Three in four young girls have been sent sexual images via smartphone apps, according to a new study. The report warns that the practice of sending sexual images is becoming “dangerously normalised”, with girls feeling pressured to “trade” images with boys.

Girls who sent a picture in response were then mocked by classmates after their photo was shared, the report said.

Just a quarter of teenagers surveyed had told a friend about sexual images they had received, while only two per cent told school authorities and 5 per cent told parents.

Asked why they did not report images to the platforms involved, around a third of those surveyed said: “I don’t think reporting works”.

Elsewhere, the authors claim that social media giants – including Facebook and Snapchat – “create opportunities for users to engage in image-based sexual harassment and abuse” through their technological functions. It singles out Snapchat in particular for “enabling” abuse through its “quick adds, shout outs, streaks, score points and lack of identity verification measures”.

The study involved 480 young people from across the UK, with 144 of the cohort taking part through focus groups. Three quarters of the 88 girls in the groups said they had received an image of male genitalia.

“Participants described instances where the senders were adult men who had created false identities,” the report said. “Nearly half of incidents of image-based sexual harassment were from unknown adult men, based on profiles.”

Professor Jessica Ringrose of the UCL Institute of Education, and lead author of the report, said: “Young people in the UK are facing a crisis of online sexual violence.

“Despite these young people saying they felt disgusted, embarrassed and confused about the sending and receiving of non-consensual images, they rarely want to talk about their online experiences for fear of victim-blaming and worry that reporting will make matters worse.

Read the full article from the Evening Standard below:

Source: Three in four girls have been sent sexual images via social media apps, report says

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By / Published On: December 6th, 2021 / Tags: , , / Categories: News, Online Safety /

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