Unsolicited penis pics should be made criminal: UK legal review

Pending new legislation in the UK, the only hot date a “d–k pic” will get you is one in court.

The Law Commission, a legal review agency under Parliament, has suggested that unsolicited nude photographs sent electronically — what they’ve termed “cyberflashing” — should be made punishable by law.

The new report, published Wednesday, noted that the crime of indecent exposure is covered under the Sexual Offenses Act in the UK, but whether the act includes digital imagery is unclear in the legislation.

“Cyberflashing can cause serious harm. It is often experienced as a form of sexual harassment, involving coercive sexual intrusion by men into women’s everyday lives,” the commission wrote in a summary of their report.

They go one further to clarify that their recommended classification of the offending incident would say that the cyberflasher had either intentionally or negligently elicited “alarm, distress or humiliation” on their victim.

We have published our recommendations to protect victims of online abuse and safeguard freedom of expression, including:✅A new harm-based offence

✅New offences to tackle cyberflashing, the encouragement of serious self-harm and sending knowingly false communications

— Law Commission (@Law_Commission) July 21, 2021

The report goes on to define many internet slang phrases, including the term “d–k pic”: “Strictly speaking, this is [a] photograph that a person has taken of their penis. The term more commonly relates to these photographs being sent to another or posted publicly.”

Criminal law professor Penney Lewis said in a statement, “Online abuse can cause untold harm to those targeted, and change is needed to ensure we are protecting victims from abuse such as cyberflashing and pile-on harassment.”

She continued, “At the same time, our reforms would better protect freedom of expression by narrowing the reach of the criminal law so it only criminalizes the most harmful behavior.”

A 2019 study estimated that 48% of heterosexual men have pictured their package in hopes of impressing a woman. The survey revealed that most men “do not intend to cause harm or negative psychological outcomes,” yet are evidently “motivated by sexist and misogynistic ideologies” to believe that nonconsenting women actually want to peep their penis.