A new report is putting a spotlight on the unauthorized sharing of sexual photographs among teens.
The non-profit group MediaSmarts says about four in 10 young Canadians have sent a sext and more than six in 10 have received one.
The group’s director of education says the survey of 800 16- to 20-year-olds found the majority of sexts remain private between the sender and intended recipient.
But Matthew Johnson says there is a need to send a loud and clear message that nothing gives teens the right to share someone’s sext unless they have permission.
Of the survey respondents who said they had sent a sext in the past, about 40 per cent said at least one of their intimate photos had been shared without their consent.
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And Johnson says even though boys and girls send and receive sexts at similar rates, the harm and damage to people’s reputation is very much unequal and falls much more heavily on girls.
Roughly one-third of participants either said they believed that a girl who sexts outside of a relationship “shouldn’t be surprised if it gets around,” or felt “nobody should be surprised if boys share sexts with each other.”