In the era of the global pandemic, people are adopting safe ways to connect with near and dear through technology, certainly with sexual lives too. Recently only a couple was fined £360 (over Rs 34,000) for kissing in public in Milan, Italy as it was found to be in violation of the coronavirus guidelines in the city.
Obviously, during this pandemic due to the restrictions and as a part of safety more people are engaging in cybersex/digital sexual activity. It gives some sort of sexual stimulation and satisfaction.
But psychologist says that It leads the person to cybersex addiction. Some send sexual text messages, naked or partially naked pictures/videos or sexually explicit pictures or videos of others. This digital sexual activity is called Sexting. Some surveys depicted online dating witnessing a boom in India too.
In a recent study published in Plos One Journal revealed that 19% Indian women, compared to 21% globally, use smartphone applications to find a partner for hook-ups or to look for long-term/short-term relationships. The study also revealed that 62% of Indian women engage in sexting. The data for the survey was collected via an anonymous questionnaire and had responses from 1,30,885 women in 191 countries, including 23,093 from India.
As per experts, sexting is a normal part of human sexual expression and some studies show that at least out of five people resort to sexting once a while to satisfy their sexual needs. But there are some dark sides in sexting. It is a perfect example of misuse of technology which leads oneself in emotional pressure, even commit to suicide due to the humiliation from society.
In some relationships, the partner asked to send nude photos as a part of their romance or as a proof of commitment. But it is advisable to not send such photos to your boyfriend/partner/husband, even if you are in a secure relationship. Sometimes, you may break up in the future and the other person may engage in revenge porn which could subject you to bullying or humiliation. Always remember you will face legal, social and psychological issues, once those images are out.
It is better if one who engages in sexting should be aware of the legal consequences. In India, publication and transmission of pornography are illegal. Many people are not aware that sending sexually explicit images online is a criminal offence. According to the 2018 NCRB Crime Statistics for adults, 6325 cases were filed under Sections 67, 67A and 67B of the IT Act in all States/UT’s and Metropolitan areas.
Though there is no specific law against sexting, sections 67,67A & 67B of Information Technology Act,2000 can punish anyone who publishes sexually explicit content without consent. An adult sexting minor with consent/without consent and sexting between minors are also punishable.
Section 67A lays down that “Whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form any material which contains sexually explicit act or conduct shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.”