CJBA 110 Fall 2014
Assingment #2 The availability of cell phones for younger and younger ages has been both beneficial and troubling. Though it allows for adolescents to constantly connect with each other, issues such as “sexting” have become an increasing problem in middle schools and high schools around the country. Social learning illustrates that behavior is learned through the relationship with others. This can be applied to “sexting” because adolescents are pressured by their peers to share pictures to one another. Due to the increased issues with “sexting”, some teens have found themselves involved with the law. This poses a problem for the district attorneys office, where the issue of charging a teen with child pornography has arisen. This is evident in the suggested situation where the 16-year old high school junior sent nude pictures to her then 18-year old boyfriend before breaking up, who then distributed the pictures among his friends as revenge. The 18-year-old boy is then arrested for child pornography, and the district attorneys office wants to prosecute him based on his behavior and troubled history. Social learning theory can explain why some people, especially adolescents due to their easily impressionable minds, express deviant behavior. Social learning theory states that behavior is learned from the environment through the process of observational learning. The boy most likely learned his deviant behavior from his friends, whether he observed the behavior or was pressured into the behavior. This can help explain why the boy began smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol. Social learning theory can also explain why the boy sent out the pictures of his ex-girlfriend to his friends, because he learned that sending them was how he could get revenge on her or make fun of her to make him feel better. In many cases charging someone with a crime because the law should be upheld can be a bad option for handling the situation. The district attorneys office wants to prosecute the boy based on child pornography charges. Technically the boy can be charged with child pornography because he distributed pornographic material of a minor. I believe that the boy shouldn’t be prosecuted for child pornography because it would ruin the boy’s life and his chances at succeeding as a young adult. If the boy were found guilty he would become a registered sex offender, which would severely limit him at finding a job and housing. Some states have decided to create new laws specifically for situations like the boy is involved in. “In Pennsylvania, for example, two proposed bills would address “sexting” as the dissemination of prohibited materials by minors via electronic communications.”(Sexting or Self-Produced Child Pornography, 562). I think another punishment should be put in place such as, having the boy go through an educational program to help him understand what he did. Also the boy should also be entered into a substance abuse program to help him with the drugs and alcohol he has been abusing.
However if the boy is found guilty of child pornography he will become a registered sex offender, which can ruin the boy’s life. People reach mental maturity…