Most New Zealand teens have received explicit images via social media, survey finds

A new survey shows many New Zealand teenagers have sent and received explicit images via social media.

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Liana Vaipa-Rice, who knows first-hand the pressures and pictures teens are exposed to, spoke with us. Source: Seven Sharp

A survey commissioned by the Graeme Dingle Foundation found that 61 per cent of people aged 13 to 24 reported being exposed to sexual imagery from other young Kiwis.

Forty two percent say they have been sent that kind of content via social media.

Liana Vaipa-Rice, 23, has worked with teenager through Crescendo Trust, and knows first-hand the pressure and pictures that they're exposed to.

“For my generation it’s quite normal to receive images like that, warranted or not warranted,” Ms Vaipa-Rice said.

She says the internet makes it so easy to take then share images that it’s an easy way for the young generation to show affection for each other.

“But a lot of what these young girls and boys don’t realise is that these images could go anywhere.”

Ms Vaipa-Rice says young girls are used to getting sent unsolicited sexual images from boys.

“We’re sick of it but kind of used to it at this point.”

In terms of what parents can do about the situation, she suggests looking at their child’s social media accounts and seeing who follows them and make sure they know the person.