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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/26/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Explicit photos sent over Smartphones puts many girls at risk for illicit sex

"Sexting," the sending of explicit nude photos and sexual messages through Smartphones is as prevalent as ever among the nation's teenagers. A new study has found that teenagers who engage in these practices, especially young girls, put them in danger of engaging in risky sexual behavior.

Sexting remains a fairly common practice among today's youth. Many believe that the practice is not harmless. Another recent survey has linked teen sexting to depression and other forms of psychological distress.

Sexting remains a fairly common practice among today's youth. Many believe that the practice is not harmless. Another recent survey has linked teen sexting to depression and other forms of psychological distress.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/26/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: Sexting, teenagers, explicit photos, teenage sex


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The three-year study into teenagers' sexting habits yielded interesting findings about these teens' sexual behavior. "Teen Sexting and Its Association With Sexual Behaviors," as published in July's issue of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, examined 1,000 subjects, aged 14 to 19 years of age. These subjects were from seven public high schools in Texas.

Researchers found that 28 percent of the teens said that they have sent a nude picture of themselves via text or email. Fifty-seven percent said that they have been asked to send nude photos.

In regards to "sexts" - sexually explicit text messages,  there wasn't much of a statistical difference between boys and girls. There was a significant gender discrepancy when it came to how those sexting practices affected their other sexual decisions.

It was found that teen girls who engaged in sexting behaviors also had a higher prevalence of risky sex behaviors, including multiple partners and using drugs or alcohol before sex. Researchers concluded that the use of sexting behaviors coincides with a much higher engagement in risky sex behaviors.

Teenage boys, on the other hand, for whom only having been asked for a sext was related to risky sex behaviors. Sexting, like actual sexual behaviors, is perceived more permissively and positively for boys, and thus not considered a risky behavior. In conclusion, it was less likely to be associated with other risky behaviors.

Girls also reported being "bothered" by requests for nude photos more than boys - by a margin of 27 percent to three percent. Most teenage boys, it was learned, either didn't mind or actually liked receiving such a request.

There is also a racial disparity as in who was sending and receiving sexts. Whites and African Americans were found to be far more likely to be engaging in this behavior than Hispanics or Asians.

Sexting remains a fairly common practice among today's youth. Many believe that the practice is not harmless. Another recent survey has linked teen sexting to depression and other forms of psychological distress.

Whatever the position people take on this practice, experts agree that parents must include the topic whenever discussing sex with their teenage children.



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