Is your teen sexting?

Is your teen sexting?

With the advent of smartphones and social media, sexting — also known as the sharing of sexually explicit messages, images and videos through electronic devices — is becoming more and more common among teenagers, according to research published in JAMA Pediatrics.

The researchers from University of Calgary looked at data from 39 studies involving responses from 110,380 teenagers. They found almost 15 percent of teenagers sent sexts, while 27 percent received sexts.

While this doesn’t depict widespread sexting among teens, the researchers did find that sexting became more common as young adults got older.

Perhaps more alarmingly, the researchers also found that many teens (12 percent) were forwarding sexts without consent.

“Many teenagers explore sexuality, and exploring through smart phones is just another way to do that,” says Dr. Jose Elizondo, a family medicine physician at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “The key takeaway from these study results is that parents should be proactive in speaking with their teenage children about sexual education, the importance of consent and the potential consequences of sexting.”

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About the Author

Jaimie Oh
Jaimie Oh

Jaimie Oh, health enews contributor, is regional manager of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Health Care. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has nearly a decade of experience working in publishing, strategic communications and marketing. Outside of work, Jaimie trains for marathons with the goal of running 50 races before she turns 50 years old.