Netsafe Report – Teens and Sexting: Prevalence and Attitudes

Netsafe has recently released New Zealand’s first ever research report exploring sexting behaviour in NZ teens – ‘Teens and Sexting: Prevalence and Attitudes’. The 37-page report outlines upsetting statistics about the sharing of nudes among young New Zealanders aged 14-17 years old. The report outlines the differences between categories of youths, such as gender, ethnicity and disability. With this complex and evolving behaviour becoming a part of the norm, sexting is a topic parents’ should be increasingly concerned about.

“This report is has been released as part of an ongoing project exploring young people’s experiences of digital risk and harm, carried out by a partnership between Netsafe and the Ministry for Women. We deeply value the contribution of the Ministry for Women team whose encouragement and insights have helped shaped this study.”

Managing kids’ access to technology is a struggle that most parents face on a daily basis. Who are my kids are engaging with? What are they saying to each other? What kinds of things are they learning about? What websites do they have access to? What are they sending to each other? Are they being appropriate? Are just a few of the questions most parents are asking themselves.

Throughout the study, when Netsafe asked the general public what kind of behaviour they assumed 14-17-year-olds participate in, public attention centred on the potential risks faced by young people sharing nude content online, and the apparent pervasiveness of this behaviour. However, there has been no statistical evidence to support or explain how much of an impact technology has had on our youths when it comes to inappropriate behaviour online.

Here are just a few of the statistics NetSafe discovered:

• 4% of teens say they have sent nude or nearly nude content of themselves in the last 12 months. The percentage nearly doubles among older teens aged 17 years old (7%).

• 5% of all boys surveyed have asked someone for nude images or videos of them. In contrast, the percentage for girls is 2% in the last 12 months.

• Almost three-quarters agree that people should be punished for threatening to share images while a third think that available information and advice tackles issues related to the sharing of nude content well.

• Teens with disabilities were more likely to be asked for nude content of themselves and receive unsolicited nude content than those without impairments.

To read the full report, you can view it here!

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