A new Rhode Island law has made it illegal for anyone to sext with a minor, yet a new study shows that a majority of college students have sexted and probably will continue to do so.
Rhode Island’s horny youth may need to find a new way to get their rocks off because sexting is off the menu. A new survey conduced by the University of Rhode Island has found that 56 percent of RI college students had received sexual images and 78 percent had received sexually suggestive messages on their phone, reports Science Daily. More than two-thirds of students owned up to sending sexts themselves, though in 73 percent of circumstances, it was to a relationship partner. So, what’s the big deal? Well, in Rhode Island it is now illegal for minors to send sexually suggestive texts to one another because of the whole Anthony Weiner sexting scandal. Call it an overreaction, but it’s now law.
According to the new sexting bill, minors who create and send sexually explicit images of themselves could be charged with a “status offense” and sent to family court. Worse, if you’re a minor or adult and you forward a sexually suggestive image of anyone younger than 18, you could be charged with sending child pornography in the state. Some kids are likely in for a rude awakening. The survey shows that 17 percent of students have forwarded a sext to somebody else. Under the new law, this could get them into big trouble, should that person report it.
“It is a delicate situation with the new laws that are in place,” said Tiffani Kisler, an assistant professor at the University of Rhode Island. “While it is important to protect minors and help them recognize the short- and long-term implications of sending sexually explicit images, opening them up to something as serious as potential child pornography charges may not be the most effective course of action.”
Sue K. Adams, another assistant professor at the university added that many kids entering college are right at that 17 to 18 year mark and don’t always pay attention to the age of those they’re flirting or sexting with. They’re going to have to get better.
Sexting is not the only problem phones have brought. The professors’ study also found that 47 percent of juniors and seniors are regularly awakened by texts and 40 percent answer phone calls during sleep. Worse, 93 percent of them are texting while driving and 82 percent have done it since Rhode Island passed a law outlawing it. With that statistic in mind, we’re somewhat doubtful teenagers are going to stop sexting one another. It’s doubtful that there is a law powerful enough to stop college students from sharing their dirty thoughts. Technology seems to only hasten the process.