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Calabasas High School

Revenge Porn: 21st century love

banner 1 Revenge Porn: 21st century love
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Sexual experimentation now takes place in a technological world where naked images can easily be shared without consent while leaving life-altering consequences for victims.

Nonconsensual pornography is defined as the distribution of sexually graphic images of individuals without their consent. This includes images obtained without consent (e.g. by using hidden cameras, hacking phones and recording sexual assaults) as well as images consensually obtained. The public and the media has often referred to nonconsensual pornography as “revenge porn.” This type of harassment shows how sexual violation is now not only physical but also digital.

Enabled by the technological and cultural upheaval that put a camera in every pocket and created a global audience for every social media post, nonconsensual porn has become increasingly common. While nonconsensual pornography affects both male and female individuals, the majority of victims are female and often face far more serious consequences as a result of victimizations. Nonconsensual pornography – like domestic violence, rape and sexual harassment – disproportionately harms women and undermines gender equality.

Several nonconsensual pornography websites encourage users to submit nude photos of their ex-partner(s) where “revenge” is its own genre. These websites often include forums that allow others to leave derogatory or salacious comments about the women in the photos. This online environment allows men more freedom to sexually harass women due to its anonymous nature. There currently are no limitations to prevent people from making sexual comments online that otherwise would not be said in person.

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Photo Courtesy of REPUTAITONACE

More often, however, nonconsensual pornography is also posted on social media, where people in the victim’s personal life are able to view them. Once a photo is posted online, it is challenging to completely remove it from the Internet; leaving it to linger in cyberspace for years, which makes the harm continuous and long-lasting.

In an attempt to reduce the emotional impact of revenge porn, some women delete their online social media accounts which ultimately separates women from positive social connections with friends and family. Social media has become a common way to stay connected with loved ones and many women feel the need to disconnect in order to avoid degradation and humiliation.

Many young women experimenting with their sexuality often engage in the act of sexting. In recent years, sexting has become increasingly common and can often lead to photos of underage women surfacing on the internet.

One main contributor to this problem is the distribution of sexually explicit photos through an online sharing account also known as a drop box. Drop boxes have become a way to share hundreds of sexually explicit files with others and have emerged at multiple high schools. Although law enforcement and administration try to remove these accounts, new ones arise and continue to spread.

Nonconsensual pornography has the ability to completely destroy a victims’ intimate relationships, as well as educational and employment opportunities. The impact of nonconsensual pornography includes public shame and humiliation, an inability to find new romantic partners, depression, PTSD, anxiety and harassment.

Many of the mental health issues that victims of revenge porn experience are very similar to physical assault survivors. Mental health issues after a cyber or physical assault may also stem from mistreatment by law enforcement and the community.

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Photo Courtesy of independent.co.uk

As of 2017, 38 states and the District of Columbia have specific laws outlawing distribution of revenge porn. However, revenge porn laws are still relatively new and the laws are continuing to develop. Advocates are trying to expand these laws by pushing a Congressional bill that would make nonconsensual porn a federal crime.

There are obstacles at every corner; from the technological challenges of fully removing anything from the internet to the attitude of law enforcement, to the public concerns over legislation, that could restrict free speech.

Nonconsensual pornography is, among other things, a violation of privacy. Criminal laws are often used to protect privacy, including laws that secure financial, medical and other forms of privacy. If these laws are compatible with the First Amendment, so can criminal laws protecting sexual privacy.

1 Comment

  • Reply justopinionated September 5, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Hey wonderful post ! Very impactful…I have a post on the similar topic ! Check it out at
    https://asmitamandhare.wordpress.com/2018/09/05/not-your-fault

    Awaiting feedback!

    Like

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