Sexting just for fun not to hurt victims: new study

red line

red line

One of many editorial cartoons mocking the Anthony Weiner sexting controversy.

One of many editorial cartoons mocking the Anthony Weiner sexting controversy.

Sexting, which is becoming a popular recreation among young adults, ironically led to the humiliating downfall of a 52-year-old New York politician, Anthony Weiner.

Weiner was digitally transmitting intimate photos of himself to teen girls. The father of one of the girls spoke to the press. Other women came forward with their own selfie tales with the former congressman, resulting in Weiner pleading guilty to one charge of transferring obscene material to a minor, in this case a 15-year-old girl from North Carolina.

According to the recently issued “2017 Nationwide Online Study of Nonconsensual Porn Victimization and Perpetration,” sexting appears to be the most common form of nonconsensual pornography (NCP), defined as the “distribution of sexually graphic images of individuals without their consent.”

Sexting becomes the crime of “revenge porn” or cyber abuse when it is used to harass or intimidate people.

The research, conducted by the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI) of Florida International University, polled a total of 3,044 participants, 82 percent of them white. The ages of the participants ranged from 18 to 97, with median age recorded at about 40 years old. Sexual orientation is predominantly heterosexual (70.4 percent), and 39 percent of those polled are college students.

Some of the key findings:

-Digital sexual interactions have become increasingly prevalent in the last decade in the U.S.

-Nonconsensual pornography (NCP) is a growing form of digital sexual violence.

-12.8 percent of participants reported having been victims of NCP, their sexually-explicit images shared without their consent, or they were threatened with NCP.

-Women were significantly more likely (about 1.7 times as likely) to have been victims or to have been threatened with NCP compared to men.

-Participants between the ages of 18-25 reported the highest levels of NCP perpetration compared to other age groups; 8.2 percent of participants in this age group reporting having shared sexually-explicit images of another person(s) without consent at some point in their lives.

Source: CCRI

Source: CCRI

-Of the 159 individuals who reported having shared sexually-explicit images without consent, the most commonly chosen reason (79 percent) was just to share “with friends” without the intention “to hurt” the victim. Only 12 percent of perpetrators reported having committed NCP because they were upset with the victim and/or wanted to harm them.

-The most commonly chosen method for sharing the image(s) was via text message (44.7 percent).

-The most commonly chosen prohibitive factor (60 percent) participants chose in response to the question “What might have stopped you from sharing the image(s)?” was if they knew they had to register as a sex offender.

Weiner was ordered by the court to register as a sex offender.

California Rep. Jackie Speier hailed the CCRI study. She said she is proposing legislation that would toughen existing revenge porn law. Her bill, called the Intimate Privacy Protection Act (IPPA), proposes to make it a federal crime to “knowingly distribute sexually explicit material with reckless disregard for the victim’s lack of consent.”

Speier took note of the findings that many of the perpetrators admitted they did not intend to hurt their victims.

“This not only demonstrates why the term revenge porn is inaccurate, it proves why intent is immaterial to the harm caused by these violations,” she said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the latest celebrity to be ensnared by the sexting culture is reality TV star Rob Kardashian. A lawyer for his ex-girlfriend called Kardashian a “cyber bully” and asked him to stop releasing nude photos of Blac Chyna after they broke up. The lawyer said Kardashian’s actions are a clear case of revenge porn. In California, where Kardashian is a resident, revenge porn is similar to invasion of privacy. For now it’s a misdemeanor punishable by six months in jail and a $1K fine.

Some Filipino Americans we spoke to admitted having “fun” with sexting but said nothing has led to anything as serious as revenge porn. A New Jersey student said she and her boyfriend “sext a lot” and they are aware there are boundaries. “It’s just for the two of us to share,” she said.

Another FilAm in the entertainment industry said sexting is quite common and the person should be trusting of who to share the photos with. Both requested their names not be used. — Cristina DC Pastor

Copyright © 2017 The FilAm

Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna. Allegations of revenge porn  after their breakup

Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna. Allegations of revenge porn after their breakup



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