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Sexting: To send or not to send

With the use of the “Laugh and Learn” video and a decision mapping process, students will examine scenarios where they may be asked to send a sext. They will analyse the emotional, social, ethical, and legal implications of both sending and not sending the sext.


  • Unauthorised Sexting Is Considered Disrespectful, Harassing, And In Violation Of The Law.
  • There Are Steps That Can Be Taken If Someone Receives Inappropriate Text Messages Or Pictures.
  • Sending Sexually Explicit Messages Or Images Can Result In Emotional, Social, Ethical, And Legal Consequences.
  • It Can Quickly Become Difficult To Regulate Who Views A Sexually Explicit Message Or Image.
  • It’s Crucial To Consider Potential Outcomes When Making Choices Regarding Sexting.


  • Laugh And Learn Video – Sexting
  • ESafety – Imaged Based Abuse Video
  • Sticky Notes
  • Pens
  • A Large Floor/Wall Space To Place Sticky Notes

Before you get started

Sexting involves the exchange of sexually suggestive or explicit material, typically through mobile phones but also on social media and other online platforms. This can encompass various behaviours and content, including flirtatious texts or the sharing of nude photos or sexually explicit videos. Although the term “sexting” is not commonly used by young people, they may refer to it as “nudes”, “naked selfies”, “pic for pic”, “dick pics”, or other similar terms. Additionally, “sexting” can also be referred to as the sharing of intimate images or sexually explicit messages.
Take note that some students in this lesson may have experience with sexting. It is important to emphasise that the teacher does not want to know about any specific student’s involvement in sexting. Prepare for any potential disclosures and be ready to use protective strategies to interrupt.


This exercise offers students a trustworthy online source as an example and outlines various safe and unsafe online practices. Students are encouraged to reflect on their own online behaviour and critically analyse these online behaviours.


Ask students: Can you tell me what you know about the term “sexting”?


Take answers from volunteers

Students should feel secure and backed in lessons on touchy subjects like this one. It’s important for them to understand that they won’t be required to answer any questions and that contributions will only be solicited from volunteers.

Outline to the students: “Sexting refers to the act of sending sexually suggestive or explicit photos, messages, or videos through electronic devices such as a mobile phone or the internet. The images or messages can also be referred to as “sexy pics”, “noodz”, or legally as “sexually explicit images or messages” or “intimate images.”


Using their thumbs as indicators, get the students to answer the following questions.

(Thumbs up=legal, thumbs down = illegal, thumbs sideways = not sure)
– An 18 year old sends a naked image of themselves to another 18 year old they like. (Legal, but if the recipient didn’t want this, it might be sexual harassment depending on the circumstances).
– A 20 year old sends a naked image of themselves to their 21 years old partner. (Legal if consensual)
– A 17 year old consensually sends a nude to their 17 year old partner. (Despite being of legal age to have sex, this is illegal under federal laws which override state laws. If a person under 18 takes a naked picture of themselves, it can be considered creating child exploitation material. Sending it to a partner can be considered distributing child exploitation material. These laws are designed to protect children from exploitation however, young people consensually sharing images can still be prosecuted under these laws.)
– A 21 year old shares the image of their partner with several of their friends. (Illegal if they did not ask for their partner’s consent to share the images.)
– A teacher follows students on Instagram and makes personal remarks. (Legal but breaches professional conduct.)
– After breaking up with their 16 year old partner, a 17 year old threatens to send an intimate image of them to their mates. (Illegal to threaten to send an intimate image and illegal to send an intimate image of a person under 18 years of age)
What are the key takeaways from this video?

Provide each students with a small stack of sticky notes


Tell students Describe a scenario in which a person might be asked for a nude. This is to be a hypothetical situation so no names of people we know and no personal stories.”

– What are the names of person A and B?
– What are their genders
– How old are they?
– How do they know each other?
– What device/app are they using to chat?

Record the scenario and display it on the “choose your own adventure” flow chart on the wall/floor space.


Tell students: “What might person B’s response to this request be? Write it down on your sticky note and place it along side the scenario to show the different ways the conversation might develop.”

– Do they want to send the nude?
– Do they feel safe?
– Is there trust?
– Do they feel pressured?
– How do they negotiate the situation?
– Do they consensually send the nude?
– Do they send a pic without showing their face or identifying features?
– Ask: What might person A reply?

Have the students continue the potential responses along the ‘choose your own adventure’ path.


Ask students

– What might happen as a result if they send the nude or if they don’t send the nude?
– What are the emotional consequences?
– What are the social consequences?
– What are the ethical consequences?

View eSafety Image based abuse video. Ask – This video is about Commonwealth law. Why do you think not knowing this information could be very dangerous for some people?


Ask students –

– What are the legal consequences?
– Who could get prosecuted in each of the scenarios we looked at in To send or not to send?
– Who would get prosecuted in each of these scenarios?
– Where can a young person go for help in these situations? What can they do?

Display the eSafety website and go through the steps of “What to do?:

What strategies have you seen in this process that you might recommend to a friend who was in a similar situation?

Use the think pair share strategy

– What is the most important thing you have learnt from doing this work on sexting?
– Who will you share this information with?

Reflect on the key takeaways as a class.