Nearly 20 states have enacted new laws, or are working on measures that deal with teenage sexting, aimed at treating children more leniently than adults. The Wall Street Journal reports Arizona, Connecticut, Louisiana and Illinois are among the states that enacted laws this year. Many of the new rules impose only modest penalties, such as small fines and short stints in juvenile detention, instead of prison terms and a cameo on the sex offender registry. Across the nation, lawmakers and child advocates are struggling with the issues: Should they hammer teens, or let parents and schools handle sexting incidents? One in five teens admits to “sexting,” according to a survey by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
A growing number of unmarried teenagers say they would be pleased if they got pregnant, or got a partner pregnant. 14% of girls and 18% of boys share this point of view, according to a study from the National Center for Health Statistics. 64% of U.S. teens now believe “it is OK for an unmarried female to have a child.”
Read the entire study here, or the summary in Youth Today. (pictures courtesty rahego’s photostream)