The results of a new study suggest that sexting—the act of sending sexually explicit messages via email or text—is more popular with teens than researchers previously thought.
A new study from the University of Texas Medical Branch found that 28 percent of Texas teens have sent nude pictures of themselves via email or text message. Jeff Temple, a Ph.D. at University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, set out to discover the prevalence and nature of teens’ “sextual” activities, and to analyze the relationship between electronic sexual activity and sexual behaviors, Science Daily reported. Sexting is a popular locus of panic for modern parents and so this study will likely leave many wringing their hands.
The report, which surveyed nearly 1,000 teens aged 14 to 19 at seven different Houston-area public high schools, assessed the students’ sexting habits with four questions: if they had ever sent naked pictures of themselves through text or email, if they had ever asked someone to send them a naked picture, if they been asked to send naked pictures of themselves to someone, and, if so, how bothered they been by the request.
As noted by the Washington Post, the study only looked at the exchange of nude pictures, not any other sort of suggestive textual content.
The study finds that teenage sexting is more common that previously estimated, although, according to Temple, “There has been very little research to date about the percentage of adolescents engaged in this behavior. … I think our study is more socioeconomically and racially representative of the general population.”
“More than 1 in 4 adolescents have sent a nude picture of themselves through electronic means, about half have been asked to send a nude picture, and about