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What is sexting?

Raychelle C. Lohmann, MS, LPC
Psychology Specialist

Sexting is sending, receiving or forwarding sexual photos or sexually suggestive messages through text message or email. While the term "sext" has been around since about 2005, the idea of exchanging or recording sexual material isn't a new concept. Historically sexual material has been distributed by means of: drawings, photographs and videos. Then along came the Internet through which electronic devices and social media outlets have changed the game of sexual exchanges. These modern technology advances have made sexual exchanges much easier and more powerful than ever before. With a click of a button a picture can be distributed to many people instantaneously—and once it's out there, there's no going back.

Dr. Erik Fisher
Psychology Specialist

Sexting involves people, mostly teens, taking nude pictures of themselves and sending them using their cell phones to others. This action has resulted in some teens being charged with violations of child pornography laws. These laws can carry some serious penalties, the most serious being registration on sex offenders databases for 10 years.

Shawn Edgington
Pediatrician

A "sext" is defined as a sexual text message or sexually explicit photo that is delivered by text message (often called mobile messaging) using short messaging service (SMS) and/or multimedia message (MMS)—sending photos and videos by text—technology.

Sexting is a terrifying concept for any parent and has become more and more prevalent within the teen community. Sexting involves the sending of inappropriate and/or sexually explicit photos or videos of themselves or inappropriate messages that are texted to boyfriends, girlfriends and even strangers.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.