WDAY.com |

North Dakota's #1 news website 10,650,498 page views — March 2014

Published July 07, 2012, 11:30 PM

Study: More than 1 in 4 teens have ‘sexted’

A new survey of hundreds of high school students in the Houston area finds that 28 percent have sent a naked photo of themselves through email or cell-phone texting. And more than half said they’d been asked to send someone else a naked photo.

By: Source: HealthDay.com, INFORUM

A new survey of hundreds of high school students in the Houston area finds that 28 percent have sent a naked photo of themselves through email or cell-phone texting. And more than half said they’d been asked to send someone else a naked photo.

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.

Touted as the most advanced research on sexting in the U.S., the survey does have limitations: The group of students surveyed had a higher rate of ethnic minorities than in American public schools overall, and only those whose parents agreed were allowed to answer the questions.

Still, the findings suggest that sexting, the practice of sending explicit material or information via texting, “is a fairly prevalent behavior among teens,” said study lead author Jeff R. Temple, a psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “And teens who engage in sexting behaviors may be more likely to have had sex. In other words, sexting may be a fairly reliable indicator of sexual behaviors.”

The survey results, published this week in the journal Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, are based on responses from 948 students in 10th or 11th grade at seven Houston-area high schools.

All were between the ages of 14 and 19; 32 percent were Hispanic, 30 percent were white and 27 percent were black. (By comparison, white students accounted for 54 percent of U.S. public school students in 2010, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.)

Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed said they’d sent a naked photo of themselves, while 31 percent said they’d asked someone for a naked photo. The numbers may sound surprising, but Temple said he was hardly shocked.

“Based on several informal conversations with counselors, teachers, parents, and students, I was actually surprised it wasn’t a bit higher,” he said.

Other research has found “sexting” to be less common, with one study released last month revealing that 20 percent of 606 students surveyed at a Midwestern high school said they’d sent naked photos of themselves.

Temple said the new study may be more accurate than previous research because it’s based on a better representation of teens in the U.S.

What SheSays: New ways of communicating also mean new ways we need to educate our children.

Have you talked to your child about sexting? We’d like to hear from you for an upcoming story. Contact us at shesays@forumcomm.com.

Tags: