'Sexting' linked to risky teen sex

2012-09-18 10:27
One out of every seven Los Angeles high school students with a cellphone has sent a sexually-explicit text message or photo. (AP)

One out of every seven Los Angeles high school students with a cellphone has sent a sexually-explicit text message or photo. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Los Angeles - One out of every seven Los Angeles high school students with a cellphone has sent a sexually-explicit text message or photo, and were also more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviours, according to a study based on a 2011 survey.

The study, published in Paediatrics, found that the LA teens who had sent racy texts were seven times more likely to be sexually active than those who said they'd never sent such a message.

"What we really wanted to know is, is there a link between sexting and taking risks with your body? And the answer is a pretty resounding 'yes'," said Eric Rice, a social network researcher from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, who led the study.

A study of Houston, Texas high school students out earlier this year found that one in four teens had sent a naked photo of themselves through text message or e-mail, and those kids were also much more likely to be having risky sex.

Rice's findings are based on 1 839 students in Los Angeles high schools, most of who were Latino. Three-quarters of them owned a cellphone that they used regularly.

Risky sex

On a survey sponsored by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, just over 40% of teens with a cellphone said they'd had sex, and about two-thirds used a condom the last time they did.

Rice said the rate of teen sexting in Houston may have been slightly higher than in Los Angeles because of demographic differences, but that overall the two reports are consistent.

"Somewhere in the middle is probably a pretty good estimate of what's going on nationally," said Jeff Temple, a psychologist and women's health researcher from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, who worked on the Houston study.

His research found that girls in particular who'd sent naked photos were more likely to engage in risky sex, to have had multiple recent sex partners or to use alcohol and drugs before sex.

"Sexting appears to be a reflection or an indication of actual sexual behaviour," Temple said. "What they're doing in their offline lives is what they're doing in their online lives."

With sexting, aside from the risky sexual behaviour, there's also the concern that naked photos will end up on the internet and teens will be bullied online, or that students who receive explicit texts could be charged with child pornography.

Temple and his colleagues are currently working on a study to see what typically comes first among teens - sexting or actual sex.

Rice said that media coverage of sexting controversies could be a good way for parents or teachers to talk to teens about sexting and sex.

"Sexting might be an easier conversation for teachers to start having with teens than a full-on conversation that starts, 'Let's talk about sex'," he said.

Read more on:    mobile  |  health  |  research
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

'Zuma's legacy will be judged by Nkandla'

The legacy of President Jacob Zuma is contingent on how he deals with the issue of upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, says Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia C3

The Nokia C3 Features a 2+ Megapixel Camera, A2DP, Bluetooth,...

From R1175.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.