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.”

New Mexico moves toward legalizing teen sexting

New Mexico recently exempted minors from prosecution for for possession of child pornography. The new legislation appears to be modeled on Nebraska’s child pornography statute, which was modified in 2009 to exclude teens from prosecution for possession. Florida’s recent sexting legislation accident not withstanding, New Mexico and Nebraska appear to be the only states that exempt teens from child pornography felonies, at least for possession.

This news from New Mexico is a significant development, since a lot of other states have passed misdemeanor or diversion bills since 2009, which still criminalize sexting but apply lesser penalties than felonies.

The New Mexico legislation still does not go far enough, since it does not protect consensual teen sexters from prosecution for creating or distributing child pornography of themselves. What we need in every state are age-span exemptions, like we have for statutory rape, in all child pornography laws so teens close in age cannot be charged. This should cover any sexting–including the creation, possession, and distribution of images–as long as it is consensual.

More coverage from Reason and The Cut. NM Governor Martinez (R) was not happy about the sexting amendment.

Sarah Lamble: Can there be justice without punishment?

Punishment lies at the heart of most criminal justice systems within western liberal democracies. But is punishment a necessary component of justice? What does punishment achieve? What is the relationship between punishment and accountability? In this talk, Dr Sarah Lamble considers what justice might look like in the absence of punishment and explores what non-punitive justice might offer for preventing, reducing and responding to violence.

Drawing from Dr Lamble’s research on community-based restorative and transformative justice practices in the US, Canada and the UK, the talk will focus specifically on cases of identity-based violence to untangle some of our taken-for-granted assumptions about punishment and explore the possibilities that alternative visions of justice might offer.

Click here to see a video recording of the lecture.

Revenge porn is named for sex work, and the outrage against it exists in the shadow of sex work. It’s not merely an invasion of trust or a terrible shattering of privacy. The harm of revenge porn comes from the illusory conscription of a nice lady into sex work.

— Sarah Jeong, in an article about revenge porn