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Children, Sexuality, and the Law$
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Sacha M. Coupet and Ellen Marrus

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780814723852

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814723852.001.0001

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Sex, Laws, and Videophones

Sex, Laws, and Videophones

The Problem of Juvenile Sexting Prosecutions

(p.133) 6 Sex, Laws, and Videophones
Children, Sexuality, and the Law

Seth F. Kreimer

NYU Press

This chapter explores children's rights to sexual expression. It specifically examines the phenomenon of “sexting”—the electronic transmission of sexually suggestive text messages and images—and the constitutional tensions implicit in the regulation of children's speech. In the twenty-first century, teenagers armed with cellphone cameras have acquired increasing capacities to capture and share nude images of themselves and their sexual partners. As sexting burst into popular consciousness, scandalized prosecutors pulled its teenaged practitioners to court, bringing to bear child pornography statutes drafted to address the threat of adult pedophiles from a pre-digital era. However, deploying child pornography statutes against teenagers who take or send sexualized pictures of themselves raises substantial First Amendment questions.

Keywords:   sexual expression, sexting, children's speech, child pornography, adult pedophiles, First Amendment

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