Sexting ResearchIt’s not quite clear how prevalent Sexting is.
- Between 4% of cell-owners ages 12 to 17 have sent sexually suggestive images of themselves by phone and 15% of cell owners that age have received “sexts” containing images of someone they know. (Lenhart, 2009) to 20% of teens had sent or posted nude or semi-nude photos or videos of themselves via cell phones or the Internet, and 33% sent sexually suggestive messages (Sex and Tech, 2008).
- Almost 30% of respondents stated that images or videos meant for someone else had been shared with them. (Sex and Tech, 2008).
- Sext Senders are more likely to be girls (65% girls vs. 35% boys) and more likely to be older (61% ages 16-18, 39% ages 13-15)
- Teens are more likely to think people their age are old enough to decide for themselves whether sexting is all right (76% vs. 54% for teens overall) and more likely to think adults overreact when teens send sexually suggestive text message and emails to each other (67% vs. 48% for teens overall)
- Three in 10 friends of sext senders say the photos were forwarded to someone
- About three-quarters of teens think that sexting with photos of someone under 18 is wrong (Cox Communications, 2009)
- Exchanges of images solely between two romantic partners (60% of senders and 75% of receivers)
- Exchanges between partners that are then shared outside the relationship
- Exchanges between people who are not yet in a relationship, but where often one person hopes to be.
- Peer pressure (over 23% of teens)
- Pressured by a boyfriend to send or post sexually explicit material (over 50% of teen girls) (Sex and Tech, 2008))
- The effect of the media on teens’ attitudes and beliefs about sex, as well as their behavior. Teenagers “that everyone out there is having sex but them . . . .” (Arcabascio, 2010). In addition, Teens do not evaluate risks and benefits of risky conduct as quickly as adults )
- 66% of females responded that they sexted “to be fun and flirtatious”)
- Teen sexting provides one more way for teens to individuate from family, gain peer approval and explore their sexuality. (McLaughlin, 2010))
- A teen sending a nude or semi-nude photo to another person can be charged with possession or dissemination of child pornography.
- The recipient of such a photo can be charged with possession of child pornography simply because the digital image is on his or her phone.
- The initial recipient can be charged with child pornography if he or she forwards the digital image to anyone else.
- Sexual content posted by teens may prompt the perception among teen viewers that sex is normal, even glamorous, and risk-free (Moreno et al., 2009a).
- Teens engage in sexting due to the fact that they believe their cell phones are private domain although most are unaware of the consequences. (Sharicka 2009)
- User-generated sexual content may increase the pressure virginal teens feel to become sexually active. (Moreno et al. (2009b)
- Young people, especially girls, who share provocative or sexual imagery of themselves, engage in a form of self-objectification in which young people "learn to think of and treat their own bodies as objects of others' desires." In so doing, young people may "internalize an observer's perspective on their physical selves and learn to treat themselves as objects to be looked at and evaluated for their appearance" (American Psychological Association, 2007, p. 18). Reputations are harmed, relationships broken, and friendships shattered when receivers of naked images violate senders' trust by sending the images on to others.
Arcabascio, C. (2010), Sexting and Teenagers: OMG R U Going 2 Jail???, XVI Rich. J.L. & Tech. 10 Retrieved July 4, 2010 from http://jolt.richmond.edu/v16i3/article10.pdf.
Brown, J. D., Keller S., & Stern, S. (2009). "Sex, sexuality, sexting, and sexed: adolescents and the media." The Prevention Researcher 16.4: 12+. Academic OneFile. Web. 1 July 2010.
Cox Communications (2009). Teen Online and Wireless Safety survey: Cyberbullying, sexting, and parental controls. Research findings. Retrieved July 5, 2010 from http://www.cox.com/takecharge/safe_teens_2009/media/2009_teen_survey_internet_and_wireless_safety.pdf
Diliberto, G.M. & Mattey, Elizabeth, Sexting: Just How Much of a Danger Is It and What Can School Nurses Do About It? NASN School Nurse; Nov 2009; 24, 6; ProQuest Health and Medical Complete pg. 262
Lenhart, A. (2009). “Teens and Sexting”, A Pew Internet & American Life Project Report, Retrieved July 4, 2010 from http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/Teens-and-Sexting.aspx
McLaughlin, J.H., (2010) :Crime and Punishment: Teen Sexting in Context" ExpressO Available at: http://works.bepress.com/julia_mclaughlin/1
Reid, S. (2009). Facebook, Youth, ‘Sexting’, and Implications of Social Interaction, Sharicka 100312360, Youth Cultures SSCI 2025, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, & cosmogirl.com. (2008) “Sex and Tech: Results from a survey of teens and young adults”. Retrieved July 4, 2010 from http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/sextech/PDF/SexTech_Summary.pdf
Walker, J.T. & Moak, S. (2010). “Child’s Play or Child Pornography: The Need for Better Laws Regarding Sexting”, AJCS Today 35(1): 1-9.