Teenage sexting is not all the same – criminalise abuse, not sexual exploration

Topic Selected: Crime and Justice

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Teenage sexting is not all the same – criminalise abuse, not sexual exploration

Nikki Godden-Rasul, Newcastle University

Now that so many teenagers have smartphones equipped with cameras it’s inevitable that they’re used to take pictures, sometimes regrettable pictures, and to share them with others. The problem is that this is not just often regrettable in their own eyes, but also illegal in the eyes of the law.

A 14-year-old boy who took a naked selfie and sent it to a girl at school that he’d been flirting with recently found himself in hot water with his school and with the police. Both his and the girl’s details have been added to a police intelligence database for making and distributing an indecent image. Indecent because, as an image of a minor, it’s classifie

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