According to a study by Drexel University, more than half of the undergraduate students surveyed said they had sexted when they were teens. Nearly 30 percent said they included photos in their sexts, and an alarming 60 percent said they didn’t know texting nude photos could be considered child pornography.
“There are now a few pieces of research [that find] this is not a rare behavior,” said Elizabeth Englander, author of “Bullying and Cyberbullying,” in an article on CNN.com. “It appears to be widespread. It’s engaged in by many kids who are functioning well and not having problems and it’s not very unusual or rare.”
The reasons why teens sext vary, especially between boys and girls. Many girls sext as a joke, as a way of getting attention, or because of “pressure from guys,” while boys sometimes blame pressure from friends. But for some teens, it’s almost become normal behavior, a way of flirting, being seen as cool, or becoming popular.
Teens should understand that messages, pictures or videos sent digitally or posted online are never truly private or anonymous. If a compromising image of your teen becomes public or is sent to others, your teen could be at risk of humiliation, embarrassment, and public ridicule. Even worse, it could damage your teen’s self-image and possibly lead to depression and other mental health issues.
And don’t overlook the potential for legal consequences. In some states, a teen could face felony charges for texting explicit photos or may even be required to register as a sex offender.
Beyond that, questionable behavior online can haunt a college applicant or prospective employee years later. More and more colleges and employers check online profiles looking for indications of a candidate’s suitability—or giant red flags about bad judgment and immaturity.
To help keep your child safe online Download the MASKmatters App and read the Digital Etiquette Issue
The parenting manual offering solutions to the modern-day challenges families face. From Pre-K
through College stay up to date on the modern day issues families face.
MASK Mothers Awareness on School-age Kids offers parenting solutions for today’s families. MASK tackles important topics – from drugs and alcohol to bullying and Internet safety -and gives students, parents and the community the knowledge and tools to manage these potential challenges.
Subscribe today! https://www.maskmatters.org/product/mask-the-magazine/
Download and share the MASKmatters app now! Made for children, parents, teachers and in Spanish.
Have solutions at your fingertips
Available free on apple and google play links below