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The reasoning behind this is that men seem to be more open about their sexual drive, which promotes the instigation of sexual contact. Also in this article, it says, "The age group that is most keen on sexting is 18 to year olds". Amy Adele Hasinoff published an article trying to get rid of the stigma that sexting is simply exploitation of sexual matters.


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Women are sexualized whenever they post or share any form of intimate media. Men are not. When it comes to sexting, there is a big difference between sexual exploitation and a consensual decision to express one's sexuality and share an image of their own body with someone who wants to see it. If a person sends an explicit image of themselves to a partner, then it can be against the law to re-transmit a copy of that image to another person without the consent of the originator. While there are many possible legal avenues for prosecution of people who knowingly breach the confidence of those sending sexual messages, in practice, nude images can be widely propagated without the consent of the originator.

Some young people blackmail their sexual partners and former partners by threatening to release private images of them. Studies have shown that sex crimes using digital media against minors reflect the same kind of victimization that happens offline. The report highlighted the risk of severe depression for "sexters" who lose control of their images and videos.

The University of Utah study with a population sample of teens ages 14—18 stated that about one third of respondents did not consider legal or other consequences when receiving or sending sexts. Some teenagers shared that their "main risks of parental discovery were embarrassment for both parents and young people and 'overreaction' from adults who feared the photo had been shared. Albury and Crawford argue that adolescents are well aware of the differences between consensual sexting and distribution of private images with negative intent.

Further, they argue young people are developing norms and ethics of sexting based on consent. Creation and distribution of explicit photos of teenagers violates child pornography laws in many jurisdictions depending on the age of the people depicted , but this legal restriction does not align with the social norms of the population engaging in the practice, which distinguish between consensual activity and harassment or revenge.

Child pornography cases involving teen-to-teen sexting have been prosecuted in Oregon, [53] [54] Virginia, [55] and Nova Scotia. While mainstream media outlets, parents, and educators are rightfully worried about the negative legal, social, and emotional ramifications of teen sexting, much less is said about the issue of sexual consent.

According to a study conducted by professors at the University of New South Wales, [57] due to child pornography laws that prohibit any minor from consenting to sexual activity, issues of consent among adolescent teens is seldom discussed. Much like the discourse surrounding "abstinence-only" education , the prevailing attitude towards sexting is how to prevent it from occurring rather than accepting its inevitability and channeling it in healthier ways.

According to the study, instead of criminalizing teens who participate in sexting, the law should account for whether the images are shared consensually. This would mean adopting an "ethics" approach, one that teaches and guides teens on how to respect bodily autonomy and privacy. According to a study done by the health journal Pediatrics , more than one in five middle school children with behavioral or emotional problems has recently engaged in sexting.

Those individuals who have reported sexting in the past six months were four to seven times more likely to engage in other sexual activities such as intimate kissing, touching genitals, and having vaginal or oral sex , compared to children who stated they did not partake in sexting. The study included participants who were between the ages of 12 and 14 years old.

The children were pulled from five urban public middle schools in Rhode Island between and Seventeen percent of the children tested claimed they had sent a sexually explicit text message in the past six months. Another five percent admitted to sending sexually explicit text messages and nude or semi-nude photos. Sexting is generally legal if all parties are over the age of majority and images are sent with their consent and knowledge; however, any type of sexual message that both parties have not consented to can constitute sexual harassment.

Sexting that involves minors under the age of consent sending an explicit photograph of themselves to a romantic partner of the same age can be illegal in countries where anti- child pornography laws require all participants in pornographic media to be over the age of majority. Some teenagers who have texted photographs of themselves, or of their friends or partners, have been charged with distribution of child pornography, while those who have received the images have been charged with possession of child pornography; in some cases, the possession charge has been applied to school administrators who have investigated sexting incidents as well.

The images involved in sexting are usually different in both nature and motivation from the type of content that anti-child pornography laws were created to address. In the United States, anyone who is involved in the electronic distribution of sexual photos of minors can face state and federal charges of child pornography.

The laws disregard the consent of parties involved. Kath Albury discusses in an article titled "Sexting, Consent, and Young People's Ethics: Beyond Megan's Story" that if teens are convicted of a sexting charge, they have to register as a sex offender, and this takes away the impact of the title of sex offender. A girl who agreed to send her girlfriend a naked picture is not as dangerous to the community as a child molester but the charge of sex offender would be applied equally to both of these cases. In a interview, assistant professor of communications at the University of Colorado Denver, Amy Adele Hasinoff, who studies the repercussions of sexting has stated that the "very harsh" child pornography laws are "designed to address adults exploiting children" and should not replace better sex education and consent training for teens.

