Middle school students who regularly sext are likely to be sexually active, study suggests

By Elizabeth Learned,

A new study suggested that young teens who send explicit texts, which is known as sexting, are more likely to be sexually active.

Reuters reported that a study involved surveying around 1,300 Los Angeles students who were in middle school. The study found that adolescents who participated in sexting were three to seven times more likely to be involved in sexual activities.

The study’s lead author, Eric Rice from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, e-mailed Reuters Health, saying “Even among kids as young as 11 to 13, those who sext are also sexually active.”

Students who received sexts were reported to be seven times more sexually active compared to those who sent a sext, who were three times more likely to be active. There has been past research done on high school students who sext and this survey that was done now adds middle schoolers to the research.

Daily Digest reported that Rice and his team were encouraging adults, including parents, educators, and pediatricians, to open discussions with these middle schoolers about how sexting can be dangerous and to have a discussion regarding sexual activity.

A statement by Rice said, “Our results show that excessive, unlimited, unmonitored texting seems to enable sexting. Parents may wish to openly monitor their young teen’s cell phone, check in with them about who they are communicating with, and perhaps restrict their number of texts allowed per month.”

The study is published in the Pediatrics journal.

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