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A new study has shown that one in every five middle school age children who have behavioral or emotional problems have been sexting recently. Yes, sexting!
For those who don’t know, “sexting” is sending nude, partially nude or sexual messages via cell phone, computer, tablet, email, etc.
Reuters reported that the study also found that those who have admitted to sexting are also more likely to have engaged in sexual behavior recently as well. Christopher Houck, lead author of the study, cautions those reading the research to remember that the study was conducted with children that have behavioral and emotional problems.
We know technology is really encouraging young children to grow up faster, so how mobile devices and computers are affecting young people’s sexual behavior is very important. Research before this study has found that one in four admit to sexting, however, this is the first study to discover how many of these middle school aged children are sending photos of themselves.
Over four hundred adolescents took part in the survey. Twenty-two percent of these children admitted to sexting in the past six months, according to TODAY. Seventeen percent said that they sent text only, however, five percent sent text and photos.
Houck stated that it is a good idea for parents to monitor their children’s cell phones. “Certainly, if (parents) see photos, then that’s an extra warning sign that there might be a real need to have a conversation and to monitor,” Houck said.