In just explaining the meaning of sexting, it is easy to underestimate the seriousness of the behavior. While the study in this case set out to find whether those who sexted were more likely to be sexually active, that information has little legal value.

What is of value with regards to the law is to know that sexting is not just some innocent, playful act in the state of Florida. And it is taken even more seriously throughout other parts of the country. Florida recently changed its sex crime laws related to teens and sexting in order to protect mere kids from being labeled as sex offenders.

Even though a teen who is caught sending a sext message won’t be classified as a sexual offender, he or she could still face legal consequences. Depending on whether it is a first, second or subsequent offense, the punishments would range from fines, mandatory community service and even prison time. Therefore, it is important for Florida parents to look at the supposed popularity of sexting among teens and use that information as power. Parents should talk to their teens about what sexting is and how the behavior could negatively impact their lives.

Source: CBS New, “One in four teens admit to sexting, study finds,” Michelle Castillo, July 3, 2012