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Beyond the ‘sext’: Technology-facilitated sexual violence and harassment against adult women

Beyond the ‘sext’: Technology-facilitated sexual violence and harassment against adult women Young people's use of technology as a tool for the negotiation of their sexual identities and encounters has increasingly become a focal point in popular and scholarly discussion. Much of this debate centres on the sending of explicit sexual images and/or video (‘selfies’ or ‘sexting’) by mobile phone, email or social media. In Australia and elsewhere, legislative frameworks have arguably over-regulated or criminalised young people's consensual, digital, sexual communications. Equally, the law has failed to respond to the harm that is experienced by victims of non-consensual making and/or distribution of such sexual images. In this paper, we examine the non-consensual creation and distribution of sexual images in the context of harassment, stalking and family or intimate violence. We argue that harmful digital communications are often framed as a problem of user naiveté rather than gender-based violence. Moreover, we argue that current legal and policy approaches fail to adequately capture the social and psychological harm that results from the use of sexual imagery to harass, coerce or blackmail women. We draw on preliminary data from a larger project investigating adult women's experiences of technology-mediated sexual violence and harassment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology SAGE

Beyond the ‘sext’: Technology-facilitated sexual violence and harassment against adult women

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2014 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav
ISSN
0004-8658
eISSN
1837-9273
DOI
10.1177/0004865814524218
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Young people's use of technology as a tool for the negotiation of their sexual identities and encounters has increasingly become a focal point in popular and scholarly discussion. Much of this debate centres on the sending of explicit sexual images and/or video (‘selfies’ or ‘sexting’) by mobile phone, email or social media. In Australia and elsewhere, legislative frameworks have arguably over-regulated or criminalised young people's consensual, digital, sexual communications. Equally, the law has failed to respond to the harm that is experienced by victims of non-consensual making and/or distribution of such sexual images. In this paper, we examine the non-consensual creation and distribution of sexual images in the context of harassment, stalking and family or intimate violence. We argue that harmful digital communications are often framed as a problem of user naiveté rather than gender-based violence. Moreover, we argue that current legal and policy approaches fail to adequately capture the social and psychological harm that results from the use of sexual imagery to harass, coerce or blackmail women. We draw on preliminary data from a larger project investigating adult women's experiences of technology-mediated sexual violence and harassment.

Journal

Australian & New Zealand Journal of CriminologySAGE

Published: Mar 1, 2015

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