Nothing shameful about sexting?

Apr 12, 2013
Nothing shameful about sexting
"Confusion around current laws deters some young people from reporting threatening or unethical behaviour" - Dr Kath Albury.

The legal penalties associated with sexting are too harsh, and adult reactions can increase young people's sense of shame and stigma, according to a UNSW-led report on the practice of sending nude or semi-nude photos via text.

Young People and Sexting in Australia: ethics, representation and the law, aims to inform Australian legal, educational, and policy responses to sexting. The research has been led by Dr Kath Albury from UNSW's Journalism and Media Research Centre (JMRC) and Dr Kate Crawford from US Microsoft Research New England and JMRC.

"Young people don't view all naked or semi-naked pictures as inherently shameful and prefer to use general terms like 'pictures' to 'sexting'", said Dr Albury.

The research is the first to focus on young people aged 16-17 years who are over the age of sexual consent, but could face legal penalties for texting photos or video considered to be pornographic by law.

"Young people and adults are surprised to learn what the of sexting are. If you are under 18 you can be charged with producing or distributing child pornography if you take, or share, a naked photo of yourself," said Dr Albury. "Confusion around current laws deters some young people from reporting threatening or unethical behaviour - they are afraid they will be blamed, or even charged, when they confess to taking, or sending a naked picture."

The report's findings draw on small focus groups conducted with young people in Sydney, and consultation with and representatives from education, health care, law enforcement and youth support services.

Key findings of the Young People and Sexting in Australia report:

  • Young people are offended by the adult tendency to bundle all naked or partially naked user-generated pictures into the category of sexting. Terms like "taboo" and "dirty" were used to describe adult reactions to sexting.
  • Young people were uniformly surprised by the legal penalties applied to sexting, describing the application of child pornography laws as "excessive", "hyped" and "overdone".
  • Adults working with young people were also uncertain about the laws that apply to , and expressed a need for clearer legal guidelines, and better educational resources to help them support young people.
  • Adults want resources to help them understand and respond to young people's use of digital technologies in the broader context of friendships and relationships.
"We need law and policy reform that clarifies young people's rights and responsibilities in relation to producing and sharing digital images and adults need better resources to help them support to make ethical decisions around online and mobile media," said Dr Albury.

Explore further: Do you always get what you pay for? How consumers mispredict product quality

More information: jmrc.arts.unsw.edu.au/media/Fi… nd_Sexting_Final.pdf

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Pressure forces teens to 'sext': Australian study

Sep 30, 2011

Teenagers are under pressure to send nude photos of themselves and other sexual images from their mobile phones as "sexting" becomes more widespread, new Australian research shows.

Australian youngsters warned over 'sexting'

Apr 28, 2010

Australia's government urged young people not to join the "sexting" craze on Wednesday, warning that sending provocative images by mobile phone could have "very bad long-term consequences".

How common is 'sexting' among urban minority youth?

Feb 28, 2013

Sexting, the use of technology to send or receive sexually explicit messages, photos, or videos, is a relatively new trend and, in many cases, has legal implications. As many as 25-50% of young people may ...

Recommended for you

Poverty rate drops for the first time since 2006

10 hours ago

The poverty rate in the United States has dropped for the first time since 2006, bringing a bit of encouraging news about the nation's economy as President Barack Obama and Congress gear up for the November elections.

User comments : 40

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

ShotmanMaslo
3.1 / 5 (15) Apr 12, 2013
Shameful or not, criminal penalties for pictures that underage people take themselves defy common sense. You cannot molest yourself..
VendicarE
2 / 5 (4) Apr 12, 2013
I saw a news report of a case in the U.S. south where two 14 year olds married (possible in that state with parental consent), and the husband was arrested and placed in an adult prison on the charge of child molestation for sleeping with his 14 year old wife.

Wife was not arrested or charged.

Prosecutor was a Christian bible thumper.

RichPasco
2.3 / 5 (12) Apr 12, 2013
At last, a breath of sanity! Kudos to Drs. Albury and Crawford for their study! ShotmanMaslo is right on. And natello, where do you get this "deforms their psychic development" stuff? Why is it important to you that kids grow up with the same shame around their sexuality that you did?
ShotmanMaslo
2.7 / 5 (12) Apr 12, 2013
If the sharing of drugs, weapons and alcohol between children is persecuted - why not child pornography?


