What is sexting?

Sexting is the act of sending provocative or sexual photos, messages or videos using a mobile phone.

It also includes posting provocative or sexual photos online.

Some of the young people do sexting willingly, while others may be forced into it by their boyfriends / girlfriends or peers.

Sometimes, images can also be taken without one’s knowledge or consent and forwarded to others. This is also considered sexting.

While it might seem like innocent flirting or amusing for some, sexting can have serious social and legal consequences.

Some of the common scenarios are:

  • Wati takes a photo of herself naked and sends it to her boyfriend’s mobile phone at his request. After their relationship ends, her boyfriend might pass it to his friends or post it on a social network for others to see. He might also use the photo to threaten her in the future.
  • Tina’s goes out with her a boy she just met on Facebook. She is taken by him to a house and later raped by him and his friends. This whole incident is recorded by them and later circulated to their friends.

What are the consequences?

Social consequences

Naked images posted or sent can spread rapidly. It is almost impossible to remove or control the spread of these images especially if it is posted online.

As a result, sexting can cause not only embarrassment now but also in the future to come. Friends, family, teachers, future colleagues, partners and employers can have access to these images, which can damage your reputation.

Sexting can also lead to cyberbullying, sexual harassments and threats.

Legal consequences

Under the law, taking, receiving and forwarding sexual images of yourself or others is a crime, especially if the photo is possess by someone who is under 18 years of age. This act is considered child pornography.

How to protect you and your loved ones from the consequences of sexting?

  1. Think before you post. Content posted online can be there forever and can spread rapidly.
  2. Always remember, sexting is illegal, so never forward provocative or sexual images that you receive and don’t save these images on your phone or computer.
  3. Say NO if someone asks you to take or pass on a photo that is provocative or sexual.
  4. Don’t be embarrassed to talk to a trusted adult or to your parents if you are forced to do something on the Internet that you do not want to do it.
  5. If you have sent an image or message that you regret, seek advice from a trusted adult or your parents.

Semakan akhir : 17 April 2014
Penulis : Dr. Hargeet Kaur a/p Basant Singh
Penyemak : Dr. Hargeet Kaur A/P Basant Singh