Sexting – Wikipedia

Sexting is the private communication on sexual topics via mobile messaging. In the narrower sense, it is about dirty talk for mutual excitement. Since the availability of multimedia messaging services (MMS) and instant messaging services such as WhatsApp, it has also been possible to send erotic images of one’s own body via instant messaging applications using mobile devices. Such nude photos are also called Nelfie (naked selfies). The trunk word, which comes from the Anglo-American language area, is composed of sex and SMS (engl. texting, « Write SMS ») together.[1][2] In German, the word is mainly used for sending erotic self-recordings via smartphone or the Internet.[3] Since 2012, Pro Juventute from Switzerland has been carrying out an awareness campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of sexting and to offer help to those affected.[4]

A simulated sexting chat

The survey of a population-representative sample of N = 1,500 adults in Germany (18–85 years; 48% women, 52% men) in November 2015 showed that 41% of the respondents had already sent a sexting message at least once in their life.[5] Sending erotic texts was the most common, followed by erotic photos and videos of oneself. A statistically significantly higher participation in sexting was shown by persons of male gender, younger age, marital status unmarried and non-heterosexual identity. The respondents reported significantly more positive than negative effects of their sexting activities.

Sexting is mostly practiced by teenagers and young adults. According to a US study by the National Teenage and Unplanned Pregnancy Prevention Campaign (NCPTUP) in 2008, 20 percent of 13 to 19 year olds and 59 percent of 20 to 26 year olds have already sent sextings. 48 percent of teenagers and 64 percent of young adults have received sexting MMS.[6][7]

An English study for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children assumes a high number of unreported cases in England and found a proportion of 15 percent to 40 percent among young people depending on the age and definition of young people. The study also showed that the majority of female adolescents are pressured by male adolescents to provide their own pictures.[8] A survey among young Swiss people (JAMES study, 2012)[9] found that only 6 percent of those surveyed send erotic media of themselves. In 2012 the Swiss foundation Pro Juventute launched an awareness campaign against sexting.

A study by SaferInternet Austria carried out in Austria in 2017 revealed a high prevalence of sexting among young people (14-18 years of age):[10]

“The results of the survey show that sexting, that is, sending nude pictures, is widespread among young people. Almost half of the young people surveyed know someone who has already sent nude pictures to others. Every third person has already received nude pictures or videos. For many young people (31%) it is completely normal for someone in a relationship to send nude pictures – mostly via WhatsApp – to their boyfriends or girlfriends. One in ten young people even knows the nude pictures of their best friend.  »

Most young people use the WhatsApp messenger app for sexting, followed, far behind, by Facebook, Skype, Snapchat, i.e. instant messaging applications for smartphones and tablets, or by email.[7][10] The photos sent with Snapchat should only be visible for a certain number of seconds and then destroy themselves.[11] However, it is relatively simple to find and restore files that have been sent within the folder structure of the device in use.[12]

The distribution and possession of erotic images of minors (child pornography) is prohibited in most countries.

Situation in the United States[Bearbeiten | Quelltext bearbeiten]

The underage participants in this variant of a « I’ll show you mine – you show me yours“With the means of modern communication in the United States there is a threat of legal prosecution with serious consequences through mailing.[13][14][2][15][16]

Situation in Germany[Bearbeiten | Quelltext bearbeiten]

In Germany, sexting with minors can result in criminal liability up to several years in prison § 184b or § 184c of the Criminal Code. While after § 184b Sexual representations by children under the age of 14 are prohibited without exception § 184c In the case of sexual portrayals of young people between 14 and 17, an impunity is granted in the event that the youth pornographic material in question « Exclusively for personal use with the consent of the persons shown » was produced. However, since the §184c has only been legally valid since November 2008,[17] At the present time it remains to be seen how German case law will apply this new standard to the problem of « sexting ».

While the operators of sexting see this as a « high-tech flirt »,[18] critics point out the dangers of improper distribution of these photos, e. B. via social networks on the Internet.[19]

Situation in Austria[Bearbeiten | Quelltext bearbeiten]

The Austrian legal situation is similar to the German one in that sexting by under-fourteen-year-olds is illegal, but at the same time they are not criminally responsible. While the production and possession of pornographic depictions by young people (14-17 years of age) was always legal with their consent, dissemination through sexting was punishable until 2016. In March 2015, for example, a young person was convicted of sending a pornographic picture of himself.[20] After pressure from the federal youth council, there was a change in the law.[21]

  • Telephone sex, the satisfaction of sexual desires by talking on the phone
  • Cyber-grooming, targeted addressing of people on the Internet with the aim of establishing sexual contacts
  • Cybersex, collective term for various forms of virtual eroticism, sexual interaction and pornography
  • Internet sex addiction
  • Sextortion
  • Dick pic
  1. Sex + SMS = sexting. In: Washington Post online, December 10, 2008
  2. oneB. American teenagers shock moral guards. In:, May 7, 2009
  3. Eva Maria Berendsen: I want to see something from you. In: February 17, 2014, accessed on October 13, 2018.
  4. Sexting can make you famous. Even if you don’t want to. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  5. Döring, Nicola & Mohseni, Rohangis: Are Online Sexual Activities and Sexting Good For Adult Sexual Wellbeing? Results of a national online survey. In: International Journal of Sexual Health. tape 30th, No. 3, 2018, S. 250-263, doi:10.1080 / 19317611.2018.1491921.
  6. Sex and Tech: What’s Really Going On – Studying. (reminder of June 21, 2010 in Internet archive) In: (PDF; 485 kB)
  7. oneB. Why sexting among young people is (not) a problem. A guest contribution by Prof. Dr. Nicola Döring, – children. media. competence (archive).
  8. Jessica Ringrose, Rosalind Gill, Sonia Livingstone, Laura Harvey: A qualitative study on children, adolescents and « sexting ». In:, London 2012
  9. Results report for the JAMES study 2012 (reminder from March 19, 2014 in Internet archive) P. 53 (PDF)
  10. oneB. Sexting: Every third young person receives nude pictures via WhatsApp. In:
  11. Archived copy (reminder dated December 11, 2013 in Internet archive) on Snapchat’s Suitability for Sexting
  12. Snapchat: Sexting app won’t delete videos. (reminder from July 21, 2015 in Internet archive) In:
  13. US teenagers who are happy to show up collect child pornography lawsuits. In: Mirror online, January 15, 2009.
  14. I’ll show you my 2.0. In:, January 15, 2009
  15. Reymer Klüver: Of poses and antics. (reminder dated December 28, 2009 in Internet archive) In: Süddeutsche Zeitung online, April 16, 2009
  16. Schmitz / Siry: Teenage stupidity or child abuse? Government responses to “sexting” by minors in the US and Germany. May 2011.
  17. Introduction of §184c StGB (Federal Law Gazette 2008 I p. 2149)
  18. Sexting normal (reminder of March 8, 2009 in Internet archive) In:, July 14, 2008
  19. Teen « sexting » worries parents and schools. In: CBS news February 4, 2009
  20. Sex selfie: Performers can be punishable by law. In: March 29, 2015, accessed on February 10, 2016.
  21. Tweet from BJV chairman David Neuber. In: September 6, 2015, accessed on February 10, 2016.

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