Research & Reports

In this section you will find a number of research documents and reports covering a wide rande of issues, from a variety of differnet organisations, including;

  • Charities
  • Multinational Organisations
  • Police
  • United Nations

Each of the reports covers a range of issues and gives the research and theory begind the finding and conclusions. In turn, thay can then be used to shape the narrative at both a national and local level. There is a summary and main findings for each report that gives a flavour any synopis of each article.

Digital Romance

Digital Romance is a research project that set out to explore how young people are using digital technologies in their romantic relationships. The project focussed particularly on how young people use tech as they flirt, meet new partners, start relationships, communicate in relationships, negotiate pressure, break up and survive post break up. We also wanted to know what support young people might like from others to enable them to have enjoyable and safe relationships. 

Main Findings

  • Young people told said that they wanted the adults in their lives to understand the centrality of technology to their lives and relationships and the ways in which this afforded positive as well as negative experiences.
  • When it came to the negatives, young people’s experiences and views demonstrated that technology could exacerbate the ‘drama’ of their relationships, and that some apps and platforms can be conducive to commenting (at times critically) on others’ appearance, interfering in others’ relationships and break-ups, as well as cheating and jealousy.
  • Technology also provides opportunities to verbally abuse, control and apply sexual pressure, and can make it easy to hurt others on the back of difficult post break-up feelings. Furthermore it facilitates stranger ‘hook ups’ (with their attendant risks) and the phenomenon of sharing others’ personal images without consent.
  • Although these harms and risks were not experienced equally by all young people; some disproportionately affected LGBT young people, young women and/or those without supportive and open relationships with peers or adults.
  • Whilst technology provides so many opportunities and feels essential to the lives of young people, it has not replaced in-person experience and communication, and it does not define young love lives.
  • A number of young people talked about offline as ‘the real world’, suggesting it is seen as qualitatively different and at times more authentic than online experiences (although this was not the case for all young people).
  • Furthermore, the majority of young people surveyed generally preferred and placed greater value on face-to-face communication.

Key Areas For Development

  • Deliver relationship skills education throughout a child’s education (not just a few lessons)
  • Make use of interactive technology to deliver some PSHE – e.g. online modules
  • Promote positive teacher-child; parent-child; and peer-peer relationships
  • Build holistic self-esteem and confidence in young people
  • Support young people in supporting others
  • Create positive school cultures, for example where harmful practices and attitudes are
    stigmatised within the peer group

Adults' Media Lives

Ofcom’s Adults’ Media Lives study was originally set up in early 2005 to provide a small-
scale, rich and detailed qualitative complement to Ofcom’s quantitative surveys of media literacy.

This 14-year ethnographic video study has tracked the changing nature of individuals’
relationship with digital media – how it fits into their lives, what motivates them to adopt
new technology and learn new skills, their usage habits, levels of understanding, issues
and concerns about media.

Main Findings

  • Acquisition of new media hardware (smart TVs, smartphones, tablets etc.) and services
    (such as super-fast broadband, streaming services, etc.);
  • Development of media skills, confidence in the use of digital media, and adoption of
    new online activities (e.g. sharing content via social media);
  • Use of mobile devices to consume content;
  • Sources of knowledge and information about media;
  • Trust in media providers across different media platforms;
  • Concerns about privacy, security and safety.
  • Experience of harmful and hateful content, and attitudes towards internet regulation.

Media Lives for Children - Ofcom

As children grow older and technology advances, their consumption of media and attitudes around this inevitably change. Some changes are more obvious than others. Widespread fads, such as playing Fortnite, using ‘angel’ filters on selfies, or watching Love Island, can rapidly take hold of swathes of young people, but just as quickly pass away.

Understanding these fads is important because they demonstrate what young people value in the online world, and what they believe will give them social currency. They can also be wide reaching, affecting so many young people in a short space of time. However, subtler changes, while harder to detect, may be even more significant, because they can be indicators of longer-term trends and shifts in the underlying drivers of behaviour.

Main Findings

  • Children are consuming media in ways that are:
    • More solitary than ever – children are spending more time watching content alone on their own devices, sharing less family viewing and watching less and less TV content
    • More self-regulated – some of the young people from their mid-teens are starting to demonstrate an awareness that too much social media could distract them from other things, and are developing strategies to manage their own time spent online, specifically on social media
  • The content children post is more curated:
    • Children appear to be more reserved about what they post online - limiting their online profiles to just a few images or posts, and spending more time ‘re-posting’ content from others, rather than posting their own self-generated content
    • Some appear to be more image-conscious this year, using specific filters with aesthetic, rather than funny effects
  • Children also seemed to discuss the inappropriate content they were seeing more openly with researchers than in previous years’.

Internet Watch Foundation - Annual Report

The Internet Watch Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation supported by the European Commission andvinternet companies around the world. They work closely with police and
governments, globally. For 23 years, they have given people a safe place to report imagery anonymously, now covering 25 countries. They assess every report they receive. If it shows the sexual abuse of a child, they make sure the image or video is emoved. To do this effectively, they develop new technology and provide bespoke tools to industry members. Their work relies on compassionate and resilient staff members, who are highly trained and carefully looked
after. They encourage others to play their part, whether it is reporting, funding, or collaborating on technology and research.

NB: Some of statistical content of this report is sensitive in nature and topic

How To Handle Sexting As A Parent Or Teacher

For under-18s, however, it’s a different situation. If you take a nude image of yourself, you have created an indecent image of a child. If you share this image, you have distributed an indecent image of a child. If you keep it on your phone, you are in possession of an indecent image of a child. Yes, it’s a bit of a peculiar law and, yes, it doesn’t exactly make sense, but it exists with good reason.

Main Findings

Its important to stress that the last thing someone needs to be made to feel when sexting has gone wrong is maligned, belittled, or judged. Telling somebody off for something they’ve already done isn’t going to change what’s happened. Reacting in a calm and supportive way will do a lot to relieve the trauma and betrayal that come with these kinds of incidents.

  • Be calm and supportive
  • Avoid judging, castigating, or moralising
  • Focus on solutions and moving on from the incident

Talking doesn’t always come easy
It’s one thing to say:“You can talk to me about anything.” It’s another thing for someone to believe it.

  • There isn’t a silver bullet for this. All you can do is react reasonably, compassionately, and with their best interests in mind in other situations to prove that that’s the way you will always react.

UN Convention On The Rights Of A Child

Recognizing that the United Nations has, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenants on Human Rights, proclaimed and agreed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,

  • Recalling that, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations has proclaimed that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance,
  • Convinced that the family, as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children, should be afforded the necessary protection and assistance so that it can fully assume its responsibilities within the community,
  • Recognizing that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should growup in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding,
  • Considering that the child should be fully prepared to live an individual life in society, and brought up in the spirit of the ideals proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, and in particular in the spirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity,
  • Bearing in mind that, as indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, “the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth”.