'Before You Text' Sexting Prevention Course

Module Overview

While your reasons for sexting might include wanting to be liked or accepted, understanding the emotional results may protect you from negative consequences.

Module Objectives

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify four negative emotional consequences that can result from sexting
  • Recognize how these emotional consequences may be long-term and may outweigh the impulse to engage in sexting behaviors

Module Topics

This module will review the following topics:

  • What are possible emotional consequences of sexting?
  • How might the consequences of sexting have long-term emotional effects?

What are possible emotional consequences of sexting?

Embarrassment and Humiliation

You may feel embarrassed and/or humiliated after sending a sexting message, particularly when you realize you have no control over who sees the images you sent. Recall the videos in Modules 2 and 4. In both videos, the girls sent photos of themselves, only to find their friends, little brother, parents, and the students at school saw it, as it circulates out of control. Imagine how they must have felt after everyone saw their pictures.

Loneliness

As mentioned in Module 4, peers may avoid you if your sexting images are circulated, which may cause you to feel like there is no one to help you. It may be awkward to go to an adult; therefore, you may feel as if you are the only one who has to deal with this problem. Your parents might take away your cell phone to keep you from doing the same thing again, so you may also feel detached from being able to communicate with your friends.

Fear

You may be afraid to go to school or other places, because you don’t know what people are going to say to you regarding the sexting incident. You may fear going to social events because you will never be certain whether or not someone will mention and or even show the image or video. You may fear for your safety or well-being because of the negative attention you receive in the form of sexual advances or harassment. You may also become a victim of bullying in the form of teasing and/or being excluded by peers.

Betrayal

When a boyfriend or girlfriend, peers, neighbors, and perhaps even family members share inappropriate images of you with others, you may feel betrayed. Even strong friendships and other positive relationships may be ruined through you, followed by others, using social media in an unethical, inappropriate, or irresponsible way.

How might the consequences of sexting have long-term emotional effects?

Even though years may have passed since you sent an electronic image that was considered "sexting", you may find the image circulating again and again. Remember, once you send the image you have no control over who sees it or when they see it. Embarrassment, humiliation, fear, and betrayal may come back to haunt you. The sexually explicit digital image you sent is available from now on, for others to view. Also, most people are able to remember, throughout life, the embarrassing events that have happened to them and to even re-experience negative emotions as these events are recalled.