According to Amy Hasinoff, if sexting was viewed as media production and a consensual activity, this would change the legal assumption that sexting is always non-consensual and reduce the culpability of victimized youth. This turns sexting into a situation that would lead to different legal consequences when distribution of the material was not consented to by the creator. Primack, who draws from Amy Hasinoff's work, argued a media production model may be useful for distinguishing between child pornography and sexting from a First Amendment perspective.


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  • Primack, the motivation for creating and distributing sexts e. For these reasons, there may be arguments - grounded in reasoning provided by First Amendment doctrine - for finding some youth sexts exchanged between persons who are of the age of consent to be legally-protected speech. Legal professionals and academics have expressed that the use of "child porn laws" with regard to sexting is "extreme" or "too harsh".

    Florida cyber crimes defense attorney David S. Seltzer wrote of this that "I do not believe that our child pornography laws were designed for these situations A conviction for possession of child pornography in Florida draws up to five years in prison for each picture or video, plus a lifelong requirement to register as a sex offender. Academics have argued that sexting is a broad term for images being sent over Internet and cell phones, between minors, adults, or minors and adults, and in an abusive manner or in an innocent manner.

    In order to develop policy better suited for adolescent sexting cases, it is necessary to have better terms and categories of sexting. University of New Hampshire typology has suggested the term youth-produced sexual image to classify adolescent sexting.

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    Furthermore, they branch into two sub-categories: aggravated and experimental youth-produced sexual image. Aggravated cases include cases of sexual assault, coercion, cyber-bullying, forwarding images without consent, and abusive behavior. Experimental cases are cases in which an adolescent willingly takes a picture and sends it to someone with no criminal intent and is attention-seeking.

    In Connecticut, Rep. Rosa Rebimbas introduced a bill that would lessen the penalty for "sexting" between two consenting minors in The bill would make it a Class A misdemeanor for children under 18 to send or receive text messages with other minors that include nude or sexual images. It is currently a felony for children to send such messages, and violators could end up on the state's sex offender registry. Vermont lawmakers introduced a bill in April to legalize the consensual exchange of graphic images between two people 13 to 18 years old.

    Passing along such images to others would remain a crime. In Ohio, a county prosecutor and two lawmakers proposed a law that would reduce sexting from a felony to a first degree misdemeanor , and eliminate the possibility of a teenage offender being labeled a sex offender for years. The proposal was supported by the parents of Jesse Logan, a Cincinnati year-old who committed suicide after the naked picture of herself which she sexted was forwarded to people in her high school.

    Utah lawmakers lessened the penalty for sexting for someone younger than 18 to a misdemeanor from a felony. In New York, Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski D-Rockland has introduced a bill that will create an affirmative defense where a minor is charged under child pornography laws if they possesses or disseminate a picture of themselves or possess or disseminates the image of another minor within 4 years of their age with their consent. The affirmative defense will not be available if the conduct was done without consent. It also creates an educational outreach program for teens that promotes awareness about the dangers of sexting.

    In the Australian state of Victoria, the law was reformed in to create a defence for young people who engage in consensual sexting and the introduction of the new offences of distribution of an intimate image, and threat to distribute an intimate image. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 20 June The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this article , discuss the issue on the talk page , or create a new article , as appropriate.

    February Learn how and when to remove this template message. Internet portal Pornography portal. Sydney Law School. North Jersey Media Group. Retrieved 30 May The Washington Times. Retrieved 15 August Sunday Telegraph Magazine. Sydney, Australia: News Corp Australia. Following a string of extramarital affairs and several lurid "sexting" episodes, Warne has found himself home alone, with Simone Warne taking their three children and flying the conjugal coop. Teens and sexting Report.

    Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. September Computers in Human Behavior. Sexual Health. Archived from the original PDF on 22 July Retrieved 14 December Retrieved 9 October January The American Journal of Family Therapy. May Journal of Adolescent Health. February Journal of Adolescence. March Sexting among young people: Perceptions and practices. Archived from the original PDF on 21 June Retrieved 20 October Union Leader. New Hampshire: Joseph W.

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    Retrieved 10 July The Washington Post. Nash Holdings LLC. Retrieved 21 December Archives of Sexual Behavior. Salt Lake Tribune. MediaNews Group. Retrieved 5 July Deseret News. Deseret News Publishing Company. Retrieved 4 July The New York Times. Retrieved 7 October If so, you're not alone". Scientific American. Parliament of Australia. Gotsis, Tom August Archived from the original PDF on 12 August Svantesson, Dan Jerker B.

    July Bond Law Review. National Nine News. Nine Network. Archived from the original on 24 September Retrieved 20 January Elsevier Connect. Violence Against Women News Blog. Later that night, after some more tinkering, they successfully transmitted the whole word. Then they went home to get some sleep, having no way of knowing what would ensue because of this development. They understood public relations. They had quotes ready for history. Subscribe or Give a Gift.

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