Research & Policy Updates
RPUs provide the latest information on policy developments, consultations and key research reports, along with links to the original resources. You need to be a member of RiP to access full RPUs, have a website account and be logged in – if you don’t have an account you can create one here.
The research articles this month explore online safety.
The internet provides many opportunities for exploration, but can leave children and young people vulnerable to risks and expose them to experiences which may be upsetting.
One such risk is exposure to pornography, which is explored in the article by Stanley and colleagues. This survey study found that boys' perpetration of sexual coercion and abuse was significantly associated with regular viewing of online pornography. Online sexual exploitation is another risk associated with the internet, as exemplified in the article by Kloessa and colleagues. This descriptive study analysed transcripts of online chat logs to explore offender–victim interactions.
Another online risk that has received much attention in the media is cyberbullying. Wolke and colleagues' study found that cyberbullying tends to co-occur with non electronic forms of bullying and creates very few new victims.
The final article by Livingstone and colleagues found different patterns of internet use between boys and girls, and also at different developmental stages. This paper identifies the diversity of online risks, and highlights children's concerns about violent imagery online.
A common theme in these papers is the importance of listening to the voices and concerns of children and seeking their views on potential solutions to online risks.Read more