Sexting Teens 700% More Likely To Engage In Sexual Activity

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January 6, 2014 1:26pm PST

A new study has brought to light some startling facts about one of the latest tends—sexting.  According to the study, adolescence who have participated in sexting were 3 to 7 time more likely to have engaged in sexual activity than those students who have not.

A study comprise of 420 “high-risk,” 12-14 year old adolescents and spanning from 2009 to 2012 is showing that sexting may not be as innocent—for lack of a better word—as parents were hoping.  Now of course sexting isn’t innocent, but seeing how sending pictures isn’t going to get anyone pregnant or giving anyone gonorrhea, it’s a much more innocent act than its alternative.

(See also: Teens’ Self-Generated “Sexting” Pictures Are Ending Up On Pedophile Websites)

For those of you not quite sure what sexting it, it refers to the act where one person sends sexually explicit texts to someone else and maybe even a nude or partially nude photo over the phone.

That being said, as adolescence are the most confused as they enter the sexually capable parts of their lives, it seems that the immaturity of sexting is most commonly done by teenagers and those in their early 20’s.

The study revealed that out of the 420 kids, more than one in five of them had participated in sexting.  What’s more, is that those that had participated in sexting within the last 6 months, were 3 to 7 times more likely to have engaged in some form of sexual activity—“included making out, touching genitals and having vaginal or oral sex.”

Of course this study may have a relevance to children, but it was completely examining mostly high-risk kids so the numbers can’t speak for all 12-14 year olds.

Out of the 420 kids in the study, 17 percent were found to have sexted a sexually explicit text at some point within the past 6 months. On top of that, another 5 percent admitted to sending sexually explicit texts as well as nude or partially nude photos of themselves over the phone.

The study suggested that the “sexters” occurred in the older spectrum of kids involved in the study hinting at those who were further along in the stages of puberty.

(See also: “Jackass!” Serial Sexter Anthony Weiner Explodes At Jewish Voter Who Calls Him “Disgusting”)

Also children that admitted to having trouble expressing their emotions were more like to have sexted.  Staff psychologist at Rhode Island Hospital’s Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center, Christopher Houck, explained that, “It could be that for kids who have trouble with emotional processing that it’s a little bit easier to sext somebody than to say face-to-face, ‘Hey, I like you’ and see what that response is.”

The study suggests that as people become more comfortable with internet interaction, parents must be ever diligent when it comes to their children.  Director of behavioral health and research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Texas, Jeff Temple, expresses that sexting must be a part of the “birds and bees” discussion parents have with their children.

A previous study backed Edward’s statement when it revealed “that almost 60 percent of teens had been asked to send naked photos of themselves through text or email.”

Edwards stated, “Your kid is going to be asked to send a naked picture.” He went on to convey, “It should go hand in hand with a talk about healthy relationships and sexual behavior.  It’s just part of the new portfolio of adolescence these days.”

Trying to relay that parents must talk to their children about sex, he says, “If you’re waiting for your child to come to you and you never broached that topic, they’re not going to know you’re open to that kind of conversation.”  He instead suggests that talking about sexting, “can be sometimes a less threatening strategy to get adolescents to open up.”

(See also: 10 Teachers Who Had Sex With Their Students In 2013)

Let us know you’re thoughts on sexting in comment below!

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