Sexting Laws by State 2022

Connecticut

There are many states that do not physically employ sexting laws, as this is left to the discretion of the parties involved. However, in a growing remote world, the need to safeguard practices has left states like Connecticut to review their current landscape and stance on "sexting", or SMS texting in an explicit and sexual nature. While the laws do not specifically target consenting adults, most laws are in accordance with images and video messages between young adults in their teenage years. Connecticut law prohibits those between 13 and 17 years of age from transmitting or even possessing explicit sexual content of either themselves or another teenager.

Of course, this law is in effect for the younger children as well, as this applies to all those with access to a mobile device and are so inclined. The law in Connecticut makes specific distinctions between the ages of the recipient and their original or forwarded sender. The law states that the defines sender as being between 13 to 15 years of age, and the recipient being around 13 to 17 years of age. No guidance on younger ages is given toward this law, and of course, recipients and senders that are above this age can be charged for possession of child pornography.

Louisiana

Louisiana is an example of a state that does not want to split hairs amongst its message. The general public opinion, especially in a court of law, is that those who are under the age of 17 should not possess or distribute any explicit sexual content of themselves or their peers. It is notable that the age is not 18, which is largely considered the age of majority in most states, including Louisiana.

Louisiana acknowledges that it is incredibly difficult to mandate phone and service providers from barring any images or content for those of a certain age, especially since the plan is usually in the name of a parent, guardian, or older family member. This presents an intrinsic difficulty for defining the law towards messaging, so it is more focused on "receiving and subsequently" keeping the image.

This means that if a teen were to receive an image and then download that image, they would be considered breaking this specific law. As most phones may automatically save photos, the teenager may also claim that they deleted the content in a timely manner.

Texas

Texas represents a middle-of-the-road approach when it comes to sexting. While their stance on explicit material and child pornography echo those of other states, Texas does allow sexting (i.e receiving and keeping content) amongst adolescents provided the distributor and recipient consent to the relationship and images, and are at most 2 years apart in age.

This means that a minor as young as 16 years of age could potentially sext an adult who has reached the age of majority at 18. Of course, the stance from the state of Texas is that a new young adult of 18 or 19 years of age should not be punished for engaging in a relationship with someone around their own age.

Sexting Laws by State 2022