Posts Tagged ‘Sexting’

Kids as Young as 11 Posting Naked Selfies of Themselves

July 27, 2015

sexting-kids

We must empower our vulnerable students with the courage to resist making the bad decisions that will impact them significantly down the track. Sexting is not an innocent exercise. It is an act designed to persuade someone to do something that they would ordinarily want no part of.

The trick is not to introduce a classroom program, but rather build up the confidence of our more vulnerable students.

 

Schoolchildren as young as 11 have been caught using their mobile phones to send naked selfies and sexting.

Parents are on alert after a special team of police, whose remit includes child protection, has been dealing with ‘sexting’ cases involving kids at primary schools.

And officers are urging mums and dads to be aware of the dangers facing their children, reports the Daily Record.

Detective Chief Inspector Fil Capaldi, who leads the Public Protection Unit at Renfrew Police Office, said: “We have dealt with cases involving primary seven pupils.

 

 

Click on the link to read ‘Sexting’ Added to the Curriculum. Really?

Click on the link to read The Pressure on Girls to Engage in Sexting is Unacceptable

Click on the link to read 30 Per Cent of Teens Have Sent Naked Images of Themselves Online: Report

Click on the link to read Sexting Reaches our Primary Schools

Are We Doing Enough to Make Our Children Happy?

May 6, 2014

 

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A new survey tells us the same gloomy details about how unhappy our children are. It’s not that I discount their findings or wish to in any way dismiss the issues raised, but where is the companion article with ideas and initiatives for making our children happy.

The internet and other technology are not to blame for the state of our children. Blaming these things both undermines the problem and makes it harder to raise solutions.

So my message is to read this with a desire to make a difference rather than to wallow in the current state of affairs:

 

Children’s happiness drops after the age of 11 as they get caught up in modern issues such as cyber-bullying, online porn and sexting, a study has found.

Charity and youth workers surveyed almost 7,000 children over three years and found girls were far worse affected than boys.

Their self-esteem, ’emotional well-being’ and satisfaction with their community sank sharply after the age of 11, continuing to get worse up to the age of 16.

Boys’ happiness, meanwhile, remained far more stable.

The researchers blamed the march of technology as one of several factors making teenagers unhappy.

Dr Simon Davey, Programme Leader of the Emerging Scholars’ Intervention Programme, said: ‘Technology and the pace of change have accelerated pressures, made them more extreme and increased competition.

‘Girls in particular are more vulnerable to social pressures affecting their confidence and capability.

‘Measuring well-being – one of the ultimate expressions of confidence and capability – has been difficult for us but [these] well-being tool helps us take a quantitative view for the students we work with.’

The study, carried out over three years by around 50 youth charities, is due to be released on Tuesday.

In total the charities surveyed 6,890 children aged 11 to 16 – 3,176 girls and 3,714 boys – and ranked them on eight measures of happiness.

They were overall satisfaction, self-esteem, emotional well-being, resilience and satisfaction with friends, family, community and school.

Click on the link to read Why Getting Our Kids to Toughen Up is a Flawed Theory
Click on the link to read  Stop Pretending and Start Acting!

The Pressure on Girls to Engage in Sexting is Unacceptable

October 17, 2013

sexting

On this very blog I have been castigated by readers for calling sexting a very serious and problematic pastime.  Some of my readers have insisted that sexting is just an innocent activity synonymous with a teenager’s tendency to be flirtatious and experiment with new ways of expressing their sexuality.

I couldn’t disagree more.

Like many other forms of controlling behaviour, it is often designed to pressure impressionable teens (mainly girls) to conform in a way that may lead them to serious humiliation in the short and long terms. Whilst sexting can be consensual, the research shows that is often done due to great pressure and with great reluctance:

Six out of 10 teenagers say they have been asked for sexual images or videos, an NSPCC/ChildLine survey seen by the BBC’s Newsnight programme suggests.

Of those questioned, 40% said they had created a sexual image or video, and about a quarter said they had sent one to someone else by text.

