About Abuse

Abuse Using Technology

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Updated: 
October 10, 2017

Is sexting against the law?

It depends. Although sexting between consenting adults may not violate any laws, many state laws that deal with sexting make it clear that sending sexually explicit images to a minor or keeping sexually explicit images of a minor is illegal.

If a minor sends, keeps, or shares sexually explicit photographs of a minor (including himself or herself), there could be criminal consequences for that behavior. Sending, keeping, or sharing sexually explicit images or videos of a minor could result in criminal prosecution under state or federal child pornography laws or sexting laws (if the state has a sexting law that addresses that behavior). Such behavior may also be illegal under state child sexual assault or child abuse laws. Notably, even if the minor sends a sexual image of himself/herself (as opposed to sending pictures of another minor), this behavior can still be illegal and the minor could face legal consequences. You can find a list of states that have criminal sexting laws on cyberbullying.org.