Teenagers who text a lot are more likely to sext and a new study says that they are also more likely to be sexually active. The study, which was published by Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, shows a direct correlation between excessive texting, sexting, and sex among teenagers.
Those who send more than 100 texts per day were more likely to have had sex as teens than their counterparts. Additionally, 20 percent of teens surveyed said that they had received a sext at least once. However, only 5 percent of them admitted to sending a sext, which implies that the data may not be entirely accurate. The study also found that if the teens had sent or received a sext, they were even more likely to have engaged in sexual activity of some sort.
According to data from students surveyed at one middle school in Los Angeles, those who said they had received a sext were six times more likely to report being sexually active, while those who sent a sext were almost four times more likely to say so. The researchers stated that teenage boys were more likely to report being sexually active than girls, and admitted to some inconsistencies in the data (some kids are lying).
The report concluded that doctors and parents “should discuss sexting with young adolescents because this may facilitate conversations about sexually transmitted infection and pregnancy prevention.”
Of course, underage sexual activity existed long before texting, so researchers cautioned against blaming technology for teens’ sexual behavior.
For more on sexting, see our feature: Underage sexting is considered child pornography, and that’s wrong.