Physician's Briefing News
'Sexting' Is Prevalent Among Adolescents
TUESDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- More than one in four teenagers report having sent a naked picture of themselves by text or e-mail and about a third have requested a sext, with those who engage in sexting behavior more likely to have begun dating and to have had sex, according to a study published online July 2 in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Jeff R. Temple, Ph.D., from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and colleagues surveyed 948 Texas public high school students (55.9 percent female; various ethnic backgrounds) about their history of dating, sexual behaviors, and sexting (sending and being asked to send nude photos of themselves through text or e-mail).
The researchers found that 28 percent had sent a sext and 31 percent had asked someone for a sext. In addition, 57 percent had been asked to send a sext and most reported being bothered by the request. Boys were more likely to ask for a sext and girls were more likely to have been asked. White/non-Hispanic and African-American adolescents were more likely to sext, and those who sexted were more likely to have begun dating and to have had sex.
"The results suggest that teen sexting is prevalent and potentially indicative of teens' sexual behaviors," Temple and colleagues conclude. "Teen-focused health care providers should consider screening for sexting behaviors to provide age-specific education about the potential consequences of sexting and as a mechanism for discussing sexual behaviors."
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