Is sexting now normal?

Is sexting now normal?

A recent study by Channel 4 and the NSPCC has found that young people between the ages of 13 and 16 think of sexting as normal and part of growing up.

Sexting is the sending and receiving of explicit naked pictures via technology such as Blackberry messenger (BBM)

"I get asked for naked pictures...at least two or three times a week." stated a fifteen year old girl.

A fifteen year old boy that also took part in the study said ‘It might shock parents that this is what kids get up to but to them it's just everyday life'.

Professor Andy Phippen from Plymouth University carried out the research for the NSPCC. He told Channel 4 News: "That's the significant thing, it's really starting to show that this is mainstream, this is normal, this is almost mundane for some of the people we spoke to. In pretty much every school in the country, people aged 13-14 are talking about this stuff and dealing with this stuff."

The research found that young people were deciding whether or not to begin a relationship dependent on what images the other person would send them. Some of the girls spoken to referred to sexting as the new flirting and have come accustomed to being asked time and again for pictures.

The normalisation of sexting and online pornography is putting young people under more and more pressure to look and behave in a certain way.

The research has led the NSPCC to suggest that all young people should have sex education from an early age.

Jon Brown from the NSPCC said: "Good quality sex education is absolutely critical. It needs to start actually in primary school. It needs to be age-appropriate, if we are able to help them navigate their way through these pressures."

For more information on sexting, the law and consequences of sexting click here

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