Sext and the City Jail

No More Dick Pics: Sexting in Kenya Could Land You in Jail

Do they at least have Snapchat over there?
Well, selfies are probably still okay...

Well, selfies are probably still okay…

It’s ridiculous enough that in the U.S., teens can face criminal charges just because of their horny text tendencies.

Now, the Kenyan government has taken slut-shaming to a whole new level. In Kenya, grown-ass men and women can now be thrown in jail for up to three months for sexting.

“Sexting or sending obscene messages could land you in prison,” Kenyan daily newspaper The Star reports on its website. “This is according to Christopher Wambua from the communications authority from Kenya.”

Those found to be guilty of sexting can be fined up to 5,000 Kenyan shillings and jailed for up to three months. Google tells us 5,000 shillings is only equal to $57, but the threat of 90 days of prison time should be enough to terrify potential sexters.

Sexting in Kenya rose to alarming levels because of teenagers who used WhatsApp, Google chat, Facebook and others during spring break, the Star reports. Leave it to a bunch of teens on vacation to ruin it for everyone.

But that’s no reason to turn a consensual sex act into a criminal offense. We have proof in the U.S. that punishing people for sending pictures of their junk doesn’t do much to decrease the popularity of sexting. And besides, it’s not even as widespread a threat as some people in power tend to think: around 50 percent of kids say they aren’t even into sexting.

And crucially, evidence shows that for all the sexting kids are doing, it isn’t causing an uptick in teen sexual activity or pregnancy rates.

So until the Kenyan government decides to chill out and let the people have their cell-phone-enabled fun, remember not to send any dick pics while visiting Nairobi.

Maybe lay off the phallic photos while home in the U.S. too, because nobody actually likes them.

Follow Molly Mulshine on Twitter or via RSS. mmulshine@observer.com