Survey: Over one-fourth of teens have sent nude photos of themselves

Bloomberg News reports, “More than a quarter of American teenagers sent nude photos of themselves electronically, and those who engaged in ‘sexting’ were almost twice as likely as their peers to have had sex,” according to a study based on a survey of almost “1,000 students ages 14 to 19 from seven public high schools in Texas published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.”

Overall, “of girls who had sent a nude message, more than 77 percent reported having had sex. For those who had never sent a naked photo, 42 percent said they had had sex.” Reuters reports that those who sent such photos were also more likely to engage in sex with multiple partners.

HealthDay reports, “Boys were more likely than girls to ask for naked photos, and girls were more likely to be asked to send a photo, the survey found.” Authors suggested that physicians caring for teens “enter into discussions about sex with teens during office visits by mentioning sexting” and that parents watch their children.

MedPage Today reports, “Overall, 28% of teens say they have sent a sext and 31% report asking for one from someone else, according to Jeff Temple, PhD, of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and colleagues.”

And, “in an accompanying editorial, Megan Moreno, MD, MPH, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Jennifer Whitehill, PhD, of the University of Washington in Seattle, took that advice a step further,” suggesting that “healthcare providers and researchers may also consider building education or prevention efforts within social media, as previous work illustrates that teens may be willing to investigate topics such as sexual behavior in a social media setting.”

WebMD reports, “Which came first, the sexting or the sex? ‘We can’t answer that with this study,’ Temple says. ‘We are doing [new] studies hoping to get that sequence of events.'”

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