The NSPCC’s head, Peter Wanless, said “sexting” was getting much more common.

“These results show that sexting is increasingly a feature of adolescent relationships,” he told Newsnight.

“It is almost becoming the norm that a young person in a relationship should share an explicit image of themselves,” he said.

For the survey, NSPCC and ChildLine spoke to 450 teenagers from across the country.

Of those who had sent an image or video to someone else by text, 58% said the image had been sent to a boyfriend or girlfriend, but a third said they had sent it to someone they knew online but had never met.

About 15% said they had sent the material to a stranger.

Jonathan Baggaley National Crime Agency, Ceop command

Of those who said they had sent a photo to someone, 20% said it had then been shared with other people, while 28% said they did not know if their picture had been shared with anyone else.

More than half (53%) of those questioned said they had received a sexual photo or video, a third of whom had received it from a stranger.

 

Click on the link to read 30 Per Cent of Teens Have Sent Naked Images of Themselves Online: Report

Click on the link to read Sexting Reaches our Primary Schools

 

The Effect of Pornography on Children’s Minds

March 18, 2013

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Whilst exposure to online pornography is unlikely to be the only trigger for sexual behaviour and misconduct, teachers are entitled to raise their concerns:

They will warn that the increased availability of pornography on the internet is warping school pupils’ ideas of sexual relationships and that children are often engaging in sexual behaviour on school premises.

Teacher leaders now believe the problem has become so significant that they want new policies to be drawn up on how to deal with the issue.

They are particularly concerned about the practice of “sexting” – which sees young girls being pressurised into taking intimate pictures or videos of themselves on a camera phone and sending them to others.

They are also asking for the introduction of new lessons on the dangers posed by pornography.

Helen Porter, a biology teacher who will raise a motion about the impact of pornography on pupils at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers annual conference next week, said: “Sexual activity in school is becoming more normalised because pupils are seeing it more.

“I’ve heard of a 13 year old girl taking part in an amateur porn video – it is really sickening. Research has found that 50 per cent of youngsters had taken part in some sort of webcam sexual experience.”

Official figures show that more than 3,000 pupils were excluded from state schools in 2010-2011 for sexual misconduct.

Recent research from Plymouth University also revealed that 80 per cent of young people are looking at sexual images online on a regular basis. The average age to start viewing pornography was about 11 or 12 while sexting was considered almost routine for many 13-14 year olds.

The academics warned that schoolchildren were becoming desensitised to sexual images after accessing hard core material.

 

Click on the link to read Parents Shouldn’t Be in Denial Over This Very Real Addiction

Click on the link to read Video Game Addiction is Real and Very Serious!

Click on the link to read Internet Addiction and our Children

Click on the link to read Issues Relating to Kids and Video Games

Click on the link to read Are you Addicted to the Internet?

30 Per Cent of Teens Have Sent Naked Images of Themselves Online: Report

July 18, 2012

If this survey is a reflection of teenagers as a whole, we have a lot of work to do:

Parents who don’t think their teens are sexting may be in for a rude awakening.

Nearly 30 percent of teens say they’ve sent nude photos of themselves via text or E-mail, according to a study published earlier this month in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Another 57 percent report being asked to send naked pictures, according to the study, which surveyed close to 1,000 Houston-area high school students, ages 14 to 19.

Should those teens oblige, both the sender and the receiver could face serious consequences. Those private photos could resurface online or even land the teens on a sex offender list.

Click here to read, ‘Laws That Seek To Protect Our Kids Fail Them’.

Sexting Reaches our Primary Schools

May 28, 2012

We don’t need another useless educational program preaching to children about the dangers of sexting. They are preachy, don’t work and make children uncomfortable. What we need is a strong approach consisting of two important elements.

1. Clear and unambiguous consequences for those involved in sexting; and

2. Schools need to focus more squarely on setting up an environment that encourages its students to respect themselves. This kind of behaviour comes about from an abject lack of respect for one’s self. Schools should work on their culture and environment to ensure that their students are best placed to make good decisions, not just because they are sensible, but because they have an inbuilt sense of self and a regard for who they are and what they do with their lives.

