Forensic Implications: Adolescent Sexting and Cyberbullying
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Adolescence is marked by establishing a sense of identity, core values, a sense of one’s relationship to the outside world and heightened peer relationships. In addition, there is also risk taking, impulsivity, self exploration and dramatic increase in sexuality. The dramatic increase in the use of cell phones and the Internet has additional social implications of sexting and cyberbullying. Sexting refers to the practice of sending sexually explicit material including language or images to another person’s cell phone. Cyberbullying refers to the use of this technology to socially exclude, threaten, insult or shame another person. Studies of cell phone use in the 21st century report well over 50 % of adolescents use them and that text messaging is the communication mode of choice. Studies also show a significant percentage of adolescents send and receive sex messaging, both text and images. This paper will review this expanding literature. Various motivations for sexting will also be reviewed. This new technology presents many dangers for adolescents. The legal implications are extensive and psychiatrists may play an important role in evaluation of some of these adolescents in the legal context. This paper will also make suggestions on future remedies and preventative actions.
KeywordsSexting Adolescence Cyberbullying Internet Forensics
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