NSPCC launch research into sexting

15 May 2012 UK SIC

Last night, the NSPCC launched the findings of their qualitative study of children, young people and sexting. The researchers listened to young people’s views and experiences to gain an understanding of how sexually explicit texts and images are produced, circulated and used through mobile phones and the internet and how these practices shape the offline lives of young people. These findings revealed that the term sexting does not refer to a single activity but covered a range of activities experienced by young people.

The top messages from the research are:

  • the primary technology-related threat comes from peers, not ‘stranger danger’
  • sexting is often coercive
  • girls are the most adversely affected
  • technology amplifies the problem by facilitating the objectification of girls
  • sexting reveals wider sexual pressures
  • ever younger children are affected
  • sexting practices are culturally specific
  • more support and resources are vital to redress the gendered sexual pressures on young people.

The research also set out recommendations for schools, parents, internet service and site providers, child welfare professionals and future research.

Read the full report here

Want to talk about sexting with young people?

Childnet’s Picture This drama activity is a practical educational resource that addresses and questions the sensitive issue of sexting. It helps young people critically think about the perspectives of different people and can challenge some assumptions and behaviours while they develop a realistic ending for the play. The pack comprises of a 25-minute play script and lesson plans that seek to educate and enlighten young people about the consequences of creating and sending indecent images, and also comes with guidance documents about disclosures and reporting.

The Child Exploitation Online Protection centre also has an excellent film, Exposed, that highlights some of the issues raised by sexting.

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