Sexting and Privacy Violations: A Case Study of Sympathy and Blame
Hasinoff, Amy Adele
Teens who consensually create and share sexual images of themselves are criticized in the media and criminalized in US law, but there is less specific attention to those who distribute such images without permission. This article focuses on one such case, in which an 18-year-old distributed explicit photos of his ex-girlfriend to her family, friends, and teachers. This paper offers an in-depth qualitative discourse analysis of the case, examining the two sides of the response to the perpetrator: the legal system viewed his actions as severely harmful and considered him a sexual predator, while most of the media coverage supported the young man by blaming the victim. This case demonstrates the need for more nuanced responses to sexual privacy violations that do not blame victims but instead hold perpetrators accountable without demonizing and stigmatizing them as registered sex offenders.
This article forms a part of Special Issue on Sexting, International Journal of Cyber Criminology, Vol 11 issue 2, July - December 2017. Guest Editors: Fawn Ngo, K. Jaishankar, Jose R. Agustina.
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