Dangers of Sexting
By: Devinne Tribble (EDIT 3318 Ms. Shelle Scott)
What is Sexting?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, sexting is the sending of sexually explicit messages or images by cell phone. Sexting can also be done through instant messaging services, e-mail, or any other type of 'text' communication.
Telling a girl she is pretty and her eyes sparkle like the stars in the sky, is okay. Telling a boy he is very muscular and has a gorgeous skin tone, is okay.
What is not okay? Sending messages that contain sexual messages or photos. That is considered sexting. Photos do not necessarily have to be nude photos, any photo that is sexually explicit and sent to another person is considered sexting.
Why Should You Care?
You or someone you know may have been affected by sexting. To some, it seems harmless, but that is not always true. If either party is under the age of 18, there are some very serious legal consequences. Besides legal consequences, sexting can emotionally affect the people involved.
-Sexters are four times as likely to have considered suicide in the past year than non-sexters
-3 in 10 young people have been involved in sexting
-61% Those who sent a sext of themselves have been pressured to do so at least once.
-1 in 5 sext recipients have passed the sext along to someone else
-The peak age of sexting is around 16 and 17 years of age.
Sexting can ruin your reputation. This may affect your current friendships and relationships. It can also affect future potential relationships because your potential boyfriend or girlfriend may see you as "the person who sends everyone explicit photos" or "the person who ruined that other person's reputation".
Even if you tell yourself you are in a great relationship, it is still best to be cautious. Sometimes when couple break up, retaliation may occur where photos are shared.
The photos may also be used as blackmail.
When you show others photos you received or even worse, share them, you are invading the privacy of the person who sent you the photo, possibly embarrassing them, and/or causing them emotional distress.
Another consequence: You get arrested. Taking the photos, sending the photos, or just having the photos of a minor, is a federal crime. Committing this crime will also land you on the sex offenders registry which will affect you in your everyday life and your work life.
Prevention of sexting is simple.
Do not send explicit messages or photos.
Do not share them.
Do not pressure others into sending you explicit messages or photos.
What you can do if someone is pressuring you:
-Just say no...and tell them not to ask again.
-Change the subject
-"Why don’t YOU send me your pic, then I’ll share it will all my friends and let it go viral. Let’s see what it does to YOUR reputation first." (ikeepsafe)
-Add some humor to the conversation. Say "Yeah, sure. Here (picture of nude animal or maybe a picture of your toe)."
If you are to send explicit messages or pictures and they are shared with others, tell someone. You can talk to your teachers, counselors, your parents, the parent of the receiver of the pictures, or whoever can help you. The sooner it is stopped and deleted, the better.
(© 2015 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated)
ikeepsafe.org (Copyright 2011-2016, iKeepSafe, The Internet Keep Safe Coalition
athinline.org (Copyright © 2014 Viacom Media Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc)
psychologytoday.com (Copyright 1991-2016, Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, LLC) https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/teen-angst/201207/the-dangers-teen-sexting
Video 1: Exposed-Education film for CEOP
Pukka Films (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uJOXOAQ9Qo)
Video 2: Megan's Story Lesson Plan
ThinkUKnow Australia (http://www.thinkuknow.org.au/site/megans-story)
Video 3: The Consequences of Sexting
Erik Ross (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLlTGq3UH38)