Sydney: A new study has revealed that teenagers are being pressured into “sexting” in a bid to ‘fit in’ with the trend.
According to Melbourne University researcher Shelley Walker, youngsters are experiencing pressure not only from each other but also from the “insidious” influence of a sexualised media culture that pressurised them to be involved in sexting to fit in, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
She told the Australasian Sexual Health Conference in Canberra that young men were made to feel their masculinity was in question if they were not into sexting and that women also felt the pressure to participate when they saw sexted images of their friends.
The government funded study involved interviews with 15 male and 19 female participants, aged 15 to 20 and all of those interviewed had “at least one story to share, if not more”.
Walker gave vignettes of the lurid images the interviewees had described, including pictures of nudity and sex acts, which according to her highlighted the need for young people to have a greater say in how to respond to the phenomenon of sexting.
She said the study revealed the potentially pervasive nature of sexting.