More than one in four teenagers 'sexting', says study
- — 05 July, 2012 22:00
If you thought sexting - sending nude photos of yourself over sms or email - was rare, the results of a Texas study will make you think again.
Researchers surveyed nearly 1000 teenagers from seven public high schools in southeast Texas. the teenagers are being followed over a three year period to record data about teenage dating, violence and other adolescent behaviour. Teens were aged 14-19, and were 46% male, 56% female.
Teens were asked “Have you ever sent naked pictures of yourself to another through text or e-mail”, “Have you ever asked someone to send naked pictures of themselves to you” and “Have you ever been asked to send naked pictures of yourself through text or e-mail”.
Some 28% of the teenages had sent a naked picture of themselves over text or email, with numbers split evenly between male and female teens.
Girls reported being asked to send naked pictures of themselves far more often, however, with 68% having been asked to send a naked picture of themselves to someone over text or email. In comparison, 41% of boys had been asked.
Girls were far more bothered by such requests, too, with 27% saying they were "bothered a great deal" by having been asked, whereas only 3% of boys chose that option.
Boys were more likely to ask for naked pictures, with 46% saying they'd asked someone, compared to less than half that number for girls (21%).
Teenagers who had sexted were more likely to have started dating and having sex, and the researchers suggest that sexting may be thought of as something you do while dating someone - sending or asking for naked pictures from a boyfriend or girlfriend.
While the estimated rates of sexting have varied a great deal - anywhere from 1% to 31% - this study claims to be the most representative sample of US teenagers.
The study is published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.