Talking to young people about sexting


Sexting – What is it?

“Sexting” is a term commonly used to describe the use of technology – usually mobile phones to share personal sexual content via text, FaceTime  or apps such as: Snapchat, Tumblr, Instagram etc.

This can be anything from naughty texts, emojis, pictures involving partial nudity right up to full sexual images or videos. Usually it’s done as a fun way of flirting between partners – or potential partners, but sexting can also be used as a way to bully, coerce, blackmail and exploit people.

“Teen sexting is a very rational act with very irrational consequences.” Danah Boyd

Before we go any further we need to recognise that sexting isn’t something that only irresponsible teens are doing or getting caught out by – there are plenty of adults that are engaging in sexing and equally plenty of adults that have been left with unhappy consequences when sharing gets out of hand.

The only difference, when it comes to young people are the obvious legal issues – it is illegal to possess or share any indecent images of a child (under 18), even if it is a picture of yourself or if it is shared consensually!

Read more on the topics below

 – Consensual sharing; 

Non-consensual sharing;  

Coercion and exploitation

What you can do as a parent

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