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Kiwi students continue to receive unwanted sexual material via mobile phone and the internet

16 Aug 16

Students continue to received unwanted sexual material via mobile phone and the internet, with a new report finding no change in how many students receive it in the years between 2007 and 2012.

The report into secondary school students’ sexual health was the University of Auckland has found that 15% of students were sent unwanted sexually explicit material. The material was mostly sent via mobile phone (8%) or the internet (^%).

There was no change between 2007 and 2012 in the proportion of students reporting they had received unwanted sexually explicit material, the report revealed.

Māori students, Pacific students, same/both-sex attracted students, and students from lower socio-economic neighbourhoods were more likely to be sent unwanted sexual material.

“Students who were sent unwanted sexual explicit material were three times more likely to have been sexually abused/coerced and four times more likely to report forcing someone else to do sexual things,” says lead researcher Dr Terryann Clark from the University of Auckland’s Adolescent Health Research Group (AHRG).

“Strategies are needed to keep children and young people sexually safe.”

The findings come from the just published University of Auckland report into ‘Sexual and reproductive health and sexual violence among New Zealand secondary school students’.

The report examined data from the Youth2000 Survey series conducted in 2001, 2007 and 2012 from the national youth health and wellbeing survey of 27,000 secondary school students in New Zealand. It focuses on the sexual violence experiences and the sexual and reproductive health of students in secondary schools.

“Parents need to talk about sexual safety via technology and social media,” says Clark.

“Young people need to be taught about positive relationships, active consent and good communication - but also as a society we also need to look at larger social norms, policies and practices that contribute to sexual violence, bullying and coercive sexual messaging,” he says.

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