It's almost back to school time so let's really talk about what we can do to help protect youth from some of the dangers associated with sexting.
Let's Talk Data
Check out the report Interdisciplinary Responses to Youth Sexting: Recommendations from the Youth Online Safety Working Group (YOSWG), which synthesizes current research findings and gives recommendations to respond and prevent to sexting as well as coordinate with professionals. Here are some of their recommendations:
- Review findings about youth sexting in order to build a case as to why prevention education on sexting is needed.
- Involve teens, parents, and schools in forums about positive uses of media.
- Consider a peer education approach to give teens ownership of promoting healthy decision making.
Let's Talk Conversation Starters
The King County Sexual Assault Resource Center worked on a project to engage youth preventing sexual violence — this group was called P.O.P.! One of the projects that developed is called "100 Conversations". This is a tool to help adults connect and converse with young people in their lives around a variety of important topics. The 100 conversation starters were created with youth voices so they are developmentally relevant. The P.O.P.! group created a page to address the nuances of and research behind their digital safety conversations
Let's Talk Presentations
Let's Talk About Sexting is part of an awareness series intended to provide a starting place or a template for your program when responding to requests, typically from schools, for basic information or awareness raising presentations. There are corresponding materials for both youth and adults (parent/caregiver/educator). Included is a facilitator guide, PowerPoint presentations which contain detailed notes and considerations for the trainer, and resource handouts. We have included the key points and best practice approaches to discussing each topic and expect you may customize aspects of the slides to meet your community’s needs, experiences, and resources.
Let's Talk Media
Using DVDs or online tools is a great way to engage about sexting and other forms of digital relationships. Look for tools that:
- engages teens in interactive ways to learn the real dangers of sexting without relying on scare tactics
- provides teens with fun alternatives to expressing their sexuality and engaging in safe texting with peers