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Young people’s views on sexting education and support needs: findings and recommendations from a UK-based study

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Young people’s sexting is an area of increasing concern amongst parents, educationalists and policy makers, yet little research has been conducted with young people themselves to explore their perspectives on the support they need to navigate relationships in the new digital media landscape. To address this absence, an inter-disciplinary team of researchers undertook a participatory study with students, aged 13 to 15, in a UK secondary school. This paper outlines key study findings, including young people’s views on sexting, their recommendations for improved education around sexting in schools, their preferred sources of support, and their perspectives on the way adults should respond to young people’s sexting. Findings indicate that sexting education needs to be developed within the context of wider relationship issues, such as gender, power dynamics and trust between peers, and improved communication between students and teachers or other responsible adults. Findings may be used to consider ways of designing and communicating messages around sexting to young people within and beyond educational settings.
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Keywords: Sexting; UK; perspectives; relationships; young people

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Education Studies and Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK 2: Centre for Social Care, Health and Related Research, Faculty of Health, Education & Life Sciences, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK 3: Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK 4: Centre for Studies in Practices and Cultures in Education, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK

Publication date: January 2, 2019

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