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Sexting and Cyberbullying
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Book description

Directed at policy makers, legislators, educators, parents, the legal community, and anyone concerned about current public policy responses to sexting and cyberbullying, this book examines the lines between online joking and legal consequences. It offers an analysis of reactive versus preventive legal and educational responses to these issues using evidence-based research with digitally empowered kids. Shaheen Shariff highlights the influence of popular and 'rape' culture on the behavior of adolescents who establish sexual identities and social relationships through sexting. She argues that we need to move away from criminalizing children and toward engaging them in the policy development process, and she observes that important lessons can be learned from constitutional and human rights frameworks. She also draws attention to the value of children's literature in helping the legal community better understand children's moral development and in helping children clarify the lines between harmless jokes and harmful postings that could land them in jail.


'In our increasingly complex society there is no more challenging context for the community and the law than young people's actions in cyberspace of sexting and bullying. This book shines light on the nuanced complexities of the problem in an easy to read style, essential reading for educators, policy makers and the legal profession. Shariff brings her wealth of knowledge in this area to the book as well as providing a strong voice for change.'

Marilyn Campbell - Queensland University of Technology

'Shaheen Shariff’s thorough and thoughtful book Sexting and Cyberbullying is a must read for anyone who wants to better understand the pervasive and complex problems implicit in the modern world of technology and social media. Drawing upon her extensive knowledge and research on cyberbullying, she provides a practical and sensitive analysis of how to respond to the dark underbelly of the internet, without condemning the digitally empowered younger generation. Shaheen Shariff rises to the challenge set in her title and 'defines the line' between pushing the boundaries of social media and thoughtlessly victimizing other human beings. While the temptations to judge and punish in both courts and the courts of public opinion are great, Professor Shariff demonstrates their limits. Her more nuanced exposition of the problems of cyberbullying and sexting and evidenced based responses to these problems offer real hope for positive change and relief for the many victims.'

A. Wayne MacKay - Yogis and Keddy Chair in Human Rights Law, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University

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