Australia and Consensual Sexting

The Creation of Child Pornography or Exploitation Materials?

Authored by: Amy Shields Dobson

The Routledge Companion to Digital Media and Children

Print publication date:  October  2020
Online publication date:  October  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138544345
eBook ISBN: 9781351004107
Adobe ISBN:


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The legal and cultural framing of youth sexting practices as potentially being ‘child pornography’, or sexual exploitation materials, has significant unintended negative impacts on young people and those who care for them. These include encouraging young people to view their own bodies as dangerous and inherently exploitable rather than pleasurable, potentially discouraging them from confiding in adults about issues around sexual media, and sending contradictory messages about the socio-legal consequences of sexual self-representation. This chapter examines these challenges and argues for the need to conceive of and address youth sexting in relation to sexual rights rather than as ‘child pornography’.

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