Child pornography is excluded from the First Amendment protection of free speech. The production, sale, and distribution of sexual images of children under the age of 18 are illegal under numerous federal and state laws. Even offering to provide or request­ing to obtain child pornography carries a mandatory 5-year prison sentence (Sherman,

2008) . Federal law also prohibits the sale or distribution of images of adult women pretending to be under age 18.

Internet child pornography is a $20 billion-per-year industry that continues to expand throughout the world (Brockman, 2006). The Internet provides individuals drawn to child pornography with greatly increased access to illegal materials. The majority of child porn consumers who are apprehended are White males of all ages and educational and occupational backgrounds. Most have no prior criminal history or evidence of pedophilia (McGlone, 2011). Internet sting operations can be very successful and have resulted in many arrests of child pornographers and consumers of child pornography.

Sexting involves adolescents using primarily cell phones to take and send sexually explicit photos and text messages to other teens. In the last few years legislators in most states have been trying to determine how to respond to sexting. Under some states’ laws, sexting is considered to be child pornography and sending or receiving it is a felony sex crime. Many states have amended these laws to allow minors to be charged with mis­demeanor or lesser offenses and offer educational and diversion programs (J. Hoffman, 2011; Wolf & Ripley, 2012).

The Internet has exponentially expanded access to sexually explicit material. How­ever, as we see in the following section, throughout history, advances in technology have both expanded access to and reduced control of sexual materials by the governing church or state.