Among the many difficult challenges North Carolina parents of teenagers face is the problem of sexting — the sharing of nude photos of themselves or others. New research says that sexting is widespread: more than two-thirds of teen girls say they have been asked to share explicit photos. Researchers found that the girls face repeated requests for the photos and sometimes anger and threats to send the images.

Sexting problems extend beyond social pressures, however. It is possible for sexting teens to be arrested on charges related to child pornography and obscenity; laws that carry severe penalties that include a criminal record mandated sex offender registration and even imprisonment for minors who are charged as adults.

One psychologist said society should do more than teach girls not to send explicit images — it also needs to teach boys not to ask for the photos.

The girls “sometimes face harassment, they sometimes face threats, they’re sometimes cut off from relationships, and this has been going on among teenagers for a while.”

She said the research is important because it helps drive home a message to boys and girls alike: “don’t ask for nude photos.”

Asking for explicit images puts the person “in an awkward position, personally, socially — maybe legally.”

Some of our regular readers will recall that back in 2015, a pair of North Carolina teens who were dating was charged with felony child pornography after they had exchanged naked selfies with each other. The pair later pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disseminating harmful material to minors.

If you or a loved one faces a child porn charge, you can sit down and discuss the evidence, allegations and available legal options with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact Dysart Willis for more information.