Educate parents in order to tackle sexting in schools, new study suggests


Parents and guardians need to be better educated in order to tackle sexting amongst young people, new research has revealed.

In a pilot study carried out by researchers at Birmingham City University and the University of Warwick, 70 per cent of pupils interviewed did not know that sexting under the age of 18 was a criminal offence, and viewed it as a replacement for physical sexual relationships.

75 per cent of pupils interviewed admitted that they were unsure of who to turn to should things go wrong online. They believe that parents should monitor and oversee online communication but felt that they have little knowledge of how to do this. 

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Birmingham City University

The study, carried out on a group of male and female pupils aged between 13 to 15, sought to capture young peoples' views on sexting, the current responses and interventions already in place, and the type of support pupils would like to see.

Dr Alex Wade, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Studies in Practices and Cultures in Education at Birmingham City University said:

The study, which has been submitted as part of the UK Parliament inquiry into sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools, also raised concerns over the level of responsibility taken by social media providers.

Dr Wade said: "Social media providers also need to take greater responsibility for the way in which these platforms are used. It is not enough for them to say that they only provide the tool and not the content. They need to take greater responsibility for the storing and transmission of images."

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