• Leah Jewett

Secret slut pages & talking sexting with kids: Dr Megan Maas


Drawing of figure taping drawings of a naked Matisse-style body on the wall
Going public: image-based sexual abuse is the official term for revenge porn. Illustration: Jocelyn Tsaih (Self.com)

We’re always interested in what sex researcher and educator Dr Megan Maas of How The Evolution Of Porn Changed Adolescence TEDx talk fame is up to. Her latest study focuses on slut pages – “secret social media accounts or websites where boys and men post, rate and comment on nude and semi-nude images of girls and women from their institution”. Often they’re tied to American high schools, college fraternities and, as explained in a 2017 Guardian article, the military. In her recent study Just Checking It Out? Motivations For And Behavioral Associations With Visiting “Slutpages” In The United States And Australia, Dr Maas and her colleagues recommend that teens and young adults be educated about slut pages in order to tackle the social norms that encourage non-consensual image-sharing. As Dr Maas says in her March 2021 piece Jocks and frat boys more likely than other men in college to visit “slut pages” and post nude images without consent, she is researching how schools respond to and are trying to prevent image-based sexual abuse – that’s an official term for revenge porn – and other forms of sexual harassment. Most people who visit slut pages and post sexual or intimate images are male and often from “stereotypically masculine” groups such as sports teams – and most find these pictures or videos “funny” or “not a big deal”. That’s also how boys commonly see sexting. So how can parents talk to their kids about sexting? Dr Maas has a few quick suggestions:

Ask your child: “What do kids – or your friends – think when naked pics of others are shared? Do they think that’s funny, stupid, cool, mean or…?"

Depending on their response, you can probe deeper about why they think it is funny, stupid, cool or whatever else

• Ask your child what they would do if someone sent them a nude or semi-nude pic of someone else.


You could ask: “Would you tell the person in the pic that the image is circulating? Would you tell the sender to to stop sharing?”

• Rather than lecturing your child about what is right or wrong, it’s better to help them think of ways they would act in these scenarios

Hear what the wise Dr Maas has to say about kids, porn and consent – and how parents can talk openly about these topics – on two recent 20-minute Happy Families podcasts…



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