Can I get an STD from sexting?

No, you can’t get an STD from sexting but there are negative consequences you may want to think about.

What is SEXTING?

Sexting: the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photographs, (semi-nude or nude) primarily between mobile phones.  But it can happen through other devices such as the internet.

Is sexting harmful?

Yes! There are many consequences that can occur if you participate in sexting.  You could be legally charged with producing or distributing child pornography and you may have to register as a sex offender.  These seem like tough consequences. And they are. Sexting is a serious issue. In some states, sexting is a federal felony.  This is something you really don’t want on your record.

Some examples of sexting consequences:

  • In January 2009 child pornography charges were brought against six teenagers in Greensburg, Pennsylvania after three girls sent sexually explicit photographs to three male classmates.
  • A teenage boy in Fort Wayne, Indiana was indicted on felony obscenity charges for allegedly sending a photo of his genitals to many female classmates.
  • Two Ohio teens were charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a first-degree misdemeanor, for sending or possessing nude photos on their cell phones of two 15 year old classmates.

What other harmful effects are there from sexting?

If the image or message sent is passed on or forwarded to others than who it was intended for, humiliation and embarrassment can occur.  Someone’s reputation could be ruined. In some cases peer pressure is causing kids to respond to requests from friends, boyfriends or girlfriends to sext.

Sometimes these requests are met and then when a couple breaks up, these photos can be used as a way of revenge or when one partner is angry or sad.

As is the story of a young woman in Ohio.  Jesse Logan had sent nude pictures of herself to her boyfriend.  When they broke up he sent Jesse’s pictures to other girls at their high school.

The girls started harassing Jesse, calling her vicious names and even throwing objects at her.  Jesse didn’t want to go to school and started skipping. After much torment, Jesse decided to go on TV and tell her story, hoping it would help others not have to go through what she was going through.  Two months later, Jessica Logan, hung herself.


  • If you receive a sext, DO NOT forward or show it to anyone else.
  • Do not delete the sext you received until you have shown it to a trusting adult such as a parent, coach, counselor, teacher, aunt, uncle, school resource officer.
  • Tell the person who sent it to you not to do it again.
  • Do not participate in sexting in any way, whether you are the sender or receiver.
  • Educate yourself about the laws of your state regarding sexting.  Share those laws with friends and siblings.
  • Pressuring someone or suggesting someone sext you is not ok.  Everyone involved stands the chance of getting in trouble.
  • Always think about and reread what you are sending, whether it is a text, email or via the web, before you send it.  Keep in mind that anything you send or post will never truly go away.  It will always be out there in cyberspace.