To think every parent should educate themselves about 'sexting'

(44 Posts)
MamaBear17 Fri 12-Oct-12 09:06:45

Admittedly, I do not think I am bu, but this forum gets a lot of traffic and I just want as many people to read this as possible.

Presently, there is an increasing trend in young girls (as young as 12) sending inappropriate pictures of themselves to (equally as young) boys using mobile phones. In certain cases girls are succumbing to pressure from a boy that they like without really thinking about the consequences of sending the pictures. The pictures can be passed on and uploaded publicly in an instant. In certain cases, young boys who are asking for such pictures and applying emotional pressure to the young girls. In many cases boys are doing so in order to appear 'cool' but are not actually realising how predatory there actions can seem to an outsider. My concern is that popular public figures are having sex tapes leaked and only seeing there popularity increase, and that tv shows aimed at teenagers are glamorising 'sexy texting' making it seem like a 'normal' or 'gown up' thing to do.

Many parents will admit to be less technically savvy than their kids, which is why I am posting this. There is a real need for a conversation between parent and child regarding the emotional side of a relationship and respecting themselves when it comes to sex. I know most parents will know this, but often it is a conversation that is required much younger than you might realise. Often the children involved in this are not children who even realise that this pictures constitute sexual activity, but when it goes wrong, the emotional fall out is devastating.

I am certain that most schools will aim to tackle this issue in sex education. However, I think it is important for parents to be aware of this growing trend. I have attached a link to a good article below, and the CEOP video 'Think you know' on youtube is very good too.

Thank you for indulging me, I hope I do not get flamed, I cant go into the reasons that have prompted this post but I just feel like I need to say something in case other parents arent aware.

http://www.insidetheschool.com/articles/the-teen-sexting-problem-and-what-schools-can-do-about-it/

Raspberryandorangesorbet Fri 12-Oct-12 09:09:12

Couldn't agree more - work in a school and see it ALL the time. And deal with the horrid, horrid fall out too.

mutny Fri 12-Oct-12 09:13:04

To me its just part of parenting.

I talk to my dd about these sorts of issues. Ie internet saftey, personal saftey etc so its just part of that.

Are there really parents who haven't heard about sexting? Genuine question as for me ots as important as using the internet safely and being safe when out and about.

socharlotte Fri 12-Oct-12 09:17:49

Some double standards on the go here I think.
Boy sends pornographic shot of himself to girl = boy is predatory
Girl send pornographic shot of herself to boy=boy is predatory.

MamaBear17 Fri 12-Oct-12 09:19:18

Yes, genuinely. I also think parents of sensible, nice young girls do not always realise that they are emotionally vulnerable to the age old 'If you liked me you would' line. Teenage girls have very romanticised views of relationships and hormones and emotions can often override a young girls sensible head.

MaryZed Fri 12-Oct-12 09:23:59

Yes, I agree, but unfortunately it is very difficult to stop.

I have had ridiculous conversations with otherwise sensible dd about this, and her answer "everyone does it" is baffling.

And you may think you talk to your children, and they would be too sensible to do this, but no parent really has a clue what goes on these days angry.

And what socharlotte said - I have seen texts from girls "encouraging" boys to do this, as well as the other way around.

I have come to the conclusion that when it comes to this sort of thing all teenagers are idiots, and none of them think past the end of next week.

MamaBear17 Fri 12-Oct-12 09:25:51

socharlotte, I am not saying that the boy is predatory. I said in my op that a boy doesn't realise that putting pressure on a girl to send a picture SEEMS predatory. The boys are far too young to realise what the consequences of their actions are. But, there is a peer pressure amongst SOME young boys to be 'one of the lads' and seemingly getting a picture of a naked girl is one of the criteria. In many cases, the boys involved have encouraged a girl to send a picture because a friend has told them too. They have no idea how their actions are being perceived, they are just as much at risk of being emotionally damaged as a young girl would be. In most cases, the photos are of girls, not boys. But, the boys who are cavassing for these photos are developing a skewered perception of what having a girlfriend should be like.

MamaBear17 Fri 12-Oct-12 09:28:00

My point is that both young boys and girls are at risk.

socharlotte Fri 12-Oct-12 09:30:27

But are they canvassing for them? My very limited experience of this subject, is silly giggly groups of girls doing this 'for a laugh'.

sleepymum50 Fri 12-Oct-12 09:33:07

thank you, I take your words to heart and will include this in my chats with DD.

funkybuddah Fri 12-Oct-12 09:34:01

Girls may also send pics to boys to put pressure on them, happens in adults and as girls mature quicker than boys it can work both ways.

Don't like the insinuation its all about the boys.

MaryZed Fri 12-Oct-12 09:36:05

I don't think the op is saying it's all about boys confused. It is a problem for all teenagers.

And unfortunately is considered acceptable these days, by kids as young as 12 or 13.

Anyone who thinks "oh my child wouldn't do this" should really not be so sure. Even the most sensible of kids does stupid things if all their friends are doing it.

