Teens Get Sexts, but Who’s Sending?


Scores of teens say they’ve received sexually suggestive or nude images or videos from others. But far fewer say they’ve sent them, according to the just-released study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

According to the study, 4% of cell-owning teens ages 12-17 say they have sent sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images or videos of themselves to someone else via text messaging, a practice also known as ¢â‚¬Å“sexting¢â‚¬. 15% say they have received such images of someone they know via text message. In addition, 6% of children ages 12 to 13 said they’d received sexts. The results also included children who’d seen the messages on passed-around cell phones, a potential wake-up for parents who think they’re insulating their kids from sexts by prohibiting them from owning a phone according to the study.

¢â‚¬Å“Teens explained to us how sexually suggestive images have become a form of relationship currency,¢â‚¬ said Amanda Lenhart, Senior Research Specialist and author of the report. ¢â‚¬Å“These images are shared as a part of or instead of sexual activity, or as a way of starting or maintaining a relationship with a significant other. And they are also passed along to friends for their entertainment value, as a joke or for fun.¢â‚¬

Focus group findings show that sexting occurs most often in one of three scenarios:

1. Exchanges of images solely between two romantic partners

2. Exchanges between partners that are then shared outside the relationship

3. Exchanges between people who are not yet in a relationship, but where often one person hopes to be.

David has been a systems thinker most of his life. He has started three businesses as well as designed and developed systems and processes in existing organizations. He has a Doctorate in Leadership and has also done additional post-graduate work in communications.

He has also pastored 3 churches and loves to think about, write about and podcast about scripture, theology, and leadership.

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