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It’s important to keep in mind, too – whether or not sexting is illegal for people of any age in your state, province, or country – there can be significant psychological consequences, if coercion’s involved or if consensual sexting turns into a violation of trust between two people (if one partner later shares photos without the other’s consent).There’s a broad range of motivations behind sexting – from digital flirting or attention-seeking to an aspect of sexual interplay to dating abuse or blackmail.Exposing or distributing very personal photos of someone without his or her consent is a violation of trust that can cause severe embarrassment, harm to a reputation, or other emotional hurt.Both those forms of victimization are what’s called “aggravated” (criminal or abusive) sexting by researchers at the University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center.The practice is not illegal when photos are shared between consenting adults, but when minors are involved, sexual-exploitation and child-pornography laws can come into play, so great care is needed in the handling of sexting cases involving people under 18.However, although there have been some highly publicized cases, prosecution of minors for distribution of sexting photos has been relatively rare in the US.* Sexting as an act of anger, revenge or other social aggression.
But it can definitely be a form of victimization either from the outset or after a break-up or conflict in a relationship.
These two types of victimization, premeditated and reactive, are what education about sexting’s risks needs to focus on: * Sexting as sexual harassment.