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Sexting: What it is and How to Say No

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 21 Jul 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Sexting Mobile Phones Photos Digital

Sexting, the process of sending sexually explicit photographs via mobile phones, is a phenomenon that many UK teenagers have embraced. This is unfortunate as sexting can have serious repercussions including losing control of your photos, becoming involved in bullying and even legal prosecutions. Learning how to effectively say no to sexting will help keep you safe and happy.

Losing Control of Your Photos

Once you send a photograph of yourself via your mobile (known as a “sext” rather than a text message) you have lost control of that image. You may truly believe that the recipient of your photograph will keep it private but photos can still be viewed by others if :
  • Friends or family borrow the phone and see them.
  • The phone is left unattended and accessed by others.
  • Photos are sent on to other mobile phone users.
  • Anyone uploading photos from the phone to a computer or the Internet.
  • Photos are posted to social media sites, websites, blogs, photo sharing sites, etc.
  • Others take photos from Internet sites and post them elsewhere.
  • Photos are printed and distributed in hard copy.

Sexting and Bullying

Sexually explicit photographs draw many teens into the cycle of bullying. Teens who receive the photos often believe they have “ammunition” against someone in the event of a relationship or friendship breaking up. Teens who send sexts must always live in fear that others have control of something inappropriate about them. All teens must guard against being bullied into taking such photos. Not to mention digital photos can also spread incredibly quickly from phone to phone, and once they are online can be viewed by your friends, relatives, future employers or even college/university representatives. Even if you believe others are doing the same thing, all it takes is for your photos to be given out and you can become the target of great bullying, or your photos can be given out in addition to being bullied for some other reason.

Sexting and Legal Prosecutions

In the UK it is illegal to produce, own or disseminate/share photos of an explicit nature of anyone under the age of 18. This means that even if both parties involved are teens, and both are interested in and active participants in sexting, both parties could still be held accountable for the photos. While authorities may not always find it a particularly pressing matter to prosecute teens who consensually engage in sexting if photos are used for other matters (bullying, blackmail, child abuse, etc) the likelihood of legal prosecution is much higher.

Saying No to Sexting

It may seem like saying no to sexting should be easy, but with peer pressure it can be hard to walk away from something if you believe that everyone else is doing it. If you feel you are not able to say no and leave it at that, consider blaming others for forcing you to turn down such opportunities. Say your parents check your phone or social media accounts, that you’ve seen the situation turn sour for others or that you simply have more respect for yourself than to let others have such control over yourself. Whatever you chose to say, say it with conviction and don’t feel you have to explain yourself to others. Saying no is the right choice.

Sending sexually explicit photos of yourself via mobile phone, a practice known as sexting, has been embraced by teenagers across the UK. Learning more about how you can lose control of these photos, become involved in bullying because of them, be legally prosecuted for them, and more effectively say no to the whole process is important to remaining safe and happy in the future.

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[Add a Comment]
me- Your Question:
My boyfriend and I are both sixteen and sexually active. we normally use protection (a condom) but we didn’t today, and I checked my period tracker afterward and i’m ovulating currently and didn’t realise that today is the day i’m most likely to get pregnant. should I be worried about getting pregnant? my family members fall pregnant easily (my mom only tried a handful of times for me and my siblings before falling pregnant and my older sisters fell pregnant quickly after they started trying for a baby)

Our Response:
Whenever a person does not use contraception, there is a risk of pregnancy.
TeenIssues - 23-Jul-18 @ 10:52 AM
my boyfriend and i are both sixteen and sexually active. we normally use protection (a condom) but we didn’t today, and i checked my period tracker afterward and i’m ovulating currently and didn’t realise that today is the day i’m most likely to get pregnant. should i be worried about getting pregnant? my family members fall pregnant easily (my mom only tried a handful of times for me and my siblings before falling pregnant and my older sisters fell pregnant quickly after they started trying for a baby)
me - 21-Jul-18 @ 11:55 PM
Me - Your Question:
I’ve missed my period by 4 days now and have had sex with someone. I’m not yet 16 and I’m worried I may be pregnant? How long should I wait before I take a test? If I was pregnant I would no doubt get it aborted and could not tell my mum as her religion is against it. Does that change the situation?

Our Response:
If you have missed a period, then you can take a test, please see link here. The matter will be treated as confidential by your GP who will not inform your mother.
TeenIssues - 29-Mar-18 @ 12:33 PM
I’ve missed my period by 4 days now and have had sex with someone. I’m not yet 16 and I’m worried I may be pregnant? How long should I wait before I take a test? If I was pregnant I would no doubt get it aborted and could not tell my mum as her religion is against it. Does that change the situation?
Me - 28-Mar-18 @ 8:42 PM
yong - Your Question:
I'm married to a woman whose age is now at 58 years. I am 61 year old but my sex instint is still strong. The problem is my wife is no longer need to have sex with me, this is really trouble my urge feeling of having sex. Now I feel myself can't stand of having no sex. Please advise me how to persuade my wife to have sex with me. If my wife keep on rejecting of having sex what should I do in this case.

Our Response:
This is not really an problem for the Teen pages, but I shall try to answer your question. You really need to discuss this directly with your wife. Libido can reduce if your wife is going through or has gone through the menopause , therefore you have to respect the fact that she may not feel like being intimate. Discussion is the best way forward to see if you can try and work things out between yourselves. If you cannot agree, then some counselling may be an option.
TeenIssues - 4-May-16 @ 10:32 AM
I'm married to a woman whose age is now at 58 years. I am 61 year old but my sex instint is still strong. The problem is my wife is no longer need to have sex with me, this is really trouble my urge feeling of having sex. Now I feel myself can't stand of having no sex. Please advise me how to persuade my wife to have sex with me. If my wife keep on rejecting of having sex what should I do in this case..
yong - 3-May-16 @ 10:37 AM
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