The Conversation UK receives funding from Hefce, Hefcw, SAGE, SFC, RCUK, The Nuffield Foundation, The Ogden Trust, The Royal Society, The Wellcome Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Alliance for Useful Evidence, as well as sixty five university members.View the full list The government’s announcement of a new offence which criminalises the sending of sexual messages to children by adults focuses on a very narrow perceived loophole in the existing legislation surrounding child sexual abuse.
But by the time you’re in a serious relationship, there are certain subjects you absolutely must discuss if you’re going to continue to build a healthy partnership.
In the same Act, offences under Sections 8 and 10 cover inciting or causing a child to engage in sexual activity – perhaps closer to what we would typically think of as grooming.
Essentially it is an offence to encourage a child to do something sexual – this could include removing their clothing – and by including incitement, the offence occurs whether or not the activity encouraged (say, undressing or taking a photo) actually takes place.
The concern, something already raised, is that the criminalisation of children for “sexting”, where young people have sent partially clothed images of themselves to their peers.
Who will judge what is and is not a “sexual message”?