Sexting. It’s a buzzword that has become synonymous with irresponsibility or promiscuity, something we know exists and yet we don’t quite want to openly acknowledge, kind of like not really wanting to admit that frozen yogurt doesn’t actually contain less sugar than plain old ice cream.
But here’s the exposed truth about sexting: It DOES exist, and it’s something most teens will participate in or face sometime in their young years.
11 facts you need to know about sexting:
- Teenage girls have a few reasons for why they participate in sexting: 40% do it as a joke, 34% do it to feel sexy, and 12% feel pressured to do it.
- 17% of sexters share the messages they receive with others, and 55% of those share them with more than one person.
- While nearly 70% of teen boys and girls who sext do so with their girlfriend or boyfriend, 61% of all sexters who have sent nude images admit that they were pressured to do it at least once.
- Nearly 40% of all teenagers have posted or sent sexually suggestive messages, but this practice is more common among boys than girls.
- Sending semi-nude or nude photos is more common among teens girls. 22% of teen girls report sending images of this nature, while only 18% of same-age boys have.
- 15% of teens who have sent or posted nude/semi-nude images of themselves send these messages to people they have never met, but know from the Internet.
- Sending or receiving a sexually suggestive text or image under the age of 18 is considered child pornography and can result in criminal charges.
- 24% of high-school age teens (ages 14 to 17) and 33% of college-age students (ages 18 to 24) have been involved in a form of nude sexting.
- Sexting is defined by the U.S. court system as “an act of sending sexually explicit materials through mobile phones.” The messages may be text, photo, or video.
- In the U.S., 8 states have enacted bills to protect minors from sexting, and an additional 13 states have proposed bills to legislation.
- 11% of teen girls ages 13 to 16 have been involved with sending or receiving sexually explicit messages.
Folks, underage sexting is NOT COOL! While sexting might seem like a better alternative than real, in-person physicality, sexting does nothing to lessen the temptation of going too far when you’re actually in the same room with that person. And sending a picture to someone you may or may not know, who may or may not show that picture to other people, and who may or may not still have that photo for months or maybe even years after you regretted sending it? Just plain risky (and in some cases, illegal – see #7). And, let’s face it, stupid.
Get the citations here.