Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
  Breaking News: FDA Approves Triumeq, New Once-Daily Combination Pill
  
  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

U.S. News

Teen "Sexting:" Less Common Than Parents May Fear

December 16, 2011

The first study to look at the prevalence of "sexting" -- sending sexually explicit pictures of oneself via digital media -- among teens finds the practice is not as common as many parents fear.

The team surveyed 1,560 Internet-using children ages 10-17. When asked broadly about sexting, 2.5 percent said they had made or appeared in "nude or nearly nude pictures or videos" of themselves. However, just 1 percent of the youths said they had engaged in explicit sexting -- pictures showing "naked breasts, genitals or bottoms" -- during the past year. Older teens were far more likely than younger children to create, send, or receive sexual images.

Just 10 percent of youths who created sexually explicit images of themselves actually sent them to others, and 3 percent of kids who received such images forwarded them. The youths defined sexting in broader terms than adults.

Advertisement
Twenty-eight percent of youths making or receiving sexts reported them to adults or authorities or were caught getting or sending such messages. Most sexting is created in the context of a prank or an existing romantic relationship. Approximately three in 10 sexts occurred in situations where alcohol or drug use was an aggravating factor.

"The data suggest that appearing in, creating, or receiving sexual images is far from being a normative behavior for youth," said investigators from the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center. Widespread reporting on the trend, legal actions against some who engage in it, and unfamiliarity with kids' digital worlds can skew parents' understanding of sexting, they said.

The study, "Prevalence and Characteristics of Youth Sexting: A National Study," was published online in Pediatrics (2011;doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-1730).

Back to other news for December 2011

Adapted from:
Los Angeles Times
12.05.2011; Melissa Healy


  
  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More on HIV Prevention in Young People

No comments have been made.
 

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read TheBody.com's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:


Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:

Tools
 

Advertisement