Teen ‘sexting’ not that big of a deal, study shows

sexting-shutterstock.jpg

We’ve all heard about how teenagers are bombarding each other constantly with text messages containing pictures of themselves in sexually explicit poses, a practice colloquially known as “sexting.” According to a newly-released study (pdf) from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), however, this troubling trend, well, isn’t one.

The study shows that, of the 1,560 American “youth Internet users” (ages 10 to 17) who were surveyed for the study, only 2.5 percent had “appeared in or created nude or nearly nude pictures or videos.” And that number drops to a mere 1 percent when you cut out the gratuitous “MySpace shot,” and include only images or video that show explicit nudity of any kind.

sexting-1

Still it would seem as though the children who do send out explicit pictures or videos of themselves either send them to a lot of people, or those pictures or video are passed around by others. Of those surveyed, 7.1 percent reported receiving nude or semi-nude images of other underage people, and 5.9 percent said they’d received sexually explicit images.

As one would presumably expect, the number of youths who sent out, or received, nude or semi-nude images was higher for older interviewees, with only one 10-year-old, one 11-year-old and zero 12-year-olds saying that they’d participated in such an exchange. That number jumped significantly for 16- and 17-year-old participants, however, with 28 and 31 percent, respectively, saying they’d either sent or received a sexually explicit image or video. Of the 39 youths who admitted that they’d appeared in or created images, 61 percent were girls, and 72 percent were either 16 or 17 years old.

Of those who admitted to appearing in nude or semi-nude images, 21 percent said they felt “very or extremely upset, embarrassed or afraid as a result.” Interestingly, the same emotional response was reported by a larger number (25 percent) of those who received such images or video.

Out of the 111 or so respondents who received nude or semi-nude photos, 28 percent said they reported doing so to a parent, teacher or the police.

In conclusion, the AAP offers some sobering words to those concerned about the true prevalence of sexting:

Sexting has been greeted in many media portrayals as yet another sign of the hypersexualization of youth and extreme risk-taking. In fact, however, many indicators of youth sexual behavior such as teenage pregnancy and the number of youth with multiple sexual partners have been improving in recent years,  in spite of such concerns. It is incumbent on youth-serving professionals not to respond or abet media portrayals that promote alarm. Sexting may not indicate a dramatic change in youth risktaking or youth sexual behavior. It may just make some of that behavior more visible to adults and other authorities.”

Image via AVAVA/Shutterstock]

Product Review

Want to see how powerful the Snapdragon 855 chip is? Just rev up the Xiaomi Mi 9

How fast do you want to go? If the answer to this is “as fast as possible,” then take a long look at the Xiaomi Mi 9. It’s one of the highest performance smartphones you can buy. It’s a real monster, and we’ve been using it.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (February 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

The best movies you’ll find on Hulu right now (February 2019)

From dramas to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Mobile

The Xiaomi Mi 9 is the powerhouse smartphone 2019 has been waiting for

Xiaomi has announced the Mi 9, and it's a real powerhouse. It comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, a triple-lens camera, a new in-display fingerprint sensor, and a new design. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

Samsung’s Galaxy S10e unapologetically rips a page out of iPhone XR’s playbook

Samsung's Galaxy S10e -- a new entry in the Galaxy S-series -- has a few things in common with Apple's lower-cost iPhone XR. From the price tag to the color, we take a look atthe similarities.
Mobile

LG starts MWC 2019 early with the new Q60, K50, and K40 phones

LG has announced three new smartphones ahead of Mobile World Congress 2019: The Q60, the K50, and the K40. All are midrange devices, but with some striking features, including multi-lens cameras.
Mobile

Here Technologies’ cellular map can tell when you’ll lose coverage on the road

Here Technologies' wants to make it a little easier for companies to know where cellular coverage is available on the roads. The company has announced a new coverage map that offers data about road coverage.
Mobile

Here's how you can watch the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event today

Samsung's skipping Mobile World Congress 2019 to launch its next big smartphone a week earlier in San Francisco. We're fully expecting the Galaxy S10 to show up, but what else will be there? Here's what to expect.
Mobile

The 2-year-old Nokia 6 is now being updated to Android Pie

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

Samsung beefs up just about everything in its Galaxy S10 smartphone range

Samsung has unveiled its 2019 flagship smartphone lineup, and there aren't just two phones as usual -- there are four. There's the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, as well as a new entry called the S10e, as well as the Galaxy S10 5G.
Product Review

If price is top of mind, Samsung’s Galaxy S10e is the flagship phone to buy

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus are joined with a new entry into the Galaxy S family -- the Galaxy S10e. It costs a little more than the original price of the Galaxy S9, but it’s meant to be the more affordable phone compared to the…
Mobile

What we like and what don’t like about the Galaxy S10

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 takes the elegant design to new heights, boasts incredible screen and camera tech, and offers speedier connectivity, but we don’t like the price and a few other things. Here’s what we like and don’t like about…