Almost a quarter of people who have been sent nude photos via text message have forwarded them on to at least three friends, a new US study into “sexting” has found.
The University of Indiana study found despite 73 percent of the people who had shared nudes expecting them to be kept private, 23 percent of the recipients had shared them with three friends or more.
“That finding suggests that the real risk of sexting is the potential for nonconsensual sharing of sext messages,” Assistant Professor Justin Garcia from the university’s Kinsey Institute said.
“It raises the question that if someone sends something to you with the presumption that it’s private and then you share it with others — which, when it comes to sexting, nearly one out of every four single Americans are doing – what do we want to consider that type of violation? Is it just bad taste? Is it criminal?”
Of the 5805 single adults surveyed, 21 percent reported sending sexually explicit messages, and 28 percent reported receiving them. Sixteen percent reported sending sexual photos and more than 23 percent reported receiving them.
The study also found that most sexting happens between couples already in an established relationship, and of those who sent messages, 66 percent of men and 78 percent of women did so to flirt with their relationship partner.
But most participants, between 60 and 74 percent, reported that they believe sexting “could hurt their reputation, career, self-esteem, or current relationships or friendships.”
In 2014, Victoria became the first state in Australia to pass so-called “revenge porn” laws, making it an offense to maliciously “distribute an intimate image” of someone else to others.
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