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Discuss with your daughter the wisdom of sending a nude image of herself to her boyfriend, and remember your sons could end up sharing it.
That is the advice of anti-cyber bullying group Sticks’n Stones (SNS), which said it was vital to educate both females and males about problems associated with "sexting".
The issue of sexting — or sending sexually explicit photographs or messages electronically, often via mobile phone — was not discussed in detail at the "Navigating the Teenage Years" forum this week but SNS members said afterwards it was a complex topic.
It was a problem that explicit photos — usually sent by females to their boyfriends — were sometimes later sent or shown to other people as well, often after a relationship breakdown. This caused tremendous pain, stress and embarrassment to the person who originally sent the photo, expecting it to remain private.
However, parents and teenagers needed to remember it was "not as simple as blaming the girl for sending a naked photo in the first place", SNS members said.
In fact, blaming a girl for having caused the situation was similar to blaming the victim of a sexual assault for having walked down a dark alleyway, having too much to drink or wearing revealing clothing.
Parents absolutely needed to discuss the problems associated with sexting with their daughters and point out that a photo sent privately to one person may be distributed further than that, SNS members said.
But parents needed to talk to their sons, too. It was often a jilted, bitter or thoughtless ex-boyfriend who shared sexually explicit images inappropriately, and they needed to realise that was unacceptable.
Other girls also shared sexually explicit images of girls, SNS said.
"Whenever I’ve been shown a nude photo it’s been from another girl — it’s just another source of gossip in their eyes," one SNS member said.
"All a boy has to do is share it with one person, and it can so easily spread."