'Before You Text' Sexting Prevention Course

Module Overview

Because of the rapidly-changing field of technology, the consequences of sharing electronic material are hard to predict. This module discusses the nature of electronic communication and limits of control over information shared electronically.

Module Objectives

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify the major limitations of control over electronic communication
  • Recognize at least three general consequences of sexting

Module Topics

This module will review the following topics:

  • What are the limits of control over electronic communication?
  • What are the general consequences of sexting?

What are the limits of control over electronic communication?

Before technological advances like the Internet and mobile phone messaging, it was much more difficult for someone to spread a rumor or circulate a harmful message or photo. A person either had to spread a rumor using word-of-mouth, pass around a physical copy, or go to the trouble of making copies and distributing them. Now, when a message, picture or video gets posted on the Internet or sent via mobile phone, it is impossible to know how many people will receive it. Because technology has made it easier to copy or send electronic content, you no longer have any control over a message, picture or video once you send it.

Watch the following video, developed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and choose what happens next:

Video | 0:18

Remember, once you send an electronic message, picture, or video, you no longer have any control over it.

What are the general consequences of sexting?

Legal

Texas Penal Code Section 43.261, it is possible for a minor to be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony offense for possession or promotion of child pornography, depending upon the circumstances. If a child is adjudicated for the offense of sexting, legal consequences may include probation until the child’s 18th birthday. If a minor who is not a child, is found guilty of the offense of sexting, penalties range from a fine not to exceed $500 to up to one year in jail. If an individual is convicted of the felony offense of possession or promotion of Child Pornography, penalties range from 2 to 20 years in prison.

Social

Even though you may engage in sexting just to get someone’s attention or to be funny, there is a good chance it could have a negative effect on your relationships with friends or family, and even your reputation.

Emotional

When your relationships with friends or family are negatively affected by sexting, this can be hard on you emotionally and linger much longer than you might think.

Educational & Career

Your decision to sext could prevent you from participating in activities at school, getting into college, or even getting a job – especially if sexually explicit pictures or videos of you end up on the Internet.