?What is sexting? Essay Example
?What is sexting? Essay Example

?What is sexting? Essay Example

Available Only on StudyHippo
  • Pages: 8 (1936 words)
  • Published: October 6, 2017
  • Type: Research Paper
View Entire Sample
Text preview

The prevalence of mobile phones among Australian adolescents aged 15-17 is remarkable, with over 90% owning them. This increase in accessibility to mobile devices, along with exposure to sexual content through various media sources, has influenced how teenagers form relationships with each other. One consequence of this increased accessibility and exposure is the phenomenon known as "sexting," which refers to sending sexually provocative material through modern communication devices. Sexting has gained considerable media attention and is considered a popular trend among youth. While sharing explicit material is not new, it has become easier with the internet. Shared images online can become part of a young person's digital footprint according to the NSW Government, potentially having long-term consequences for their future career prospects or relationships. The prevalence of sexting among adolescents remains a significant issue in today's digital ag


e. In 2010, a national study found that 59% of teenagers have engaged in electronically transmitting sexually suggestive content.According to a study conducted by Girlfriend magazine, 40% of the 558 participants engaged in sexting (PVLRCSI, 2012). In Queensland, there were 459 reported instances of sexting offenses in 2011, while Western Australia saw a threefold increase in such offenses from 2009 to 2011 (PVLRCSI, 2012).

Psychologist Andrew Smiler's research revealed various motives for sexting, including expressing commitment in a relationship, impressing friends, harassing or bullying others, and seeking thrills. The phenomenon of sexting is often associated with young people due to factors like mobile phones and raunch culture. It is also linked to a lack of restraint and disregard for ethics and morals (Funnell,N.,2012).

From sociological and feminist perspectives, sexting is recognized as a gender-related issue as young girls face pressure

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay

from over-sexualized media to present themselves as sexually desirable. Similarly, mature workforces have been conditioned to expect this type of behavior. Sexting has provided immature individuals with a means to meet these expectations (Walker.S., Sanci,L.& Temple-Smith,M ,2011). It is acknowledged that young girls are more vulnerable than young men when it comes to experiencing negative consequences from this behavior(Walker.S., Sanci,L.& Temple-Smith,M ,2011). Experts suggest that there may be a connection between sexting and gendered sexual violence against women(Walker.S., Sanci,L.& Temple-Smith,M ,2011).Melinda Tankard-Reist, an advocate for women and author/speaker of the DVD Too Sexy Too Soon, discusses how society teaches young girls that their value is determined by their sexual attractiveness. The normalization of the sexualization of young girls in our culture is highlighted in the Tutorial DVD. In their book Sexy So Soon, Jean Kilbourne and Diane Levin argue that boys are constantly exposed to media messages that encourage them to judge girls based on appearance and view them with contempt while expecting them to submit sexually (Burton, L., 2012). Feminist Anne Manne explains in the Tutorial DVD that the relationship between women's liberation and newfound sexual freedom has always been complex, often resulting in conflict. However, there are positive developments seen with women's advancing position and a more accepting society towards sexuality. Despite progress in sexual liberation, male dominance continues to influence many aspects of it (Burton, L., 2012). Ms Manne supports this perspective by suggesting that pornography has shaped the notion of "sexual liberation" (as cited in Burton, L., 2012). Many women currently working in media share this viewpoint. In Burton's (2012) research paper titled "Underage and Over-exposed," a young girl is interviewed

who emphasizes how most girls look up to celebrities who engage in partying, drinking, and promiscuous behavior. She specifically mentions Paris Hilton as a negative influence on younger generations (University of New South Wales, 2013,p.1).The recent controversial actions of Miley Cyrus have also contributed to this trend, according to the University of New South Wales (2013, p.1). Carl and Baker (2011), who focus on Symbolic Interaction Theory, argue that sexting can be seen as youth asserting their power to shape society. These young individuals are establishing their own standards for what is considered normal and acceptable behavior (Carl & Baker, 2011). They perceive sexting as a concept created by adults or the media (University of New South Wales, 2013,p.1). The activity referred to as sexting by society is known among the youth by terms like taking noodz, naked selfies, dirty movies or sexy movies (The University of Melbourne, 2012). However, this creativity and individuality may clash with societal norms on a larger scale (The University of Melbourne, 2012).According to Symbolic Interactionist Chafetz's 1997 research, as cited in Carl & Hillman's 2011 study (p.86), there are differences in communication between men and women. Men tend to dominate conversations, while women adhere to rules imposed by men. Chafetz argues that women use body language in a way that reduces their assertiveness, making them appear less powerful than men. Both genders often conform to stereotypical gender roles. For instance, women rely on body language or gestures, while men display their masculinity directly by requesting nude images from women (Carl & Hillman, 2011).

Sexting serves as an example of how the perception of gender development influences individuals' behavior based on

everyday interactions (Chafetz, 1997 as cited in Carl & Hillman, 2011). Psychologist Andrew Smiler explains that sexting is influenced by a pornographic aesthetic that permeates various aspects of society like fashion, music, entertainment, and behavior. In our sexually explicit culture today where desensitization has occurred, advertisements, music videos, and trendy stores demonstrate the sexualization of our society. These influences shape the desires and fantasies of younger individuals (Smiler as cited in Burton, 2012).

