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MfD: Tenth of teenagers share nude self-portraits online

3-9-2012 Czech:

Almost 10 percent of Czech teenagers sent their own nude photographs or similar video recordings to their partners or friends on the Internet in 2011, according to a poll published in yesterday's issue of the daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).

Girls (54 percent) prevail among such teenagers.

The poll was conducted on 9353 respondents aged 11-17 by the Centre of Risky Virtual Communication Prevention at the Education Faculty of Palacky University in Olomouc, north Moravia.

It focused on a new trend called "sexting" - sending sexually explicit messages, photographs and recordings on the Internet or via mobile phones.

Children aged 15-17 shared sexually tinted material with their friends more often than other teenagers. They made up 67 percent of the group, while one-third were those aged 11-14, the poll shows.

Sexologist Petr Weiss pointed to a potential danger of such behaviour.

"As a court expert I am now assessing a case in which a perpetrator persuaded 12-year-old girls to send him their nude pictures. Then he met and (sexually) abused them," Weiss told MfD.

On the other hand, he said the 10-percent figure was not alarming since it is merely one-third of teenagers involved in sexting in the United States.

Almost 75 percent of Czech teenagers realise that such behaviour is risky, Weiss added.

Moreover, 8.3 percent of Czech teenagers (58 percent of boys and 42 percent of girls) openly placed their own sexually explicit images on the Internet where anybody can see them last year. They mostly used Facebook and MySpace social networks and digital repositories of photographs for these purposes, MfD writes.

Over one-quarter of these teenagers were under 15, it adds.

Pupils and students expose their own naked body on the Internet for various reasons.

Most of them are bored, others want to establish a relationship this way and some of them want to turn on the addressee, Kamil Kopecky, one of the poll authors, told the paper.

"Other children simply present themselves this way," he added.

However, sexting can have fatal consequences.

"Last year, a girl in Prague committed suicide over such photos. She sent her nude pictures to a man who started blackmailing her. She could not stand someone else seeing them," Kopecky said.

The Czech police are investigating several cases of releasing sexually explicit images on the Internet on suspicion of child pornography dissemination, for instance, MfD says. ..Source.. by Czech News Agency

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