An expert has revealed which men are most likely to send unsolicited explicit images, and the reason behind them.
An expert has revealed why men send explicit messages to women and says it’s more common among those play sports, in the wake of former Australian test cricket captain Tim Paine’s sexting scandal.
The Tasmanian wicketkeeper stood down from his role as Australian skipper last week after it was revealed he had sent a “dick pic” and lewd messages to a former colleague at Cricket Tasmania, who then made a complaint about the exchange.
The father-of-two was cleared by Cricket Australia’s integrity unit after an investigation in 2018. A Cricket Tasmania investigation also found the interaction was consensual, and cleared Paine of any breach of its code of conduct.
Dr Andrea Waling has extensively researched the sending of intimate or explicit messages while a member of La Trobe University’s Australian Research Centre in Sex, publishing multiple papers on the topic.
Dr Waling said consensual sharing of intimate images was extremely common between adults, but that the reasons for sending non-consensual images was very different to those behind send a consensual photo.
“Sending these types of pictures in relationships, and out of relationships, is very common and very normal. When these are sent consensually it is just another aspect of flirting or your sex life,” she told news.com.au.
“When the images are sent without consent, it is a form of harassment.
“What is happening, the person sending the picture is forcing someone into a sexual situation they are not wanting to be a part of. We have found that to be a common driver for other men it might be a thrill or they get some gratification, and others do it to test the waters and see whether the person might respond favourably.”
Dr Waling added that her research has found men who were typically involved in all-male activities like sports clubs, fraternities and graduates of all-boys schools were more likely to send unsolicited images.
“It is following on from the idea of locker-room talk. These are the places where really problematic conversations and practices take place,” she said.
“In these blokey or sporting settings we know they tend to be the places where misogyny, sexism and sexual violence breed. Boys and men encourage each other to take part in bad practices.
“We only need to look at the situation with the NRL and all those sex tapes or intimate images being leaked or spread. Within those boys-only spaces, we see the objectification of women’s bodies.”
D*ck pics and the law
Dr Waling said the lack of understanding when it came to what was and wasn’t okay when it comes to sexting, was due to there being “plenty of grey area” around the sending of unsolicited images in the eyes of the law.
Queensland’s Youth Advocacy service explained that sending unsolicited images or sexts could result in criminal charges.
“If you send one or more sexts to someone and the material is offensive or harassing or threatening you could be charged with stalking,” it said in a statement.
“The person does not need to be afraid or suffer harm, the material just has to be of the type that would usually cause a person to be afraid or suffer harm.”
Dr Waling said that criminal legislation is scrambling to catch up with the advances in technology.
“It is something that legal professors and criminologists have spoken a lot about this topic – the fact that the laws are sometimes lagging. That can make it difficult to have a successful prosecution for these issues,” she said.
In 2014, Peter Lewis Sheather became the first man in NSW to be found guilty after sending unsolicited intimate images and lewd messages to multiple women.
The pool cleaner was eligible for release in March 2016.