A stark illustration of how cruel the criminal law has become in this regard is illustrated by the example of 12 year old girl in the south of England who was being groomed online by a paedophile. Many people are confused about why women are coming forward, many for the first time after years of silence, with stories about sexual activity they never sought out, wanted or consented to. We all know that sexting is dangerous. So although 17 year-olds can legally have sex, they cannot legally send a naked image It is clear then that consensual youth sexting should be treated as a separate and distinct behaviour from child pornography. Detective Sergeant Jan Rusdale of the Nottinghamshire force warns: It's illegal for anyone below the age of 16 to have sex, so if the photo shows this, it could lead to them having doubly bad consequences. For now at least, sexting is here to stay.
But, until now, we thought the only risk in sexting was if your peers, or strangers, got hold of the pictures.
What Teen Sexting Reveals About Women and Sexual Coercion
Even girls whose images are considered valuable are cheapened. Not only are there risks that your photo could be spread to the wider world — whether as an act of revenge porn, or unintentionally — but there are legal implications. It is clear then that consensual youth sexting should be treated as a separate and distinct behaviour from child pornography. If you pass a naked selfie on to someone else, whatever the context, it could lead to a breach of copyright law. The paedophile cannot be found as he was using an anonymous Instagram account. 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.