sexual education for the youth based on the inquiry’s decision. “And then make the boundaries for what keeps them safe around that, and not around our preconceived ideas about what is a healthy sexuality for us,” Acheson said as quoted by the ABC.”Ten years ago, five years ago, 40 years ago, the system has changed, life has changed, and we need to make sure that we do what’s right and we regulate to keep them safe.

“But we also encourage them to be able to express themselves and develop their sexual identity in a healthy way and if we lock it down and we just regulate everything, what we do is we say it’s unhealthy to express your sexuality and then we see much bigger problems.”

Meanwhile, the inquiry will also be interacting with representatives from the advertising industry to be aware of the sexting activities involved in the industry.

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