Defined as “sending sexually explicit digital images17, videos, text message, by email, cell, game, app, etc.” Sexually explicate pictures can be exchanged or obtained in numerous ways via: flirting, a profession of love, response to threats to break up, hacking, fraudulently stating you are someone else, shared by friends, bullying, harassment, etc. Conversely, bullying or harassment can be caused by sexual images that are shared.

Watch the video below and ask yourself:

  • What is the girl's name?
  • Did she deserve what happened?

Video | 4:28

Lawmakers have recently realized that when bullying, harassment, and sexting are combined, the consequences can range from life-altering to deadly.

Sadly, pictures shared with an expectation of privacy, often do not stay private. The legal community has labeled this as “revenge porn” since often they are shared after the relationship is over as retaliation. In revenge porn, the pictures are often sent out (usually with no warning) either to ruin the life of the victim or to heighten the status of the sender. Examples include:

  • Male teens proving their sexual prowess to gain status among peers
  • Ex’s BF, GF, or spouses may do it to embarrass or humiliate the other person (revenge)
  • Frenemies may do it because they are jealous, in a fight, or bullying

As you will see in the next module, new State and Federal laws have been passed. Sextortion and revenge porn now carry severe penalties. In fact, even threatening sextortion or revenge porn will get you jail time.

What Kids Think About Sexting

  • It's just flirting.
  • I can tell if someone is lying.
  • No biggie, nothing will happen.
  • Don't tell, they'll take your phone!
  • Adults don't get it, it's modern-day flirting or spin-the-bottle.
  • HER
    • He loves me, he won't share.
    • If I send it, guys will think I'm hot!
    • If I don't send it, he will break up with me.
  • HIM
    • Wait 'til the guys see this! No pic, didn't happen.
    • Hey if she didn't want people to see it, she wouldn't have sent it!
  • They are caught up in the FEELING, not thinking.

What Adults Think About Sexting

  • OMG, that's awful!
  • My child knows better.
  • I never would have done that!
  • I check my child's phone.
  • Only bad kids do that!
  • I talked to my kids, they would tell me.
  • My child doesn't even think about that yet.
  • Those girls keep sending my Bobby pictures.

Watch the video below and ask yourself:

  • Who is in the wrong? Legally? Morally?

Video | 3:02

What Predators Think About Sexting

  1. A sick sense of pleasure
    • Motivated by the thrill of the chase or the feeling superior to their victims or app designers.
    • They may have been abused and are determined to punish others to get revenge.
  2. Money
    • Phone hacking is fast, simple and yields personal data, social media, pictures, banking info, etc.
    • Companies offer to buy selfies featuring fashion, hair, or makeup and are often fronts for fake modeling companies.
  3. Community
    • Criminals, especially those who preyed on kids, formerly had to hide in the shadows of society, now criminals and perverts network and share techniques on the web.

Our Point of View:

  • Sexting is NOT a Moral Issue! It's a SAFETY Issue.
  • There IS NO DELETE on the INTERNET.

Either because of selfish motivations, hacked, lost phones, etc. Pictures and video with sexual content are of value on the black market no matter how they are obtained, shared, found, Romeo / Catfished. Pictures are traded like baseball cards amongst predators to add to collections, used as revenge, or to manipulate people for profit. Once taken they almost always boomerang back, which leads to one of the fastest growing crimes in the world – sextortion.


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