Sextually Active: Teenage Views on Sexting and its Interventions


Digital mobile technology is a key component of communication for the millennial generation. However, the new opportunities presented by these technologies can also present challenges.

One concern is the prevalence of ‘sexting’, whereby individuals send sexually explicit text or pictures to one another. While this is seen as empowering to post-18s, for under-18s, sexting is potentially a criminal offence as it involves the creation and sharing of explicit images of children. Therefore, the law is contradictory in that it incriminates the very people it is meant to protect. The issues around sexting are complex and have been subjected to a range of studies and research, but these often lack insight from those involved: young people.

Working with children from local schools, researchers in the fields of health, education and media are seeking young people’s views on sexting, to identify its place within a digitally connected culture, and, most crucially, collaborate with young people in developing tools for peer-to-peer learning in the classroom and the wider educational population. The project is currently at pilot stage, working with students in a Birmingham school to develop a school policy on sexting.

The project benefits from a cross-disciplinary approach, involving researchers from Birmingham City University’s Centre for Social Care, Health and Related Research and Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research and Warwick University’s Centre for Education Studies. These researchers have experience in community-facing and participant-based research, are fully DBS-checked and have undergone safeguarding training relevant to working with young people.

For more details of this research, please contact:

Call: +44 (0)121 331 4520