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TeXting to Tease

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By Claudia Shea email
Posted by Rachel Leigh email

(WFLX) - You have probably never heard of "peer-to-peer porn", but it is infesting high schools and colleges. Kids are now taking and sending cell phone pictures of themselves nude.

Technology changes everything including, it seems, exhibitionism. Now, it's easy to make yourself the star in nude pictures and send those pics to others. Many teenagers are doing just that usually between boyfriend and girlfriend. They have no idea it's against the law and most parents have no idea it's going on at all.

Sgt. Tim Stadler, Tulsa Police Department, warned, "There are a lot of children, anyone under 18, taking pictures with cell phones in a bathroom or straight on nude, and, then, sending it to someone else."

We asked these five Tulsa high school students about peer-to-peer porn. Everyone raised their hand saying they knew someone who had taken a picture or shared a picture of themselves nude or partially nude.

The students believe kids are doing this because they think it will make them popular or liked by a member of the opposite sex. Not one of them realized the pictures are illegal.

Reporter: "If somebody gets caught sending a nude picture, should they go to jail?"

Kids: "No, because, it's at their will. They're embarrassing themselves."

Reporter: "Nobody's forcing them."

All agreed, even if the intent was to send the picture to one special person. But the reality is the pictures would eventually get seen by others because someone shares it with buddies or worse.

Kids: "Say he gets mad at you. He could take advantage of that, and send it to anyone he wants."

They don't believe this pictures are porn. They relate that to stuff they see on the Internet. None of these kids pay for their own phones. But all thought it would be an invasion of their privacy if their parents checked their phones. Most say their parents aren't tech savvy enough or even aware of the problem.

Kids: "I don't think it crosses their mind their kid has pornography or naked pictures on their phone."

The teens in this story aren't that different from teens in other studies. Experts say teens don't believe the pictures are porn because they relate that kind of stuff to the things they see on the Internet.

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