The whole point of child pornography laws is to protect children from exploitation by adults because of power imbalance inherent in adult-child relationships. This argument obviously does not apply to sexting among kids themselves. In fact, current laws regarding this do more harm than good, and even punish the "victim", which is totaly absurd.
PeterParker
3.2 / 5 (9) Apr 12, 2013
"but it deforms their psychic development late" - Natello

Relative to what? And what makes you think that what you think is natural actually is?

kochevnik
1 / 5 (9) Apr 13, 2013
It's more creepy that teens are looking at naked pics of people older than their own parents. Teens should not be looking at anyone OVER eighteen, if a line must be drawn
alfie_null
3 / 5 (4) Apr 13, 2013
We are getting into interesting moral inversion with it: the children are allowed to have more free manners than adults! If I would send my naked photo to my colleagues at work without request(?) and/or explicit permission given(??), I would lost my job and I would be persecuted from abusive asocial behavior - but the kids at schools are apparently allowed to do...

Children are not small adults - stop trying to treat them so. Becoming mature is a process of learning, experimenting. Coming to an understanding of what is or isn't a useful activity. Also consider temporarily elevated levels of hormones and how they affect judgment. So kids get more leeway than you as an adult. They'll grow out of it.
VendicarE
3 / 5 (6) Apr 13, 2013
Only a fool would criminalize the actions of children when they "play doctor".

ValeriaT
1.6 / 5 (13) Apr 13, 2013
Children are not small adults - stop trying to treat them so
Which is why I'm treating them differently - like silly irresponsible kids who are prone to abusive and addictive behavior and who cannot distinguish the moral behavior from amoral one. I just see somewhat strange, when the kids are allowed to share child pornography, whereas they're not allowed to share drugs. In this case the kids are allowed to share the things, which even adults aren't allowed.
Only a fool would criminalize the actions of children when they "play doctor".
Doctors don't take the photos of their "patients" and they don't share it at the web. Or at least I do believe so...
kochevnik
1.3 / 5 (12) Apr 13, 2013
By downvoting me, users "geokstr | Sinister1811 | open" expressed their interest in kids watching people like their parents fucking

The question must be asked: Why do these three users feel so strongly that kids be exposed to adult sex, rather than of their peers? It's well known that pederasts want to be close to their victims

People like them probably cause 95% of the grief in society, much as 3% of Australian doctors cause 95% of medical complaints. Sickos
ValeriaT
1.7 / 5 (11) Apr 13, 2013
After all, if some pedophile would want to share photos of teenagers, it would be very easy to present itself as teenager, if the sharing of such photos between teenagers would be legal. If you legalize the drugs for some layer of society, you can just expect, their usage will expand to another social groups more freely.
VendicarE
1 / 5 (5) Apr 13, 2013
Doctors don't take the photos of their "patients" and they don't share it at the web. Or at least I do believe so...

Then why do I find photo's and video's of patients all over the web?

http://www.youtub...amp;NR=1

http://www.youtub...rED3bOkc

http://www.youtub...X892XOaw
ValeriaT
1.8 / 5 (10) Apr 13, 2013
Such a photos should be published with written agreement of patient only, when they reveal his identity - or they would violate the medical confidentiality. Legal protections prevent physicians from revealing certain discussions with patients, even under oath in court. The rule dates back to at least the Hippocratic Oath, which reads: "Whatever, in connection with my professional service, or not in connection with it, I see or hear, in the life of men, which ought not to be spoken of abroad, I will not divulge, as reckoning that all such should be kept secret".
praos
1.5 / 5 (8) Apr 13, 2013
If sexting could be prosecuted as child pornography, then offering her body could be prosecuted as pimping.
ValeriaT
2.1 / 5 (11) Apr 13, 2013
@Praos: Apparently you're ignoring the age parameter here. You cannot offer your body, when you're not adult.

..
..
Nope, you can't. Sorry.
VendicarE
1 / 5 (3) Apr 13, 2013
What is the age of consent of a chimpanzee, a dog, camel or wombat?

"You cannot offer your body, when you're not adult. " - ValeriaT
VendicarE
3 / 5 (5) Apr 13, 2013
I think we can safely assume that when an underage girl photographs herself and sends the image to someone, that person has her permission to receive and view the image, just as that person would have if they were playing doctor.

"Such a photos should be published with written agreement of patient only," - ValeriaT

Prosecuting the production under "child pornography" laws is no more appropriate than prosecuting playing doctor under child molestation laws.

Lurker2358
1.4 / 5 (9) Apr 13, 2013
The rule dates back to at least the Hippocratic Oath, which reads: "Whatever, in connection with my professional service, or not in connection with it, I see or hear, in the life of men, which ought not to be spoken of abroad, I will not divulge, as reckoning that all such should be kept secret".


The Hippocratic Oath also starts it's oath to "Apollo and all the gods". I could never take it seriously because polytheism is a self contradiction to begin with.