MamaBear17 Fri 12-Oct-12 09:36:22

In some cases, yes. That isn't to say that in other cases it isn't groups of girls being silly. I honestly wish I could ban camera/smart phones for the under 16s.

MaryZed Fri 12-Oct-12 09:37:18

But when they are caught in schools (imo) the school premise is that the girl has been "persuaded" by a "predatory" boy.

So the boys get into a lot of trouble for it, regardless of who started it all, or who is more "mature" or even who is older. At least that is what I have seen.

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 12-Oct-12 09:41:08

Hello all

We thought you might be interested in this week's guest blog, which calls on schools to do more to tackle these issues. The talk thread is over here.

mutny Fri 12-Oct-12 09:41:29

My dd is only 10. I was referring to how I deal with it in regards to girls, not because boys are to blame and dd would be the victim. But because ds is 18 months, so I haven't discussed this with him. Obviously.
I can only refer to what I do with dd.

MamaBear17 Fri 12-Oct-12 09:43:08

I am most definitely NOT insinuating that it is all about boys. Boys are at risk here. The conversation about relationships and emotions should be between parent and child; meaning mum and dad, son and daughter.

mutny Fri 12-Oct-12 09:43:09

I honestly wish I could ban camera/smart phones for the under 16s.

I really don't think that's answer. Some under 16s use their phones inappropriately so they should be banned? Should under 16s be banned from the internet completely.

MamaBear17 Fri 12-Oct-12 09:45:17

For schools it is probably the most difficult issue to tackle. Every case is different and all children need to be protected.

MaryZed Fri 12-Oct-12 09:47:10

I've come to the conclusion (have done a bit of spying research) that pretty much all under 16s use their phones inappropriately. Whether it be sexting, taking inappropriate photographs, watching porn and violence or whatever.

MaryZed Fri 12-Oct-12 09:50:16

Kate, I had actually avoided that blog and the accompanying thread, because it was about "protecting girls" which makes me cross.

I am the parent of both boys and a girl, and it seems to me that it goes both ways. But if boys complain they are laughed at.

Two children (yes children - they were both 13 at the time, the girl was a couple of months older than the boy) were found having sex in a local school. The boy was expelled. The girl was given supportive counselling.

All the other kids knew that this girl had been chasing the boy around for months. She had followed him to his house, and she had arranged the meeting and the place where they had sex.

Now he wasn't innocent (he could have walked away - which is what he had previously done, to general hilarity and lots of taunts of being gay), but neither was she. They were treated very unequally.

MamaBear17 Fri 12-Oct-12 09:58:02

I don't think it is the answer either really. Technology is a double edged sword. Its just that 90% of the bulling issues I deal with are through text messages and on-line. The sexting/picture issue is new but has hit like a tidal wave. It is very hard to stop, to sort out and to keep all children safe when they have these little boxes in their pockets.

daisydoodoo Fri 12-Oct-12 09:59:00

Maryzed- I couldnt agree with you more. We have had an awful situation recently regarding my eldest son. Hes yr11 student and a yr10 girl intitated text conversations/bbm/fb etc wih him started off friendly she then gets more suggestive, stupid ds1 replies flirting as well. girl suggests s sends pics, he declines for a long time but they continue o message each other as well as see ach other at school and after school. (usually with friends) ds does eventually send girl a privtae picture she sends several back and asking for more.
Girl has an 18yr old boyfriend, who when ds puts a stop to it, she complains to her boyfriend that ds has been hassling her and sending unwanted pictures oh wo is me, look what this horrible boy has been saying/sending. Bf starts messaging ds saying hes going to kill him, girl starts spreading rumours about ds that hes a pervert!

School will do nothing as its social networking and nothign to do with school. ds is now the victim of endless bullying about victimising the girl. We have downloaded all of ds messages and luckily he'd kept all messages on his phone so we can see that ds although not innocent certainly wasn;t acting in a predatory fashion. BUt will anyone beleive us/him despite printouts of conversations and showing of the phone/ipad, offering to take to the child protection services at school. NO it must be ds fault as he is a BOY

daisydoodoo Fri 12-Oct-12 10:01:55

oh fwiw ds1 now does not have a mobile phone or accessto fb. Drastic measures, but he has certianly learnt that what previously had been thought of as a bit of fun and a bit naughty is something that can damage peoples lives nd certainly thier reputations.

Unforutnatley i know from talking to other mums of teenage boys that girls are becomign increasingly more predatory and leading boys on and then crying victim. Its not on to insinuate that boys are almost entirley to blame.

I have a younger ds and 2 younger dd's and will as i have done to ds1 drum into them to never send any messages or pictures that you wouldnt want your parents or grandparents to read.

samandi Fri 12-Oct-12 10:02:55

There's not really any need for an under 16 to have a camera phone IMO. I've never had one and it wouldn't occur to me if I had a young teenager now to buy one for them. Things will probably have changed by the time I do have one.

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