Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sexting: Not the Epidemic We Thought

It turns out that teens are not sexting as frequently as was previously thought. A new study conducted by a researcher at the Crimes Against Children Research Center (N.H) conducted interviews with 1,560 youth nationwide and found the following:
  • 2.5% of kids age 10-17 admit to creating or appearing in photos or videos where they are "nude or nearly nude. Many of the photos were of kids who were clothed or wearing bathing suits.
  • 1.8% created "nude or nearly nude" images of themselves; only six (0.4%) said they photographed someone else;
  • 1.3% said they appeared in or created images that showed naked body parts;
  • 7% said they received such images.
These findings are much less than those from a 2008 study when it was reported that 20% of teens (ages 13-19) shared "nude or nearly nude" pictures of themselves.

Parents are still encouraged to talk openly with they children about the dangers of sexting but are reminded to keep the conversation in perspective. The report reminds parents that "99% of kids are not" sexting at all. provides parents with a set of tips for talking with their teen about sexting. Additional suggestions for parents is available from the American Academy of Pediatrics.