Amy Adele Hasinoff’s Sexting Panic: Rethinking Criminalization, Privacy, and Consent is a reasoned, if academic, look at the ways teens use social media and the Internet to flirt, seduce, and tease, often transmitting sexual images that are intended for private viewing.
A 17 year old in Virginia who sent a sexually explicit video to his girlfriend is facing child pornography charges, while his lawyer argues that a plan by prosecutors to have his penis photographed as part of the case constitutes child abuse.
A recent study that suggests sexting is “not uncommon” among middle school students and is linked to higher rates of sexual behavior among tweens has made for some startling headlines recently. Before panicking, let’s look beyond the headlines to see what these articles and the study really say.
Websites like YouGotPosted.com and MyEx.com have profited off of “revenge porn,” a form of cyberbullying in which people post once-private pictures of their exes. Some say criminal laws, like the one just passed in California, are the best remedy, while others suggest putting down the camera in the first place.
Amid calls for them to drop out of politics, New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner—former congressional colleagues who have both been caught behaving badly around women—are standing their respective ground.
A situation in June in which a woman sent unsolicited penis pictures she had received to the sender’s mother, and an ongoing debate in Britain about what, if any, depictions of sex should be banned have raised interesting questions about the limits of privacy and consent.
Without a smartphone and social media, the New York City mayoral candidate might well be riding the subway wearing nothing but a trench coat.
The outcome of the law is likely to be that girls who are already suffering from a public shaming will be charged with delinquency, all for sending a picture to a boy.
This week, the Illinois senate took up a bill requiring that sex education be medically accurate, West Virginia took on teen sexting, and a new study suggested we may need to change our HPV messages if we want more women to get the vaccine.
A new study in Pediatrics found sexting teens are more likely to be sexually active than their non-sexting peers. Before we lock up our teens or their smartphones, it’s important to note that this study found a correlation. It did not find that sexting leads to sex.