Moreover, the oath is self conflicted even without that absurdity, because I believe I have an objectively moral duty to divulge dangers and risks other people may pose to myself or other third party individuals. Additionally, In some cases I may have an objective duty to do that even if I know legal action will be taken against me because of my revelation of those facts.

This is why I am opposed to some aspects of HIPPA in the U.S. It is a moral self-contradiction.
ShotmanMaslo
2.3 / 5 (9) Apr 13, 2013
After all, if some pedophile would want to share photos of teenagers, it would be very easy to present itself as teenager, if the sharing of such photos between teenagers would be legal.


And your point is? Such pedophile will be prosecuted, but not the teen who sends it. Sexting among teenagers should be no more of a crime than playing doctor is child molestation.
ShotmanMaslo
1.9 / 5 (9) Apr 13, 2013
In this case the kids are allowed to share the things, which even adults aren't allowed.


And thats how it should be. Kids are also allowed to have sex with kids, which adults arent allowed. Power difference is the key, and thats why adults have to have less legal rights than children in this area.
ValeriaT
1.8 / 5 (10) Apr 13, 2013
Prosecuting the production under "child pornography" laws is no more appropriate than prosecuting playing doctor under child molestation laws.
This is hasty generalization logical fallacy. The acting of doctors is restricted by law - and now I'm not talking about some Hippocratic Oath, which has no legal status anyway.
kids are also allowed to have sex with kids, which adults aren't allowed
Not in our country.
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (12) Apr 13, 2013
"Rehtaeh Parsons, in Nova Scotia, didn't get justice. She just got a world of hurt, which she ended by committing suicide at aged 17. When Rehtaeh was 15 years old, four boys raped her while she was at a friend's home. Her rapists commemorated the occasion by taking a photograph, and circulating it amongst her classmates. Despite the photographic evidence, the police never charged the actors in the case. Before the rape, Rehtaeh had been a sunny, straight-A student. After the rape and after the rapists ensured that her entire school community knew what they had done to her,"
http://www.mrcons...herself/
kochevnik
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 13, 2013
kids are also allowed to have sex with kids, which adults aren't allowed
Not in our country.
No doubt in your country all the teenage pregnancies are immaculate conceptions
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (7) Apr 14, 2013
This is http://en.wikiped...lization logical fallacy. The acting of doctors is restricted by law - and now I'm not talking about some Hippocratic Oath, which has no legal status anyway.


You should google "playing doctor", because this is not what I was talking about.

Not in our country.


Dont know where you are from, but in Australia and most of the world it is usualy legal under near-age exceptions or lack of criminal responsibility. Criminalising sex among young people is ridiculous.
ValeriaT
1.5 / 5 (8) Apr 14, 2013
Criminalising sex among young people is ridiculous.
It was never legal for youngsters.
Static
3 / 5 (4) Apr 14, 2013
It was never legal for youngsters.
Er...what do you mean, it was NEVER legal? You mean before American law, before British law, before roman law (and so on)...? In many societies, it IS legal, and before law, it's not exactly possible for it to be illegal, so I'm not sure anyone knows where you're coming from.
ShotmanMaslo
1.5 / 5 (8) Apr 14, 2013
Criminalising sex among young people is ridiculous.
It was never legal for youngsters.


No, sex is not illegal if BOTH partners are underage, or within the close age exception (Romeo and Juliet laws). We dont prosecute 15 year olds for having sex with other 15 year olds. Its only illegal if at least one participant is an adult. And the same should be true about sexting. Its ridiculous that you can legally have sex with someone but not view a sexual photo of him/her.
ValeriaT
1.5 / 5 (8) Apr 14, 2013
Its ridiculous that you can legally have sex with someone but not view a sexual photo of him/her.
You cannot have legally sex even when you're underage - you just aren't penally responsible for it. Technically teenagers cannot be prosecuted even for murder, but it doesn't mean, the murder is legally valid for them - this is a difference. In addition, you can have only sex with one person at the same moment - but the sharing of photos at the Internet is public - i.e. not private activity. It's equivalent to striptease at public - which is non legal activity.
kochevnik
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 14, 2013
Its ridiculous that you can legally have sex with someone but not view a sexual photo of him/her.
You cannot have legally sex even when you're underage - you just aren't penally responsible for it.
The law varies with jurisdiction, prosecutor, and time of day among other things. The law of your bedroom isn't "the law" any more than the rain over your house is "the climate." It's just a stupid trick of English language
VENDItardE
1.6 / 5 (13) Apr 14, 2013
EVERY ONE OF YOU THAT COMMENTED IS A MORON!!!!!!!!!!!

