Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Teens Who 'Sext' Have More Sex

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Teens Who 'Sext' Have More Sex

Article excerpt

FROM ARCHIVES OF PEDIATRICS AND ADOLESCENT MEDICINE

More than half of American teens have been asked to send a "sext," based on data from 948 high school students.

Sexting, the sending of explicit electronic messages, might predict real-life sexual behavior in teenagers, said Jeff R. Temple, Ph.D., of the University of Texas, Galveston, and his colleagues. Although teen sexting has received much media attention, data on the public health implications of this behavior are limited, the researchers said.

To determine the prevalence of teen sexting and how it relates to dating and sexual activity, Dr. Temple and his associates surveyed high school students from seven public high schools in Texas (Arch. Pediatr. Adolesc. Med. 2012; July 2 [doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2012.835]).

Overall, 28% of the teens reported sending a naked picture of themselves via text or e-mail (a "sext"), and 31% reported asking someone to send them a sext.

Approximately 28% of both genders reported sending a sext, but significantly more girls than boys reported having been asked for a sext (69% vs. 42%) and significantly more boys than girls reported having asked someone for a sext (46% vs. 21%).

"Among girls, there was a significant association between all sexting behaviors and all dating, sex, and risky sex behaviors," the researchers said.

Of the girls who reported sending a sext, 77% also reported having sex, compared with 42% of girls who did not report sending a sext. …

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