Teens Who Sext Less Likely To Engage In Risky Sexual Behavior Than Parents Think


Probably much to the surprise of parents, a study published in the journal Pediatrics noted that there is no link between risky behavior and teenagers who engage in sexting explicit photos.

While the study found that those who sexted were likely to become sexually active within a year, risky sexual behavior like having multiple partners, using drugs or alcohol before a sexual encounter or failing to use protection was not connected to the group. In fact, researchers suggested that sexting itself isn’t harmful.

“’I’ll show you mine, you show me yours’ has been around for a long time,” Dr. Jeff Temple, an associate professor and psychologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch, said. “It’s the medium that makes it different and scary. The actual act of sharing pictures isn’t anything abnormal. It’s part of how we develop sexually.”

Temple noted that he and his team used anonymous surveys to study almost 1,000 sophomore and junior high school students in Texas. Some 28 percent of teenagers said they engaged in sexting – those who sent explicit photos were more likely to engage in sexual activity the following year. Interestingly, those who only asked or received a photo were not as likely to engage in sexual activity within the year.

“I think this is good news. It gives us a head start,” Temple said. “If we discover that a teen is sexting, it’s an opportunity to talk with that teen about sex prior to having it. We can use this as a vehicle to promote safer sexual practices and healthy sexual relationships.”

Temple added that parents who discover that their teens are texting should not be overly worried because it’s a springboard for discussion of safe sex. He noted that encouraging safe sex is the most important thing.

Source: Malaysian Digest


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