A study conducted by Hewlett Packard in 2004 suggests that visual communication has a greater impact than verbal communication when it comes to learning and retaining information (Hewlett Packard).The omnipresence of sexual images in mainstream media has a significant impact on children and young people's attitudes towards sex, as stated by Flood at the Australian Institute. This constant exposure not only shapes community values but also encourages exploration of sexuality among young individuals. These influences extend from media at large down to individual levels of communication. Sexting, a sub-culture influenced by these factors, is explained by symbolic interaction theory. However, engaging in this behavior without fully understanding the potential consequences can have significant social and emotional implications for young individuals, as highlighted in the Parliament of Victoria Law Reform Committee Sexting Inquiry (2013). Goodings and Everaardt (2010), cited in the same inquiry, emphasize the damaging social implications associated with sexting. A tragic case that exemplifies this is Jessica Logan, an 18-year-old student who took her own life after explicit images she shared were widely circulated (Forde & Hardley, 2011). While not all cases are as severe as Jessica's, the widespread dissemination of such content is common. Moreover, there are physiological, emotional, and societal

consequences linked to sexting (Goodings and Everaardt (2010) as cited in Parliament of Victoria Law Reform Committee Sexting Inquiry, 2012).Sexting has negative consequences for victims from various perspectives, including social, psychological, and legal aspects. The rapid spread of explicit images can lead to shame and have different outcomes (Katzman, 2010). However, Australian laws have not kept up with technological advancements and fail to adequately address sexting or similar behaviors. This phenomenon is known as 'cultural lag' (J Carl et al., 2011). Young individuals who engage in the exchange of sexually explicit images may face severe legal repercussions under child pornography legislation at both state and Commonwealth levels. Part 10.6 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995 outlines actions that are considered criminal, such as accessing, transmitting, publishing, possessing, controlling, supplying or obtaining child pornography (Forde,L.,S.,2011). In Queensland specifically, those convicted of child pornography offenses may also be included in the Sex Offenders Register. Moreover, sexting falls under the classification of sexual harassment according to Section 28A of the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Forde,L.,S.,2011). Nevertheless, there is an ongoing debate regarding whether these laws effectively address youth sexting versus adult abuse (Forde,L.,S.,2011).The text emphasizes the importance of individuals working with children being aware of potential legal consequences if they encounter inappropriate images on a young person's device or a school-owned device. It suggests that actively participating in sex education classes and involving young people themselves can help find effective solutions to address this issue. From a Christian perspective, adolescence is seen as a critical stage for forming one's identity, and guidance on developing healthy relationships is crucial. Christian youth workers and chaplains have an important

role in educating young people about topics such as identity, purpose, and healthy relationships within school settings. The main objective for a Christian youth worker is for young individuals to discover their true identity in Christ and belong to Him. (Forde,L.,S.,2011; Walker.S.,Sanci,L.-Smith,M.,2011,p.8)Sexting is considered morally unacceptable in Christian beliefs because it involves explicit content. This viewpoint is supported by references found within the Bible. For example, 1 Corinthians 6:18 emphasizes the importance of abstaining from sexual immorality as a sin against one's own body and encourages believers to honor God through their physical actions. Similarly, in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7, Paul states that engaging in sexual immorality goes against God's will and has consequences. Ephesians 5:1-4 emphasizes the importance of maintaining healthy relationships and imitating God's love, cautioning against allowing love to turn into lust and leading to immoral actions, promiscuity, and greed. Instead, Christians should use language wisely and express gratitude. It is not the role of Christians to judge young individuals involved in sexting but rather to encourage them to change due its dangerous nature. The Church plays a part in promoting healthy relationships and exemplifying Christ's love.To effectively address sexting, collaboration among parents, the education system, and young people is necessary. Instruction classes on sexual activity should cover topics such as healthy relationships, understanding the dangers of sexting, and principles related to sexual morality and self-image. These classes provide guidance for counselors and chaplains in schools when dealing with sexting issues. It is important to incorporate the perspectives of young individuals in efforts to tackle this problem.

Schools should educate parents about sexting, including its consequences, legal ramifications, and effective ways to limit technology

usage. The government can contribute by creating television advertisement campaigns as community service announcements. Updating laws regarding sexting and conducting further research on the subject are also crucial.

Valuable insights can be obtained from information provided by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) regarding media usage trends among children and youth. The legal implications of sexting have been discussed in a publication by Forde & Hardley (2011), while Funnell (2012) addresses the prevalence of sexting among different age groups. Additionally, a relevant PDF file titled "The power of visual communication" was published by Hewlett Packard in 2004 (Hewlett Packard, 2004).In 2010, Katzman D.K. emphasized the importance of responsible and safe behavior in a technologically advanced world, particularly regarding sexting (Katzman D.K., 2010). In addition, the New South Wales Government provided an information sheet titled "Safe sexting: 'No such thing'" for parents to access online through their website in 2008 (New South Wales Government, 2008).

The Parliament of Victoria Law Reform Committee conducted an inquiry on sexting in Australia in 2012. The report named "Sexting in Australia: The legal and societal branchings" can be found at http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/committees/lawrefrom/isexting/subs/S07_-_Salvation_Army_Oasis_Hunter.pdf.

According to PBS (2011), young people are increasingly using technology for various aspects of their lives such as socializing, education, and self-expression. This integration of technology has both positive and negative effects; it facilitates easy connection with others and access to information but also leads to social isolation and a decline in face-to-face communication skills. Privacy concerns and online safety are significant issues as well. Overall, the relationship between young people and technology is complex and constantly evolving (thesocietypages.org).

Get an explanation on any task
Get unstuck with the help of our AI assistant in seconds