“Beyond Sexting”: Consent & Harm Minimisation for Digital Sexualities Education


Yfoundations has just released a report exploring  young people’s use of digital technologies in their friendships and relationships. The report moves beyond sexting to consider online dating, hook-up apps, social media, and blogging sites like Tumblr. The report can also be found here.

Over the past decade, government-sponsored campaigns, curriculum resources and lesson plans have sought to discourage young people from engaging in ‘sexting’. These resources take an ‘abstinence-only’ approach, aiming to discourage or ‘tackle’ young people’s sexting– despite significant evidence that ‘abstinence only’ education with young people not only doesn’t work, but can have negative consequences for young people’s self-worth, sexuality and body image.

To provide alternatives to these resources, the report includes ten Harm Minimisation principles that can guide work with young people in this area, as well as a two-hour workshop covering consent, boundary-setting and safety in using technology for staying in touch with friends, crushes or partners, or making new ones.  Workers who work with young people are encouraged to use this workshop however might work best for their clients, be it in whole, in part, or by cherry-picking activities. Workers are encouraged to make contact with YFoundations for advice, information or further resources.

The report and resources have also recently been featured in the media:

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