If you’re a parent with a teen who clings to their cell phone, you may want to take closer look at some of the texts your child might be sending out.
According to an article published in the Journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, nearly 30 percent of high school teens spend time on their phones sex texting, more commonly known as “sexting,” with other peers.
Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston surveyed seven Texas high schools to find that 28 percent of the nearly 1,000 students had sent a sext. 31 percent had requested one from someone else.
Parents clutch your pearls. Teens aren’t merely sexting, they’re also sending nude photos. Nearly half of the students surveyed had been asked by their classmates for nude pictures of themselves. Jeff R. Temple, lead author of the study, suggests parent talk to their teens about it. Especially since sexting has become more indicative of the risky sexy behavior that these teens could be engaging in.
“Relative to sex, sexting may be a less tension-filled or scary topic to bring up with teens, and thus could provide an opportunity to discuss sexual behaviors and safe sex,” he notes.
Though some young adults admit they enjoy sexting. Brian Kearney, a 17-year-old gay teenager, told ABCNews that he felt that sexting offered him a form of a love connection, since he often missed out on regular teenage connections.
Many parents and psychologists don’t agree with this line of thinking. One such Los Angeles psychologist, Seth Meyers, believes that sexting takes the place of intimacy:
“This behavior shows the power of peer pressure and the drive for girls and boys to be liked, and to do what they have to do in order to keep the other person interested.” He goes onto to mention that “this behavior plants the dangerous seed of treating your body like an object and treating sexuality as a means of fair trade rather than intimacy and respect.”
What would you do if you found your son or daughter or little sister or brother sexting?