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Sexting Now "Normal" in Schools

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10:53am 11th December 2012
(Updated 10:53am 11th December 2012)

Sending and receiving sex texts is now "normal" for children as young as thirteen, according to a study from Plymouth University.

One fifteen year old girl revealed she is asked for naked photos two or three times a week.

Some says sending pictures is the new flirting.

The research was done across nine counties by academics from Plymouth University for Channel 4 News.

One told the programme her dad asked girls for a kiss when he was growing up: "But now it’s kind of 'do you want to have sex?’". A teenage boy added: "It might shock parents this is what kids get up to but it’s just everyday life. It’s natural. It’s all part of growing up."

Andy Phippen from Plymouth University said: "This is mainstream, this is normal, this is almost mundane for some of the people we spoke to.

"In pretty much every school in the country, people aged 13 and 14 are talking about this stuff and dealing with this stuff."

Steve from Penzance has two teenagers aged 12 and 15.

He told Pirate FM he feels there is nothing he can do to protect them:

"You can’t stop them unless you actually do something to the phone and you can’t. You can’t be with them 24 hours a day so you don’t know what they’re doing. If you take the phone off them and look AT what they’re doing, you’re invading their privacy. But, it’s just as easy to delete everything. So you don’t know what they’re doing. You just don’t know.

“You just hope they’re doing the right thing don’t you. That’s all that any parent’s ever done really. You’d hope they’d know. You see enough of it on the news, when people are caught out, and they sit there and laugh so with a bit of luck they’ll learn from other people’s mistakes.”

The NSPCC says sex education needs to be better and start sooner.

10:53am 11th December 2012

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