When digital photos are involved, the harm being threatened is often extreme embarrassment or loss of reputation through exposure or distribution of the person’s photos.
Certainly sextortion can also involve a violation of trust, as with “aggravated sexting,” exploiting emotional vulnerability.
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“Sexting” is a relatively new word that typically refers to sex-related or nude photos taken and shared via cellphone (most sexting happens on phones and doesn’t make it to the Web, according to research in the medical journal Pediatrics).
Some experts say sexting can also be just sexually explicit text.
Both those forms of victimization are what’s called “aggravated” (criminal or abusive) sexting by researchers at the University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center.
The other category of sexting is called “experimental,” which involves no malice, surprise, or lack of consent between participants and which rarely results in an arrest (18% do, according to the CCRC). This is another kind of sexting that can cause serious harm.
This kind of sexting can start out consensual but go very wrong – and harmful.
Exposing or distributing very personal photos of someone without his or her consent is a violation of trust that can cause severe embarrassment, harm to a reputation, or other emotional hurt.Young people need to see that pressure for what it is – that it’s inherently disrespectful and abusive, that they owe themselves the self-respect that prevents this victimization, and that there are laws against it in many jurisdictions.* Sexting as an act of anger, revenge or other social aggression.There’s even less consensus about this term’s meaning but – because it contains the word “extortion” and implies “sexting” – “sextortion” generally refers to the crime of extortion involving sex-related digital photos.Extortion victimizes someone by demanding money, property, sex, or some other “service” from the person and threatening to harm him or her if the demand isn’t met.There’s a broad range of motivations behind sexting – from digital flirting or attention-seeking to an aspect of sexual interplay to dating abuse or blackmail.