Fears raised over surge in teenage ‘sexting’ during lockdown

Youth workers have raised concerns about an increase in young people “sexting” during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) said young people were more likely to have engaged in risky online behaviour during the pandemic because of their heavy reliance on online communication with their peers.

Rachael Treanor, NYCI’s national youth health programme manager, said that online platforms were “almost the sole method of communication” in recent months and that some young people will have sent explicit images or messages and now regret it.

“As restrictions begin to ease over the coming months, and young people begin to resume youth clubs and meet friends, some will experience anxiety due to risky sexual behaviours which they may have engaged in during the Covid-19 restrictions,” she said.

Ms Treanor added that many young people were not aware of the laws surrounding sexting.