Report reignites sexting campaign

THE release of a report claiming "sexting" is part of the young adult culture has coincided with the re-launch of a Federal Police campaign aimed at encouraging Australian teens think before they press send.

A study carried out by the Michigan University found sexting - sending explicit photos via mobile phone - was common among the 3347 students who took part.

Nearly half of the students said they participated in sexting and most reported receiving "sexts".

According to news.com.au, the study also found sexting was seen as a healthy part of a romantic relationship.

But police believe the behaviour has the potential to be extremely damaging, particularly if the senders and/or receivers are teenagers.

Federal Police are currently travelling around Australian schools educating teenagers about the dangers of sexting as part of their Cyber Safety program.

A police spokesperson said the talks "sensitively explored" the legal and emotional issues surrounding sexting and online grooming and were aimed at encouraging children to speak with a trusted adult and report suspect behaviour.

One of the key videos used in the presentation focuses on the harassment and emotional trauma a teenage girl is subjected to after making the decision to send a racy photo to someone on her phone.

Megan's story can be viewed at www.thinkuknow.org.au


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