In 1984, George Orwell tells the story of a love affair between two individuals by the names of Julia and Winston. In the fictional world of Oceana, it is illegal to make love for pleasure, so they must sneak behind the government’s back to do so. The constant sneaking around only to be caught and tortured wrung the humanity out of Winston and Julia. This behavior is similar to the modern-day act of sexting. If somebody were to look at a group of teenagers in any given area, how many would he predict have sexted? The statistics that he would see might shock him, but considering the epidemic that sexting has become, the statistics might not be as shocking as one would originally think. Sexting can most clearly be defined as minors taking nude or partially nude pictures of themselves and sending them to others, or forwarding received pictures to other people (Lounsbury et al). However, it can also be defined as the trading of sexual fantasies over text (Scurfield). Although sexting may not seem dangerous, the legal, emotional, and social consequences can be devastating to the point of dehumanization.
In 1984, when Winston asks if Julia has had an illicit love affair before, she says that she has done it “hundreds of times—well, scores of times anyway” (Orwell). She has gotten to the point in which she does not think twice about the fact that her actions are drastically illegal. This, in a way, describes the epidemic of sexting. It has gotten to the point where nobody cares about the consequences because teenagers think they’re invincible. They don’t consider the possibility of getting caught. Some reasons behind sexting can include curiosity, feeling pressured, being in love, or a simple lack of ability to use good reasoning (Lohmann). Sexting has become much easier over the years due to changes in technology such as camera phones and laptops (Lohmann). Studies in which “researchers surveyed 606 teenagers ages 14-18” show that “approximately 20 percent of the teens had said they had sent a sexual image of themself via cellphone” (Lohmann). Those same studies shockingly reported that over twenty-five percent of people who have received sexts have also forwarded them to other people. Another study showed these statistics:
•28% of teens admitted to having sent a sext.
•76.2% of teens who were propositioned to sext admitted to having sexual intercourse.
•Girls were asked to send a sext (68%) more often than boys (42%).
•The peak age of sexting is about 16 and 17 years of age.
•Sexting seems to decline in individuals 18 and older (Lohmann).
Sexters also have a tendency to be older teens (Lounsbury et al). These are only a few of many facts on the rising issue of sexting. The legal consequences are just as shocking as some of these statistics.
In 1984, One of the issues with sexting is “the prevalence of instances where the youth are creating images of themselves or other minors that meet criminal definitions of child pornography” (Lounsbury). When...