We talk about sexting when someone shares a message with sexual content or a photo or video in which they are naked or poorly dressed. This can be done through phones, tablets, computers and through various applications, websites, social networks or computer games.

1548194 by natureaddict from Pixabay

Sexting is becoming increasingly problematic among youth

Sexting is becoming more and more problematic in Slovenia as well. This is most often done by adolescents at puberty, i.e. during times of physical change, sensitivity, preoccupation with their body and the search for their identity.

Children often share or post their intimate photos due to peer pressure because someone is bullying or blackmailing them. Sometimes they do this because they are afraid of turning out unattractive or shy if they don’t, or to prove their sexuality in front of others.

Most often, however, sexting takes place between a boy and a girl, who send each other photos in the trust that these photos will remain only between them. After the end of the relationship, these photos may be found on several addresses or websites due to anger or revenge, and sometimes the intention is to embarrass the partner.

Sexting therefore becomes a concern when a photograph or video is spread among more people than was originally intended for them.

Why do adolescents not seek help when they become victims of sexting?

Adolescents often do not seek help because they are ashamed or afraid of revenge from their peers, because they do not want to have additional problems or because they do not believe that adults can help them.


The consequences of sexting can be very severe

The consequences of sexting can be emotional, social and legal.

In addition to shame, anxiety, anger, and self-blame, suicidal or self-injurious behaviors are often present in adolescents. An injured adolescent may experience exclusion from society, and photographs or videos may be detrimental to his or her reputation.

However, sexting can also turn into a crime when videos or photographs are not meant to be for entertainment and rapprochement, but criminal abuse (eg making videos of child sexual abuse, acquiring persons under the age of 15 for sexual purposes, etc.).

What should parents pay attention to and how can they help?

It is important for parents to discuss risk factors of sexting with their children.

They should let the children know that they can trust them if they receive such content or if someone persuades them to do it themselves.

Children should know that the moment they send the picture, they lose control of it, as anyone can save it to their device or share it on. Sometimes these photographs serve as objects of extortion and intimidation.

The parents should remind the children that people are not always what they pretend to be on the internet, so they should pay attention to what they do on the internet and who they talk to.

Related content

Internet security
Sexual abuse of children online
Cyber violence and sexual abuse of children online
Cyber violence and sexual abuse of children - advice for parents