Without this approach, nothing will properly discourage children from this potentially dangerous practice:

PRIMARY school children are engaging in “sexting” and experts believe parents are at a loss as to what to do about it.

UniSA academic Lesley-Anne Ey says research shows some pre-teens are taking and sending out sexually explicit photographs.

“There’s research saying the phenomenon is out there for children at primary school and I think parents might be a bit uninformed about it,” she said.

“They may think it is a risk when their children are adolescents but it’s unlikely they would think younger children would engage or be aware of that kind of behaviour.”

Ms Ey said educating children about the dangers of “sexting”, either by mobile phone or internet, had reached a point where it must be dealt with before they reached puberty.

“We need to start addressing this at primary school,” she said. “I think it’s too late when you start going into school at Years 8 or 9.”

Child protection expert Professor Freda Briggs said potential young offenders needed to be made more aware of the repercussions.

“Parents and schools need to be making young people aware that this is a criminal offence,” she said. “It’s a huge community issue and most parents don’t know what they can do about it. I think a lot of people have given up.”

Let’s Teach 4-Year Olds How To Drive

December 20, 2011

Before you disagree with my proposal let me explain the rationale. At some point people need to know how to drive. We all want capable drivers on our roads, so what better time to teach them the intricacies of driving than when they are young.

Right?

Of course not.

Not only are 4-year olds too young to drive but they are also too young to learn other important life skills such as cyber safety. Why the Government expects kinder teachers to educate their young pupils on proper use of internet and the dangers of purchasing goods online beats me.

KINDERGARTENS will be urged to teach cyber safety to four-year-olds amid fears they could fall prey to online predators and bullies.

The Gillard Government will write to state education heads to encourage the take-up of cyber safety programs that teach children not to be mean online and keep their private information to themselves.

It comes amid revelations Victorian primary school children are “sexting” their friends and posting hate messages about their teachers on social networking sites.

A parliamentary committee report earlier this year recommended the Government consider the feasibility of helping deliver programs in preschools and kindergartens.

The Government yesterday accepted the recommendation in principle, but was waiting for a paper on cyber issues to be released in mid-2012 to give a detailed answer.

 In the meantime, it will encourage use of Australian Communication and Media Authority programs, including Cybersmart for Young Kids.

It features a bottlenose dolphin called Hector Protector and his friends teaching young children to keep “special information” private and tell mum or dad if they see anything scary or upsetting online.

It also encourages children to share passwords with their parents and to “be nice” to others.

And parents can download a “safety button” that children can click on to cover up anything upsetting they see online with a friendly picture.

Cyber safety expert Susan McLean said flexible, compulsory education should begin as soon as children switched on a computer, from kindergarten onwards.

“I’ve seen cyber bullying in grade 2. I’ve seen kids buying things on the internet at age seven after their parents have told them not to. That’s commonplace.”

Teaching kids skills too early is like not teaching them at all. I can’t see the value of making young children endure a program that will surely be too advanced for them and doesn’t relate to their present day lives.

Whats next? Teaching four-year olds how to work an electric drill?

Sexual Harassment Rampant in Schools

November 7, 2011

Just when you thought that respect for girls and women was on the marked improve comes yet another reminder that things are not what they seem:

During the 2010-11 school year, 48 percent of students in grades 7-12 experienced some form of sexual harassment in person or electronically via texting, email and social media, according to a major national survey being released Monday by the American Association of University Women.

 The harassers often thought they were being funny, but the consequences for their targets can be wrenching, according to the survey. Nearly a third of the victims said the harassment made them feel sick to their stomach, affected their study habits or fueled reluctance to go to school at all.

The survey, conducted in May and June, asked 1,002 girls and 963 boys from public and private schools nationwide whether they had experienced any of various forms of sexual harassment. These included having someone make unwelcome sexual comments about them, being called gay or lesbian in a negative way, being touched in an unwelcome sexual way, being shown sexual pictures they didn’t want to see, and being the subject of unwelcome sexual rumors.

