During adolescence, you may be confronted with the phenomenon of sexting for various reasons. Whether you indulge in sexting to please a friend, to seduce somebody, or to play a prank, you should be aware that sending sexual images of yourself or another young person, in addition to being illegal, can have significant repercussions on the people involved and their friends and family.


  • Exhaustion
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Loss of sleep
  • Loss of appetite
  • Other


  • Teasing
  • Insults
  • Isolation
  • Loss of privacy
  • Loss of interest for school or for other social activities
  • Damage to reputation
  • Other


  • Shame
  • Fear
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Aggressivity
  • Distrust
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Other


  • Legal proceedings
  • Seizure of electronic devices
  • Criminal record
  • Taking of genetic samples (DNA)
  • Other

If you are asked to send one or more sexting messages, be on the safe side and talk to your parents or a trusted adult instead.

Myths and realities :

Myth :
Under the Criminal Code, consenting 17 year-old youths can send naked images of themselves to other people.

Reality :
ANSWER: FALSE. Under Canadian criminal law, the representation of a person under 18 years of age, naked, constitutes child pornography. Even if the person in question claims to have consented to the sharing of such an image, its content remains child pornography within the meaning of the Code.

Myth :
It is easy for a person who has sent intimate images to other people to have them completely removed from cyberspace.

Reality :
ANSWER: FALSE. It is possible to take action to remove the images from the Internet, but it is impossible to be 100% sure that they will be found and removed. For more information, go to Needhelpnow.ca on the Canadian Centre for Child Protection website.

Myth :
The majority of teenagers exchange sexting messages.

Reality :
ANSWER: FALSE. In Quebec, 12.8% of adolescents (Secondary 1-5) have received requests to send sexual photos/videos at least once. Of this number, 22.6% of youth have agreed to send photos/videos (Beaumont et al. 2018).

Myth :
A school intervener can confiscate a student's device if it contains content corresponding to child pornography.

Reality :
ANSWER: TRUE. By virtue of their legal obligations, the intervener may confiscate a student's device in order to guarantee a student's physical and psychological integrity and to ensure a climate free of intimidation and violence in the school.