THAT IS WHY YOU ALL GET ONES.

STFU
Sinister1811
2 / 5 (8) Apr 14, 2013
And thats how it should be. Kids are also allowed to have sex with kids, which adults arent allowed. Power difference is the key, and thats why adults have to have less legal rights than children in this area.


Yeah, but we shouldn't be encouraging it either. Do that, and watch the number of underage pregnancies and STDs increase. They're underage and there's a reason they call it "sexual maturity". And also, any photos that get taken, get shared around and uploaded to the internet.
ShotmanMaslo
2 / 5 (8) Apr 16, 2013
Its ridiculous that you can legally have sex with someone but not view a sexual photo of him/her.
You cannot have legally sex even when you're underage - you just aren't penally responsible for it.


Whatever, thats just wording, the effect is the same. And the same as applies to sex should apply to sexting.

In addition, you can have only sex with one person at the same moment - but the sharing of photos at the Internet is public - i.e. not private activity.


Having striptease is not illegal. And internet is NOT a public place, most servers are private. Its equivalent to doing striptease at a private club.
kochevnik
3 / 5 (8) Apr 16, 2013
Yeah, but we shouldn't be encouraging it either. Do that, and watch the number of underage pregnancies and STDs increase.
Underage pregnancies and STDs are highest in conservaturd states
VendicarE
5 / 5 (2) Apr 16, 2013
Odd how Libertarian RyggTard can't distinguish the difference between rape and sending a naughty picture to your boyfriend.

"Rehtaeh Parsons, in Nova Scotia, didn't get justice." - RyggTard

I think he is mentally ill.

If the boys raped the girl, then they should be charged with rape, not sexting.
VendicarE
5 / 5 (4) Apr 16, 2013
Natello - "Note that the lowest incidence of underage pregnancy exists..." - Natello

...in the liberal States.

Republican states also have the highest levels of child molestation, incest, bestiality, consumption of pornography, etc.
ShotmanMaslo
1.3 / 5 (6) Apr 16, 2013
Whatever, thats just wording, the effect is the same. And the same as applies to sex should apply to sexting
The effect is not the same. If you stole the watches in the shop as a youngster, you'll be punished for it anyway - just not with jail for adult persons.


But thats not how it is. We dont punish teenagers for having sex with other teenagers in ANY way. Not with some less serious alternative punishment, there is NO punishment at all. Your watches analogy is bad, since thats actually a punished crime, even when a youngster does it.
ValeriaT
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 16, 2013
Your watches analogy is bad, since thats actually a punished crime, even when a youngster does it.
Yet the youngsters aren't legally responsible for it and they cannot be arrested for it. I used it like the objection against your claim, that the legal (i)responsibility implies the penalty (i)responsibility. IMO sexting should be judged like the public nuisance and any other children pornography at the moment, when it's made public, for example via Instagram. What the people are doing in private is their own business - the question is, whether the parents should be informed about it. IMO yes, until they pay the children their living and they're legally responsible for it.
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (6) Apr 17, 2013
Your watches analogy is bad, since thats actually a punished crime, even when a youngster does it.
Yet the youngsters aren't legally responsible for it and they cannot be arrested for it. I used it like the objection against your claim, that the legal (i)responsibility implies the penalty (i)responsibility.


OK, so what are you proposing is that sexting is *technically* a crime, but with no punishment. Well, I dont see any reason for it to be even technically crime (contrary to stealing, sexting is not a crime when you are an adult), but as long as there is no punishment I dont mind it. The point is, voluntary sexting should in practice carry no repercussions for teenagers.
ValeriaT
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 17, 2013
so what are you proposing is that sexting is *technically* a crime, but with no punishment
It could be prosecuted as simply like the violation of copyright law with unapproved sharing of multimedia or programs on the web. Generally, children over seven are responsible for their own torts, and the legal consequences that may follow. In other cases the parents are person responsible. After all, just the parents are responsible for proper raising of their children in this matter - nobody else.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (5) Apr 17, 2013
Underage pregnancies and STDs are highest in conservaturd states
Because just these states prohibit the governmental intervention to private life - they enforce private property and private business. Whereas the highest incidence of mass murders exists just in countries with legal guns. Note that the lowest incidence of underage pregnancy exists just in states, which http://www.aether...ancy.gif the sex curriculum to cover the contraception.
Off topic, but Honduras has the most at 68.43 homicides by firearm per 100,000 people, even though it only has 6.2 firearms per 100 people. Other parts of South America and South Africa also rank highly, while the United States is somewhere near the mid-range, even while gun ownership in the USA is 88% of the population. A Honduran is 300 times more likely to buy a gun for the purpose of killing you an American