The impulse to make a nude self-portrait is neither new, nor specific to kids. The cell phone plus camera technology that makes dissemination easy is, of course, new. As are the multiplying criminal charges against teens for distributing child porn i. A year-old girl from central Pennsylvania, for instance, faces child pornography charges after police say she sent nude pictures of herself over the Internet. Sticking the label of child pornographer on a 15 or 16 year old girl simply because she took a picture of herself and sent it to her boyfriend or another friend is ridiculous. Surely, her parents might be uncomfortable with such behaviour — surely they must talk to her about it, but criminal charges?! And hazards there are: once electronically disseminated, the image may travel far and wide and not only be seen by every snickering fool in school, but may embarass you years later when, say, you are running for office. It is disturbing to see sexting, a largely harmless teen experimentation with a new medium, in the same boat as child porn traffic. If only the efforts of prosecuting those kids went into an educational initiative to inform them about the possible consequences of having private images made public and potentially disseminated on the Internet for all to see.
More and more teens throwing inhibition to the Internet, at their own risk.
When Erin was 17, she went along to a seminar with her year 11 class where she was told not to photograph herself naked — and definitely not to send such a picture to someone else. An older woman who had experienced first-hand how badly it could go wrong warned that repercussions could come at once, if the image was shared without her consent, or in the future, if it came to the attention of potential employers. This was coming from a fairly liberal and progressive school. Then in person, that makes sex better. But she sometimes worries that those she has sent in the past may one day be circulated without her consent. For the best part of a decade, young women like Erin have been told by police, parents and schools not to take any photographs that they would not want shared with the world. They believe the issue should be approached from the perspective of harm reduction, and that only those who share the images should face repercussions, not those who take them.
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What good would technology be if people weren't constantly using it to send naked pictures of themselves to each other? I would know, too—since the age of 12, my inbox has been filled with inappropriate photos of people whether I wanted to see them or not in fact, there might be some in there right now. Like most tech trends, however, the oft-inadvisable act of sending nude photos to people on the Internet is being adopted en masse by young Internet users, with fairly large numbers of teenagers posting them online or—even worse—sending them to people they don't even know. A survey of 1, teenagers users age and young adults age conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and CosmoGirl.
To conduct the study , Johnstonbaugh, a sociology doctoral student, had more than 1, college students from seven universities fill out an online survey asking them about their rationale for sexting. But the odds were four times higher for women than men to say that they sent a nude in order to prevent the recipient from losing interest or to prevent the person from looking at images of others. I sent one. Women were twice as likely as men to say they sent a sexy pic to boost their confidence. So sometimes, sending nudes is a way to assert sexual agency.