'Before You Text' Sexting Prevention Course

Module Overview

Sexting can result in negative and harmful social consequences that seriously harm relationships that were healthy and trusting. Sexting can also give you a bad reputation that could lead to undesired attention and even sexual harassment you might not have had to deal with before.

Module Objectives

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

  • Identify three kinds of social consequences that can result from sexting
  • Identify different ways sexting can negatively affect your relationships with friends, family, and other people

Module Topics

This module will review the following topics:

  • What are some of the social losses that can result from sexting?
  • How might your sexting behavior affect other people in your life?

What are some of the social losses that can result from sexting?

Bad Reputation

Even if you only sent one sexting message, others may now have a bad opinion of you. Just one bad choice could overshadow the positive image others had of you. If you forward a sexually explicit image of someone else, people may see you as untrustworthy or even as a bully.

Isolation/Outcast from Peer Groups

Once you have sent sexually explicit digital images of yourself, your friends may not want to associate with you, because they do not agree with participating in such behaviors. Your friends may be put in awkward situations because they hear others talking about you and the images you sent electronically. Your friends may feel cutting ties with you is easier than getting involved in the situation.

Undesired Attention, Sexual Harassment

If you post sexually-explicit images, other students may now approach you asking for more images because they think you will be willing to post others. Even worse, you could attract the attention of an online predator or someone that exploits you by posting or threatening to post your images online.

Remember: once you send images electronically, you no longer have a choice about who sees them.

Dating for Wrong Reasons

Someone may only want to date you because they think they will get you to send them more indecent photos or videos.

How might your sexting behavior affect other people in your life?

Friends

Your friends may be put in awkward situations because they hear others talking about you and the images you sent electronically. Your friends may feel as if cutting ties with you are easier than getting involved in the situation. They may also be embarrassed or ashamed to be associated with you.

Family

Your family members are eventually very likely to see any images you send electronically. Remember; once you send images electronically, you no longer have a choice about who sees them. Imagine how your parents, siblings, or other family members might feel about seeing sexting images of you passed around at school or in the neighborhood.

Let’s look at a brief video of Megan, a girl who sent a sexting message at school and see the different reactions from students and the affect it had on Megan:

Video | 1:52

Why did Megan take that photo and send it from her mobile phone?

It is possible she is dating the person she sent the image to. It is also a possibility he told her if she sent him a picture like that, he would consider dating her. She also figured he would be the only person who would see it. If she knows other people who have done it before, then she might not have thought it was a big deal.

How did Megan’s classmates contribute to the problem?

First, some of them chose to forward the picture to other students, which is considered sexting promotion and is illegal. Additionally, Megan felt uncomfortable because of some of the comments and glances she got from other students. Instead, students should not make matters worse by spreading the picture and making Megan feel bad, but should find ways to support her while also letting her know how unsafe and inappropriate sexting can be.

How will Megan’s actions, and those of her classmates, affect her in the future?

Most importantly, Megan will never be able to take back that photo. Some people may choose not to be friends with her, while others may only show interest in her because they want her to send them the same kind of pictures. Because her classmates chose to forward the picture to other people, many people will think differently about Megan, even if their new opinions about Megan are wrong. At least in the short term, some people are going to treat Megan differently, whether she likes it or not. In the long term, it is possible that future employers or schools might not employ or recruit her because of the inappropriate image of her online.