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Sexting PanicRethinking Criminalization, Privacy, and Consent$
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Amy Adele Hasinoff

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038983

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038983.001.0001

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(p.155) Conclusion
Sexting Panic

Amy Adele Hasinoff

University of Illinois Press

This book has explored three dominant problems in how people tend to think about sexting: that sexting is a crime, that adolescents sext because they are biologically irrational and irresponsible, and that sexting is a psychological problem of girls' low self-esteem. It has made a case for the decriminalization of consensual sexting and advocated viewing sexting as a form of media production. It has also interrogated both the theory that sexualization causes sexting and the idea that new media participation is inherently good. Finally, it has criticized the assumptions that “information wants to be free” and “privacy is dead” and instead suggested a model of explicit consent for all private media circulation. The chapter concludes by offering three key recommendations: first, we must recognize that granting youth the right to sext will offer them a significant defense against possible harms that the state and peers can commit; second, we need to incorporate consent into how we think about private media circulation; third, we need to accept adolescent girls' sexual agency.

Keywords:   sexting, self-esteem, decriminalization, consensual sexting, media production, sexualization, explicit consent, sexual agency, adolescent girls, privacy

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