Children as young as seven are sexting, research finds

Poll of teachers finds more than half of teachers know of pupils using social media for 'sexting'

Sarah Cassidy
Education Correspondent
Friday 25 March 2016 01:13
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Many teachers say they are aware of pupils using social media for ‘sexting’
Many teachers say they are aware of pupils using social media for ‘sexting’

Children as young as seven are using social media to share sexual messages, pictures or videos, research has found.

More than half of teachers said they knew of pupils who had used social media for “sexting”, the poll by the NASUWT teachers’ union said.

A quarter of the 1,300 teachers polled knew of pupils involved in sexting who were as young as 11, but the youngest child reported was just seven. The majority of the pupils involved were aged between 13 and 16.

In one incident a girl persuaded a boy to take a picture of his genitals and send it to her. She then shared the image with other pupils. Teachers also reported incidents where pupils had filmed themselves masturbating.

Chris Keates, the general secretary of the NASUWT, said: “Over the three years the NASUWT has been running this survey, the situation has deteriorated.”

An NSPCC spokesman said: “Apart from exposing them to bullying when images are shared, it could make children targets for sex offenders in some cases.” The charity called for better sex and relationships education in schools.

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