Most YP use their mobile phones as the primary way to access the internet and are regular users of mobile phone applications like Snapchat and WhatsApp as well as social media sites where images can be shared with huge audiences in a matter of seconds. As a result of regular image sharing and selfie taking, it is becoming more common for teenagers to request nudes (naked pictures) from each other, sometimes when in relationships but often as a precursor to having a physical relationship with someone, as a way of expressing interest or as part of what YPs refer to as “talking to” or “chatting to” each other.
Terminology: YP will often refer to nude pictures as “nudes” or simply “pics”.
Sending pics or nudes via text message is sometimes referred to as “sexting”.
Given the increasing popularity of sharing nudes amongst YP it is crucial for them to know that any sharing of naked pictures of under 18 year olds is technically a criminal offence and therefore being put under pressure to share nudes is not OK, so other YP should respect an individual’s boundaries around this. While it can seem like a good idea at the time, anybody may change their mind in the future but be unable to ensure images are deleted. Nudes can play a part in unhealthy relationship behaviours as well and we want YP to make decisions that feel right to them. We also want to improve their understanding of why people might send nudes and increase awareness of the kinds of strategies they can use if they do not want to take part in either sending or asking for these images.