Exciting news! Sexting Panic won NCA’s 2016 Diamond Anniversary Book Award.

Sexting Panic is the rare book that advances scholarly conversations while also promising to enrich family conversations around the dinner table.  Amy Adele Hasinoff offers a timely, practical, and comprehensive analysis of the social understandings that spawned the current wave of public anxiety and legal backlash over youth sexting.  Challenging the prevailing views that young women are inevitably victims of sexting and that new media practices warrant moral panic, Dr. Hasinoff instead offers a more nuanced view of young women and men as active producers.  Informed primarily by cultural studies and feminist theory, her treatment of consent and agency lays the groundwork for more sophisticated, realistic discussions of the ethics of privacy and digital technology.  Rather than criminalizing communication practices based on topic and medium, she concludes that parents and policy-makers should distinguish consensual from malicious sharing of content. Well-researched and engaging, Dr. Hasinoff’s book demonstrates the value of communication scholarship to educators, policy-makers, and technology users of all ages and genders. Already reviewed in eight interdisciplinary journals and the subject of dozens of public media stories, Sexting Panic also exemplifies this year’s NCA convention theme of “Communication’s Civic Callings.”

“Analog sexting”

Joshua Adair at Notches:

Once they have confronted these items from my personal archive, students struggle to deny that my grandparents were clearly engaging in behaviors similar to their own sexting, only using the technology available to them as best they could. What proves most interesting in this interaction, though, transpires when I highlight the absolute lack of privacy inherent in these exchanges. My grandfather, in defiance of censorship, still clearly expressed his erotic desires to my grandmother, knowing all the while they were likely to be redacted. This, of course, raises the question of whether the presence of a third party in this transaction further energized his desire. Gram, for her part, had no option but to take her film to a processor – and one she knew well, no less.

Discrimination in sexting charges

I wish we could trust prosecutors to never use child pornography charges against teens who sext consensually, but unfortunately we cannot. As we know, in 2009, approximately 7% of all child pornography production arrests are teens who’ve only engaged in consensual sexting. How many of those were youth of color? How many were gay or trans?

This recent case in Louisiana illustrates why we need to decriminalize consensual sexting–it’s no surprise that an African American teenage boy was charged here and the white girl he was sexting with was not. Neither should face any charges for consensual sexting!

Read here: “17-year-old black boy sexting with 16-year-old white girl and guess who’s charged with child pornography.”