The widespread use of technology, especially the smart phone, has made the world a smaller much safer place to live in or has it? When you send or receive sexually explicit messages/photos on the phone it is described as sexting. The Sunday Telegraph first coined the word sexting and published it in 2005. Sexting usually involves sending nude or seminude pictures of oneself to a known or unknown person. Today, sexting is fast becoming an introduction to the dating process. Social media networks are spawning like crazy all over the web and sexting feeds on these to sustain its growth. A study reported the prevalence of sexting among adults aged between 18-29 to be about 13-30%.
Social and Legal Consequences of Sexting
More data is emerging pointing toward the fact that teenagers who sext are more likely to have sex. People who are shy and cant emote in person do sext. However, it is important to understand that not only people who are strangers but also people who are close to each other sext to grow their relationship. Is sexting related to high risk behaviour like substance abuse, multiple sex partners and avoiding condom usage remains to be seen and the jury is still out on that. The biggest social danger is that the sext can be propagated in multitudes resulting in total loss of control over who has access to it. Also sexting can become an addiction with time away from school, work, family etc. When sexts involve minors, in some countries it becomes a major legal issue. In the United States it might have dire consequences. People in possession of sexts may also face problems.
I personally think that sexting which may be fun for many may be a nightmare for those involved. Child pornography in my dictionary is the biggest sin ever. In some countries child pornography or even possession of child pornography sexts are punishable with imprisonment upto 5 years. What I think we need however, is a community that is more open to sex education, parents who talk to their children about safe sexual practices and keep lines of communication open no matter what.