You may have heard lots about sending nudes or rudes, or sexting, or you may have heard people talking about it at school or college or on social media so what does it actually mean? Once you send a sexting image you lose complete control over what happens to it. You may also feel that everyone is taking and sending nudes to each other and you are the only one who is not, but that is not true. Although sexting is illegal, the police will always help young people and safeguard them if they are involved in any types of sexting. If a young person sends an image, and it the issue gets out of hand it is advised that they talk to a trusted adult straight away.
What is sexting?
Sexting advice for young people
You may have heard lots about sending nudes or rudes, or sexting. You may have heard people talking about it at school or college or on social media so what does it actually mean. Once you send a sexting image you lose complete control over what happens to it. You may also feel that everyone is taking and sending nudes to each other and you are the only one who is not, but that is simply not true. Did you know? If you take and send 10 naked pictures of yourself almost 9 of them are going to end up somewhere else on the internet. That means anyone, including you, who takes, sends, shares or possess any image of someone under the age of 18 who is naked, semi-naked or the image is sexual in nature is breaking the law. For example, if you are 16 and take an image of yourself in your underwear and send it to your boyfriend or girlfriend you are breaking the law. Your boyfriend or girlfriend would breaking the law too as they now have a photo of someone under the age of 18 in their underwear. If your boyfriend or girlfriend then sends the photo to their friends they have also broken the law as they now have a copy of the image too.
Sexting may also be called:
More than 6, children under 14 have been investigated by police for sexting offences in the past three years, including more than of primary school age, the Guardian has learned. Figures disclosed by 27 police forces in England and Wales revealed cases of children under 10, including some as young as four, being investigated on suspicion of taking or sharing indecent images of themselves or other minors since In one case, a nine-year-old boy was recorded on a police database for sending a naked selfie to a girl on Facebook Messenger. They were among 6, cases of children under 14 investigated for such offences between 1 January and 21 August , according to data disclosed to the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act. While the detail behind many of the investigations is unknown, a significant number are believed to involve the growing phenomenon of sexting — consensually sending and receiving explicit messages. Consensual sexting among teenagers has been decriminalised in some countries, including parts of Australia and the US, but it is a crime in England and Wales under legislation introduced 41 years ago. It is illegal for anyone to take, make or share indecent images of children under the Protection of Children Act — even if the image is self-generated and shared consensually.
Raymond Arthur does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Young people have always explored their sexuality and shared these experiences with others. A lot of these young people will then go on to share these images with someone they know. These figures, suggest that sharing self-generated sexual images has become just another way for young people to express their sexual selves. But, for some young people, sexting can lead to criminal prosecution along with classification as a sex offender.