College students sent unwanted sexually explicit material

College students sent unwanted sexually explicit material
Dr Terryann Clark (Auckland Adolescent Health Group)

A new report into secondary school students' sexual health has found that fifteen percent of students were sent unwanted sexually explicit material.

Unwanted sexual material was mostly sent via mobile phone (eight percent) or the Internet (six percent).

There was no change between 2007 and 2012 in the proportion of students reporting they had received unwanted SEM.

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 sexually safe."

The findings come from the just published University of Auckland report into 'Sexual and and 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 in secondary schools.

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

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