Almost half of youth who have taken and sent a sext say that the recipient then forwarded that image to other people without their consent. This culture of sharing among youth is a real concern and can have devastating consequences for the person in the picture and the person who forwards it.
MediaSmarts and TELUS Wise have created a series of four short videos and accompanying resources called There’s No Excuse to help start the conversation around sexting and healthy relationships, and help youth understand that forwarding a sext can do a lot of harm.
Aimed at young people ages 14 and up, the videos were created as a response to a national survey conducted by MediaSmarts in 2018, which found 30 percent of youth ages 16 to 20 had shared an intimate image of someone with others.
The four videos explore the most common ways youth convince themselves it’s okay to share other peoples’ sexts without consent. The videos are accompanied by a lesson plan for grades 11-12, as well as tip sheets and guides for parents, coaches, school resource officers and community leaders.
There’s No Excuse: “You should be thanking me”:
There’s No Excuse: “Everybody does it”
There’s No Excuse: “I’m just the messenger”
There’s No Excuse: “It’s your fault for sending it in the first place”
In this lesson, students learn about the “sneaky excuses” that can convince us to do things that we know are wrong. After learning about the different types of these excuses, students watch and discuss a series of videos in which the excuses are used to justify forwarding sexts without the original sender’s consent. Finally, students create their own videos in which the excuses used to justify sharing sexts with other people are illustrated and most importantly, countered.
This tip sheet helps prevent young people from sharing intimate images of others without consent.
This guide helps parents and guardians start the conversation around sexting and healthy relationships, and help youth understand that forwarding a sext can do a lot of harm.