Legal Illegal

Love, Sex, the Internet and the Law

Love, sex, the Internet and the law can interact in complex ways. The Reward Foundation can help you understand what the law means for you and your family.

Technology makes the creation and transmission of sexually arousing images available to anyone with a smartphone, including any child. The rise in the reporting of sex crime and the ‘zero tolerance’ approach by the police and prosecution service have resulted in a record number of cases being prosecuted. Child-on-child sexual abuse is particularly high.

In the UK, a person possessing sexually arousing images of children (anyone under 18 years) can be charged with a sexual offence. This includes at one end of the spectrum, adults motivated to seek sexual contact with children through to teenagers making and sending naked or semi-naked ‘selfies’ to potential love interests, and their possession of such images.

In this section The Reward Foundation explores the following issues

Age verification in the UK

Age of consent

What is consent in law?

Consent and teenagers

What is consent in practice?


Sexting under the law of Scotland

Sexting under the law of England and Wales

Who does the sexting?

Revenge porn

The rise in sex crime

The porn industry

Webcam sex

We also provide a range of Resources to support your understanding of these issues.

This is a general guide to the law and does not constitute legal advice.

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