Experts say that girls as young as 12 are under pressure to send nude photos to boys because this has become part of the modern "dating ceremony."
One in five teenagers admitted to sending or receiving nude photos, but Internet security expert Susan McLea said many young girls are plagued by this pressure. "More than one girl tells me every week that they feel the tremendous pressure to give back to boys (boys sent them nude photos) and send them their own photos." Ms. McLean said.
She said that the police had intervened in a case she handled in which a 14-year-old girl was blackmailed for nude photos. "The young girl told me that she just jokingly sent a photo, and then he threatened her to send him more, or he would publish the photo. So she continued to send him about 6 Nude photos for months. We contacted the local police because it was an extortion incident.”
Melinda Tankard Reist, who gave a lecture on this issue to high school girls, said she was shocked by the pressure on such a young girl. "Girls are getting younger and younger, and boys may be asked to post nude photos at the age of 12 or 13, but being blackmailed is very scary. Boys may say that if you don’t give me nude photos, I will make them. Your sex rumors or post your profile picture on pictures of other naked women," Ms. Tankard Reist said.
According to the NSW Ministry of Education and Community, there were 145 incidents of sexual abuse among students last year, 46 of which were related to sexting or the Internet.
Child psychologist Michael Carr Gregg said that, unfortunately, sex messages have become part of everyday relationships. "The reality is that nude photos are an important part of the current generation of young people's courtship. If you reach the age of 15 and have a partner, you have reached the stage of exchanging nude photos."
The recent nude photos of big-name celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence have reinforced this trend of normalization.