Look At Me – Teens, Sexting and Risks Report

Look At Me – Teens, Sexting and Risks Report

Internet Matters have published a new report in partnership with Youthworks and the University of Kingston. This report draws from young people, some with vulnerabilities, in schools across the country and their thoughts and experiences of sharing self-generated explicit images, videos or live streams, and also the risks associated with doing so. This briefing paper – part of a series from The Cybersurvey – details both who shares nudes and why. It goes on to explore an ecology of related risks sharers encounter. Drawn from an anonymous sample of young people in schools across the country, here is a profile of life today as a young person. For some teens, technology enables and facilitates relationships without harm, but others suffer intensely. This complexity is a challenge when teaching online safety. It should be taught alongside healthy relationships and issues of consent. Emotional health needs drive some teens to overshare, posting images of all types as they seek to be liked, admired or to escape from loneliness. Others tend to take risks online. Sadly, for both, oversharing and signs of neediness are quickly exploited by others. Key messages from the study include:

Sexting is not widespread among all teens but is worryingly prevalent among those who are already vulnerable offline in other ways.

  • Among those who shared nudes, 18% were pressured or blackmailed into it.
  • Some young people who share nudes because they want to within a relationship, do it for fun, or because they thought they looked good.
  • Less than 1/3 of those who share nudes follow the online safety advice they were taught, while 14% say they did not receive it.

You can find the report here.