Journal of Social Sciences

Sexting and Youth: Achieving a Rational Response

Nancy E. Willard

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2010.542.562

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 6, Issue 4

Pages 542-562


The term “sexting” is a combination of two terms “text” and “sex”. The term is being applied to situations to sending self-created nude or semi-nude sexually provocative images or sexually explicit text. Most of the focus has been on sending nude images-because these are far more likely to be more widely disseminated and because the distribution of these images can place young people at higher risk (the term is also, unfortunately being applied to situations where adults are sending nude images or explicit text from minors. This is an inappropriate use of the term. These activities should be called what they are: exploitation of a minor). This document will outline the research findings about this phenomenon, discuss the concerns about current degree of overreaction, address legal issues and provide recommendations for changes in criminal statutes and for the establishment of an effective multidisciplinary approach to investigate and intervene in these situations.


© 2010 Nancy E. Willard. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.