Majority of Plymouth teens have been sent unwanted sexually explicit pictures | #socialmedia | #children


More than half of Plymouth teens have been sent unsolicited and unwanted sexually explicit pictures. The shocking figures were revealed as part of The Violence Against Women and Girls survey and report.

Both boys and girls who took part in the survey reported witnessing their female friends being made to feel uncomfortable by the behaviour of men or boys, for example ‘cat calling’ or inappropriate touching. Both groups felt that education and culture change were fundamental to challenge stereotypes and change the attitudes of men towards women and girls.

Results from the Plymouth City Council Violence Against Women and Girls Survey show that 60 per cent of those aged 19 years or under and 55 per cent of those aged 20 – 24 years indicated that they had received unwanted sexually explicit online comments, emails, messages or images in the last five years.

Read More – Ground-breaking commission offers plans to make Plymouth safer for women and girls

More than half, 55 per cent, of those aged 19 years or under indicated that they had somebody sending or showing them sexually explicit pictures, photos or gifts that made them feel uncomfortable. In addition, 57 per cent of those aged 20 to 24 years indicated that they had received inappropriate comments or messages that offended or made them feel uncomfortable on social networking websites in the past five years.

The Commission also heard evidence that the content of pornography is becoming more violent and extreme. There is concern that this is normalising violence and other harmful behaviours among men of all ages, with the report saying that raising awareness of the link between pornography and male violence towards women and girls is considered an important part of changing the current culture.

It added: “Young people spoke about how they felt that pornography was part of the problem as it led to an unrealistic impression of sex and normalised behaviours that were not necessarily normal. Social media was also expressed as a concern as it makes it easier for people to make unwanted contact and that it can be used to encourage violent behaviour.

“Young men in particular reported feeling that the internet is a place where a lot of toxic masculinity is present and is a source of information and accessible pornography for boys. Some of the young women that we spoke to felt that the receiving of unsolicited pictures was an issue as was the increased use of social media.”

The Plymouth City Council Violence Against Women and Girls Survey undertaken in March 2022, found that 89 per cent of respondents agreed that violence against women and girls is a problem, with 60 per cent feeling that it happened more often now compared to five years ago.

The multi-agency Commission, established by Plymouth City Council, said it had gathered a wide range of evidence and expertise before making 15 key recommendations – supported by clear actions – to ensure that Plymouth drove a culture change which challenged male violence against women and girls, better supported women and girls who had been subjected to male violence and created safe places and spaces for women and girls.

To ensure that the recommendations are actioned, a Plymouth Violence Against Women and Girls strategic lead will be appointed for Plymouth and the Commission will establish a framework for monitoring and evaluating progress towards implementing the recommendations and assessing their impact. Some members of the Commission will remain actively involved in providing advice and guidance on this issue, acting as ambassadors and critical friends.

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