Championing healthy relationships

and sexual wellbeing

The evidence base for tackling ‘sexting’ with young people

Sexting is an issue that gathers a large amount of public interest, including from the press and professionals working with young people. However, sometimes it seems hard to identify how to best tackle the issue. acet UK’s Esteem programme includes multiple activities and an example lesson plan, developed over 5 years of specific experience in teaching about sexting. To help youth workers, teachers and parents talk about the issue, acet UK has created a brand new physical resource called #IsItOK? in partnership with Youthscape. (You can order a copy of it now here).

For the launch of this new resource, Youthscape hosted an equipping day of seminars and workshops all focused on sexting and social media. As part of the day, acet UK’s Gareth spoke about ‘The theory and evidence around young people creating and distributing self-generated explicit images.’

Below is the list of key sources and videos used in the seminar. You can also download the free resource from acet UK that was highlighted during the session here.


Books, reports, resources and guidance

Aboujaoude, E. (2011). Virtually you: the dangerous powers of the e-personality.

Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern (n.d.). ACPO CPAI Lead’s Position on Young People Who Post Self-Taken Indecent Images.

Brook (2015). Sexual Behaviours Traffic Light Tool. (Additional guidance on how to use the tool).

Childline (2013). ZipitApp.  

Department of Education (2014). Searching, screening and confiscation at school.

Internet Watch Foundation (2012). Study of Self-Generated Sexually Explicit Images & Videos Featuring Young People Online.  

Martellozzo et al (2016). "I wasn't sure if it was normal to watch it": A quantitative and qualitative examination of the impact of online pornography on the values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours of children and young people.

NSPCC (2012). A qualitative study of children, young people and ‘sexting'.

South West Grid for Learning (2015). So you got naked online… 

SPIRTO Project (Self-Produced Images – Risk Taking Online) (2015). Young people who produce and send nude images: context, motivation and consequences.

The Children’s Society (2012). The Children’s Society Briefing Parliamentary Debate on Sexting and the Risk of Sexual Grooming.

UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) (2016). Sexting in schools and colleges: responding to incidents and safeguarding young people.

Van Ouytsel (2017). Sexting: adolescents' perceptions of the applications used for, motives for, and consequences of sexting.



CEOP (2011). Exposed.

Disrespect NoBody (2016). No one should pressure you to send a pic.

NSPCC (2015). I saw your willy.

ThinkUKnowAUS (2010). Megan's Story.