4 Aug 2016

Dr Claire Meehan: Sexting and Cyberspace Safety

From Nine To Noon, 11:27 am on 4 August 2016
Dr Claire Meehan

Dr Claire Meehan Photo: Supplied

We know quite young children are sexting and watching pornography online but are we doing enough to protect them?

Digital natives might not see some of their on-line behaviour, including sending nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves as risky until these pictures get circulated in cyberspace.

And when this happens the victim is often blamed, making it hard for them to seek help.

A recent report by British charity the National Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) found 94 percent of a group of 1,000 children surveyed had been exposed to pornography on-line by the age of 14.

Criminologist Dr Claire Meehan is aiming for better strategies and skills to make young people safer in cyberspace.

Dr Meehan, who is from the University of Auckland's School of Sociology, is researching what young people do online, what sites they visit, their views on pornography and sexting, focussing on 14 and 15-year-olds.

She talks to Kathryn Ryan.