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Study: Middle Schoolers Engaged in Sexting Six Times More Likely to Be Sexually Active

"Our results show that excessive, unlimited or unmonitored texting seems to enable sexting," says a USC professor and lead author of the study.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

Middle school students who have engaged in "sexting" -- sending or receiving sexually suggestive text messages or photos -- are dramatically more likely to be sexually active, according to a USC study released today.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, differed from previous "sexting" studies that have primarily focused on high school students and young adults, according to researchers.

"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," according to Eric Rice, assistant professor at the USC School of Social Work and lead author of the study. "The sexting conversation should occur as soon as the child acquires a cell phone."

The study found that middle school students who received a "sext" message were six times more likely to report being sexually active. Young teens who sent sexually explicit tests were four times more likely to report being sexually active. Those who reported receiving a "sext" were 23 times more likely to have also sent one, researchers found.

According to the study, youth who texted more than 100 times a day were more than twice as likely to have received a "sext" and almost 4.5 times more likely to have sent one.

"Our results show that excessive, unlimited or unmonitored texting seems to enable sexting," Rice said. "Parents may 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."

--City News Service

Brainwashed_In_Church June 30, 2014 at 09:12 PM
I'd rather have my kid sext 10 messages a day than eat an extra donut a day or smoke cigarettes or watch 20 hours of TV a week or go to church.
Todd Picayune July 02, 2014 at 01:46 PM
Over one million registered sex offenders in the United States thank you for letting them in on your kids' lives.
Attila July 01, 2014 at 07:35 AM
The photographic recording and transmission of minors in a sexual connotation or state of nudity / partial nudity is production, possession and distribution of Child Pornography (California Penal Code 311). Every single time Child Pornography is viewed the victim is victimized yet once again (the standard law enforcement line). What the participants in this study (the ones dealing with imagery) are most likely to do, or should be doing, is being criminally prosecuted and, if not in prison, ending up on the Lifetime California Sex Offender Registry, where they belong. That is what the law says, and the law is the law.
College Planner July 16, 2014 at 01:07 PM
The degradation of our culture saddens me.


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