Dr. Marla Shapiro: Teen 'sexting' rates higher than you might think
Published Tuesday, July 3, 2012 8:13AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 4, 2012 9:44AM EDT
Sexting...it's a combo of the words "sex" and "texting" and yes, it is exactly as it implies: the electronic sending of sexually explicit images or messages.
A study released in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine of seven public high schools notes that sexting is prevalent and may be linked to teens' sexual behaviour.
Teens ranging from 14 to 19 reported their history of dating, sexual behaviors and sexting. There were 4 questions asked:
- have you ever eamiled or texted a naked picture of yourself?
- have you ever asked anyone to send a naked picture?
- have you ever been asked to send a naked picture of yourself?
- if so, how bothered were you by it?
More than 1 in 4 responded that they had sent a nude picture of themselves through electronic means. About half had been asked to send a nude picture and about a third have asked for a nude picture to be sent to them. Boys were more likely to ask and girls were more likely to have been asked.
Teens who sexted were more likely to have begun dating and were more likely to have had sex than those who did not sext.
Social media it seems is now part of a routine health exam in terms of screening questions and screening behaviours. Discussing social media as is pointed out in the editorial may provide new ways to identify intentions or engagement in risky health behaviours.