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Abstract

"Firt love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity." -- George Bernard Shaw Teenagers will explore their sexuality; this is no new phenomenon. However, the ways that teens are exploring their curiosity is changing with technology. This trend has serious repercussions for teens, society, and the law. ‘Sexting’—defined as the act of sending sexually explicit photographs or messages via cell phone—is one recently-developed means of sexual exploration. The practice overlaps with the production, distribution, and possession of child pornography that is banned by both state and federal law. Due to the overlap, minors have been prosecuted under child pornography statutes for producing or sending images of themselves or other minors. This is not the proper use of child pornography prosecution, nor is it a solution to the problem of minors sexting. This Comment argues that minors should be a protected class against which child pornography charges cannot be brought. The solution to the sexting problem does not lie in prosecution. Instead, states should incorporate sexting education into state sexual education and health curricula. Education will help ensure that minors are aware of the risks associated with sexting, without being harmed under a statute that is meant to protect them.