Younger Teens See Sexting as a Substitute for Real Sex
By Afza Fathima | July 1, 2014 2:18 PM EST
A study done in a Los Angeles middle school shows that students sending and receiving "sext" messages were more likely to be sexually active than the non-sexting students. Younger teens see sexting as a substitute for real sex.
Sexting habits, according to the study published in the journal Pediatrics, are a strong predictor of sexual activity. In comparison to students who don't sext, students sexting were 3.2 times more likely to be active sexually. Those who received sext messages were seven times more likely to be sexually active. The conclusion of the researchers was that sexting and actual sexual activity go hand in hand.
Sending and receiving messages or photos in a mobile phone that have sexual content is called sexting. Previous studies show that high school students and young adults indulging in sexting are sexually active but this is the first time that the study has been performed on younger students.
The researchers, belonging to Los Angeles Unified School District and Sentient Research, wrote in the study, "There is a debate among researchers as to the exact relationship between sexting and sexual behavior." A few of them believe that younger kids see sexting as an alternative to sexual activity and the others say that sexting is a "part of contemporary adolescent sexual behavior".
Researchers added twenty seven questions to a survey, the Youth Behaviour Survey, which was distributed among 1,320 students from the sixth to the eighth grade and received 1,173 responses which could be used. 74% of the students owned a cellphone and 4.6 per cent admitted to sending atleast one sext and almost four times the number of students having sent a sext have received a text.
Eric Rice, assistant professor at the USC School of Social Work, said, "These findings call attention to the need to train health educators, pediatricians and parents on how best to communicate with young adolescents about sexting in relation to sexual behavior. The sexting conversation should occur as soon as the child acquires a cell phone. Our results show that excessive, unlimited and unmonitored texting seems to enable sexting".
Eric Rice suggested that parents might wish to openly monitor their young teen's cell phone, check in with them about who they are communicating with, and perhaps restrict their number of texts allowed per month.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Taylor Swift Named People's Best Dressed Stars Of 2014 [PHOTOS]
- Champions League Results: Barcelona Barely Escapes With A Win, Chelsea Fails To Hold On To The Lead [PHOTOS]
- Jeremy Lin, Kobe Bryant Among The Top 5 Overpaid Players In The NBA (Part 1 - Western Conference)
- Reasons Why Michael Jordan Is Better Than LeBron James [PHOTOS And VIDEO]
Join the Conversation
- Fung-Wong More Like Ketsana Than Haiyan; Kills 1, Displaces 470,000 Filipinos & Paralyses Metro Manila
- Enhanced Footage Of NASA's Tether Incident Proves Aliens Exist, Say UFO Believers And Experts [Watch Video]
- Asteroid That Killed Dinosaurs Are Responsible For A Greener Earth
- It’s Haiyan All Over Again As Philippines Grapples With Heavy Rain, Floods
- NASA's MAVEN To Reach Mars After A Ten-Month Journey[Watch Video]