The survey quoted one ninth-grade girl as saying she was called a whore “because I have many friends that are boys.” A 12th-grade boy said schoolmates circulated an image showing his face attached to an animal having sex.

In all, 56 percent of the girls and 40 percent of the boys said they had experienced at least one incident of sexual harassment during the school year.

After being harassed, half of the targeted students did nothing about it. Of the rest, some talked to parents or friends, but only 9 percent reported the incident to a teacher, guidance counselor or other adult at school, according to the survey.

In my view there are two main reasons for this disturbing set of figures:

1.  Schools have become hamstrung when it comes to access to appropriate and effective consequences for infringements such as bullying and harassment.  Call the parents?  No big deal.  They gave up long ago.  Suspensions?  Nowadays you get a suspension for talking out of turn.  Suspensions have lost their impact because they are metered out out too readily.  In the end, no punishment given seems to come close to matching the crime.

2.  Schools have been notorious at turning a blind eye to incidents.  I am not talking about all schools, yet in truth, plenty goes under this category.  Teachers have been taught not to get emotionally involved with their students.  The result being, an emotional distance which inhibits the teachers capacity to pick up on these things,  Teachers must have enough of a connection with their students (within the obvious professional parameters of course), as to notice when things are not right with their them.  They are intrusted to look after their students and must do so by being proactive.  Kids are told from an early age not to dob on a classmate.  If teachers wait around for things to get reported to them, they will miss the opportunity to intervene and change a potentially abusive situation.

We must expect schools to be proactive with harassment.  They must be able to use tough and uncompromising punishments and show enough of an interest in students as to detect a problem before it gets completely out of hand.

Laws That Seek To Protect Our KIds Fail Them

October 9, 2011

The same laws that seek to protect children are being severely undermined by a total lack of common sense.

Australia has a sexual offender registry which was designed to assist the government authorities to keep track of the residence and activities of sex offenders.  You don’t have to be Einstein to realise that being on that list is detrimental to that person’s ability to get a job, loan, sense of freedom and quality of life.

The registry is a vital tool in dealing with pedophiles.  That is why I was astounded to read that children caught ‘sexting’ photos of themselves or friends have been put on this very list:

HUNDREDS of teenagers have been charged over producing or distributing child pornography amid growing concern that “sexting” has reached epidemic levels.

In the past three years, more than 450 child pornography charges have been laid against youths between the ages of 10 and 17, including 113 charges of “making child exploitation material”.

More than 160 charges were laid in 2010 alone – 26 more than in 2008.

Parents and communities continue to grapple with the issue of “sexting”, where sexual images are exchanged via SMS.

Teens who engage in sexting not only risk child pornography charges, but can also be listed alongside serial pedophiles and rapists on sexual offender lists.

Police confirmed that some juvenile offenders appear on Queensland’s sex offender registry.

Child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg said “a lack of parental supervision” was a key factor.

“They’re ignorant of the law and no one’s ever sat them down and said ‘When you take a picture of yourself and send it, that’s child pornography’,” he said.

Dr Carr-Gregg said a conviction would have a “catastrophic” effect on a teenager’s future.

“If a young person is put on the sex offenders registry, they have to notify police every time they change their hair colour and wouldn’t easily get visas to places overseas, and it’s going to make employment difficult,” he said.

Don’t get me wrong, I am totally against the practice of “sexting”.  I don’t like it one bit.  But these kids are not sex offenders.  One of the reasons children shouldn’t be ‘sexting’ in the first place is to make sure those images don’t get in the hands of a real sex offender.

The application of this law does 2 very serious things.

1.  It paints children wrongly as sex offenders.  This may have dire consequences down the track; and

2. Having ‘phony’ sex offenders on a sex offender registry completely undermines the registry in the first place.  This is a very serious list, dedicated to sick and evil people.  It shouldn’t be undermined by including silly kids who made poor choices.

It is time the Government stepped in and amended the law so common sense can be restored.


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