28 August 2011
SHOULD teens who take pictures and videos of themselves in sexual situations be treated the same way as pedophiles?
Social commentator and researcher Nina Funnell, who is currently working on a book about sexting, said that under the current system the consequences far outweighed the crime.
Victoria (Australia) this week announced an inquiry into whether the punishments for sexting — which can include 10 years in jail and registration as a sex offender — are too harsh
."Teenagers have been put on the sex offender register in relation to sexting incidents," she told news.com.au."It will have a devastating impact on the lives of these teenagers."It will have an impact on them professionally, in terms of the types of jobs that they are able to apply for
."But it's more than that, it's the social stigma of being a registered sex offender, and knowing that in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of society you are viewed in a particular way and you have been grouped in with convicted pedophiles.
"As well as the impact on teenagers placed on the list, Funnell said the current system made the list itself less powerful as a deterrent to criminals
."It actually waters down the power and effectiveness of the sex offenders register and I think we need to be preserving the integrity of that sex offender register so it's meaningful," she said