Saturday 1 October 2016

One in four Irish teens admit to sexting and sending explicit photos

Ralph Riegel and Luke Byrne

Published 09/06/2016 | 02:30

A survey found found that 4.4pc of boys and 1.6pc of girls aged between 11-16 had sent explicit material (stock photo)
A survey found found that 4.4pc of boys and 1.6pc of girls aged between 11-16 had sent explicit material (stock photo)

One in four Irish teenagers have admitted to 'sexting,' with Ireland ranked fourth in Europe for the risky practice.

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Sexting involves sending explicit messages, pictures or videos to another person. The practice among teens is a concern as the material can fall into the wrong hands and end up online.

A recent survey asked 300 post-primary students whether they had sent explicit material and what they had sent.

It found that 4.4pc of boys and 1.6pc of girls aged between 11-16 had sent such material.

A conference taking place in DCU today entitled 'Bullies, Bullied and Bystanders' will deal with 'sexting' and its prevalence both at European level and in Ireland.

It will feature submissions from worldwide experts on bullying and how the internet, and social media has given new weapons to bullies.

Read more: The complete parents' guide to social networking and gaming apps

Dr Sheri Baumann from the University of Arizona, who will speak at the conference, said negative effects could include misappropriation of the material by others.

She said there could also be legal implications if one of the parties forwards on material, which is child pornography.

"There are legal implications that would certainly affect the rest of their lives should they be prosecuted," she said, speaking on RTE's Today With Sean O'Rourke show.

Read more: What can you do to stop your teen sexting?

James O'Higgins Norman, director of the Anti-Bullying Research Centre, said the Irish score was so high due to the lack of a coherent relationships sexualities education programme in schools.

Meanwhile, more than half of Irish primary school principals surveyed admitted they were aware of cases of homophobic bullying or name-calling.

Irish Independent

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