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.
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.
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.
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.
In this week’s sexual health roundup: researchers at the University of Michigan looked at the sexting behavior and psychological health of over 3,000 college students and determined that sexting did not, in fact, lead to heartache; another study of college students found that mixing alcohol and caffeinated energy drinks may increase risky behaviors such as drunk sex and casual sex; and a survey of Google searches since 2006 confirms what birth records have suggested for years — Americans do actually think about sex more in the summer.
In this week’s sexual health roundup: new research suggests that the HPV vaccine lowers the likelihood of HPV in both the young women who have had them and others in their communities; the FDA approves the first completely in-home HIV test but some worry about its potentially high rate of false-negatives; and the latest addition to research on teens and sexting finds those who sext are more likely to have had sex.