The simple way to reduce the chances of your child sexting by 50%

technology/sexting Aug 26, 2021
Originally posted 06/07/2018

‚Äč"Do not allow technology into children's bedrooms...especially at night"  
Talking The Talk Healthy Sexuality Education

I always say that if children have unsupervised WWW - World Wide Web - in their bedrooms, then we (parents) are allowing the world into their private lives. Remembering that children's brains and decision making skills are not fully developed, they should not have to be the main gatekeepers for their privacy and protection. We, as parents, are responsible for that. After all, it us who provided the phone/device, which essentially is the open gate to the WWW in the first place. Help them keep the gate shut to intruders and open only to the benefits of the internet.

What parents can do:

  1. Talk about sexting
  2. Prepare them for pornography
  3. Protect - put safety blocks and settings on technology and keep out of bedrooms
  4. Have many conversations about human sexuality, consent, respect with a focus on joy and responsibility, not fear and danger

"...So what’s to be done? Lee is adamant that by a single action, parents can eliminate the risk of sexting by 50 percent. “Just remove phones from bedrooms,” he advises. “If they don’t have technology then they can’t sext. It’s also always more likely to occur in a private space...” 

Family Zone cyber expert Brett Lee, director of Internet Safe Education.
Read the Family zone article here.


Why teens sext:

  • being in a romantic relationship where images are shared willingly between partners
  • seeking attention - to increase popularity within a friendship group or among peers
  • flirting and exploring their sexuality
  • believing it’s a normal thing and that everyone else is doing it
  • believing that it’s a form of ‘safe sex’ when they are not ready to have sex
  • circulating images after a relationship breakdown with the intent to embarrass an ex-partner
  • feeling pressured to send images unwillingly
  • being in an extreme situation where they may be under duress or blackmailed by someone threatening to distribute sexual images of them

Information from the 2015 study: Sexting among young people: Perceptions and practices

The problem with sexting:

  • It is a crime to take, send or store sexual pictures of someone who is or appears to be under 18
  • It is a crime to threaten to send a sexual picture of someone
  • Charges fall under child pornography and could result in a person being registered as a sex offender
  • There are exceptions for young people if they are under 18 and the person in the picture is no more than 2 years younger
  • Any picture which shows a crime is illegal
  • Having pictures shared or pressure to share makes kids feel bad.
  • Once a picture is shared it’s hard to take off

More information at Victoria Legal Aid

Australian Study:

  • 2,243 respondents aged 13-18
  • Almost 50% reported sending a sexual picture or video
  • 75% received a sexual image
  • 13-15 year olds ‘particularly’ likely to receive
  • Most sexting occurred in committed relationships

Information from the 2015 study: 
Sexting among young people: Perceptions and practices