Feeds

UK teens bullied into sending sex texts

P2P playground predators exposed in new survey

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

UK teenagers are increasingly sending provocative pictures of themselves to each other in mobile phone and email messages, with some youngsters getting bullied or coerced into making explicit images of themselves.

A survey of 2,000 UK youngsters by charity Beatbullying found that more than a third (38 per cent) of 11-18 year-olds have received an "offensive or distressing sexual image" via either text or email. These sex texts - or "sexts" - were most often sent to their school friends and often took the form of boys or girls exposing themselves (or in some cases masturbating) rather than sex acts between youngsters.

Sexual content is also been exchanged by teenagers through social networking groups. A quarter of the messages (23 per cent) were sent by a recipient's current boyfriend or girlfriend. A further 45 per cent came from a peer. Two per cent of the messages came from adults.

Of the quarter of those surveyed who received an "offensive sexual image", 55 per cent were sent via mobile phone.

Beatbullying said that in many cases girls, in particular, are bullied into making and distributing explicit pictures of themselves. Sexting is therefore much more than a high-tech updates to the game of "show me yours and I'll show you mine".

Under UK law even children who distribute pictures of themselves can be charged with child porn offences. Peer to peer anti-social and predatory behaviour is one of the biggest single threats faces young people online, Beatbullying warns.

Emma-Jane Cross, Beatbullying chief executive, 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."

"Politicians must pool together organisations like Beatbullying to create an intervention and prevention task force in schools and the local community," she added.

Schools Minister Diana Johnson told the BBC that the government was engaged in developing policies to tackle all forms of bullying, including developing schemes in partnership with technology firms to combat high-tech threats. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.