Wednesday 8th June I presented the current stages of work on sexting that I’m involved in with colleagues from the faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences here at BCU. This was as part of the British Sociological Association’s Media Study Group seminar on Gender, Crime and Media, hosted at BCU by Charlotte Barlow. I’m not sure I knew exactly what to expect from other presentations but was pleasantly surprised by a broad range of work covering aspects of journalism, media and law.
Most notably though perhaps were other presentations of work with young people on sexting, alongside ours. Emily Setty‘s PhD work from University of Surrey, Youth sexting: challenging victim blaming and abstinence, and exploring the role of privacy and consent, and Holly Powell-Jones from City University London discussing Young people’s risk perceptions of ‘revenge porn’ and ‘sexting’ offences were both useful in discussing slightly different aspects and approaches to what we essentially feel is key but often lacking in such work, the voices of young people themselves, and the sense that sexting can be though of as media practice with many dimensions, where victim-blaming should be avoided. We maybe go further in our descriptions of co-creation, where we hope that cohorts of young people will work with us on our developing work and be able to take some ownership, regarding not just findings but dissemination, education and practical interventions aiming towards policy. When our work has so far been based in literature and our primary research to date (focus groups with young people in the West Midlands at a pilot stag), it is always encouraging to network at such events, especially when they are grappling with similar access and ethical issues, and may be able to offer some expertise regarding areas such as media law, and methods for relationship building with schools.