Girls bullied into sending explicit sex texts

Girls bullied into sending explicit sex texts

Secondary schoolchildren are sending ‘sexts’ to one another. Guardian

Young people are sending and receiving sex texts —“sexts” —which are then shared on social networking sites or via Bluetooth technology.

More than a third of secondary schoolchildren have been sent messages containing sexual content, according to a survey by the charity Beatbullying. A quarter of the messages were sent by the youngster’s current boyfriend or girlfriend, and seven in 10 of the 11 to 18-year-olds surveyed said they knew the sender personally.

A spokesman for the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) said there were concerns that the images could find their way into the hands of paedophiles. Anyone holding images of youngsters or passing them on could be breaking the law, he warned.

“Mobile phones with cameras and internet access are readily available these days and, with the increased use of Bluetooth technology, images can be shared easily and at a reduced cost between friends at school.

“If you are worried that your child may be receiving or even sending indecent images on their mobiles, you should talk to them about the consequences of their actions. Make them aware that, once the image has been sent, they have lost control of that image and anyone can potentially have a look at it.”

Emma-Jane Cross, chief executive of Beatbullying, said: “We don’t want to stifle young people’s sexual development, but it is important that parents and schools understand the rise of sexting so together we can act to stop sexual bullying.”

She called for the creation of an intervention and prevention task force in schools and the local community.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily