“Sexting is sending and receiving sexual messages through technology such as a phone, app, email or webcam… In some cases, sexting is used to bully, blackmail and exploit.” Kids Help Phone
Both boys and girls are similarly likely to send sexts.
Both boys and girls are pressured to forward sexts they receive.
Sexting has resulted in both boys and girls being criminally charged, being blackmailed, or committing suicide.
- Talk to both boys and girls about sexting.
- Remind your child they have a right to say no.
- About a third of sexts are sent because the student feels pressure to send the sext.
- Let them know that they shouldn’t share anything they don’t feel comfortable sharing.
- Discuss appropriate ways to show that you care for someone.
- Some students feel that sexting is how to demonstrate their love or trust for someone.
- Do not normalize this type of behaviour.
- Canadian data shows less than 15% of youth (ages 11 – 17) send sexts.
- Let your child know the seriousness of sexting.
- Having sexts on your phone can result in criminal charges such as possession of child pornography or harassment.
- Ask your child what they should do if one of their friends forwards them a sext that is “going around” and discuss the response with them.
- Data shows that youth who forward sexts often don’t feel there was anything wrong with forwarding the image.
- Start a conversation about sexting by showing them this video from Amaze .
For more recommendations on talking with your kids about healthy relationships, sending sexts, and sharing sexts, see the Talking to Your Kids About Sexting – Tip Sheet from Media Smarts.
From Media Smarts: Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy: Sexting and youth – Confronting a modern dilemma.