Shocking: Teens Talk Sex Online

from the well-what-do-you-know? dept

Forty percent of US teens have sent sexually suggestive electronic messages, a new study says, adding that one in five have sent "nude or partially clothed images of themselves" via email or mobile phone -- fulfilling Mike's earlier prediction, following an overblown report about kids getting naked on cameraphones, that we'd soon be warned about this widespread phenomenon. Let's ignore, for a moment, the fact that this was an online survey, so drawing conclusions about how all teens behave from it seems a little shaky -- but hey, it makes a good headline, right? We'll also suspend our disbelief that teens -- who are likely communicating in similar ways, about similar things, offline -- would do this sort of stuff.

As with so many of these reports about kids' online behavior, any sort of positive takeaway here gets buried. In this case, about 80 percent of those surveyed realize that sending these messages or photos online could cause regret later or embarrassment, and three-quarters of them say it can have serious consequences, illustrating that they have a decent understanding of the ramifications of their actions. Doesn't that paint a little more positive picture of teens, that they aren't just leaping blindly into some morass of sketchy behavior and putting themselves at risk? This parallels earlier reports that have found teens do a decent job of looking out for themselves online. It just makes you wonder if maybe giving teens a little more credit and going from there, rather than trying to paint pictures that scare parents and politicians into action, might be a more effective way to protect teens from all these supposed online problems.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    ehrichweiss, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 8:42am

    "Doesn't that paint a little more positive picture of teens, that they aren't just leaping blindly into some morass of sketchy behavior and putting themselves at risk?"

    Not if you factor in teen pregnancy going on the rise.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 8:48am

    teen pregnancy going on the rise because "stupid people" are also on the rise. There is dozens of ways to have sex without worrying about crapping a kid later. condoms, the morning after pill, birth control pills, abortion, etc. These things should be made more welcoming and easier for kids to get a hold of anonymously, put condom dispensers inside bathroom stalls in schools for instance. But no, people clinging to their backwards religions would rather close their eyes and have their spineless retard kids spawn more spineless retards.

     

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  3.  
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    RPK, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 8:54am

    Ummm...

    Teen pregnancy rates have risen from 0.021% to 0.022% from the year 2005 to 2006 (last time data was available). I would hardly call that a rise, and even if it was one year of change certainly does not constitute a trend. Does generate headlines, though!

     

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  4.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 9:01am

    Re:

    But there is this big rise in idiot parents that refuse to let their children know of such things. In sex-ed, now a days, it's all about abstinence. Safe sex has been removed from the class due to parent fear that it will encourage sex.

    My dad was telling me a story about getting a good looking camera and having the cheerleaders "pose" for him. It's not a modern thing, it's a teenager thing.

     

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  5.  
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    JO, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 9:03am

    Re: Ummm...

    Thank you! The fact that teen pregnancy is far lower now then it was before the proliferation of the cell phone/digital camera and the Internet is often left out of the debate.

    "Between 2005 and 2006, the birth rate for girls 15 to 19 rose 3 percent, from 40.5 births per 1,000 in 2005 to 41.9 births per 1,000 in 2006. This comes after 14 years of declining rates. During that time, teen births dropped 34 percent from a peak of 61.8 births per 1,000 in 1991, according to the report."

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 9:03am

    Teens talking sex

    I was outside a McDonalds the other night, listening to a couple of workers chat. One was this little 16 y/o girl talking about how and why she likes older guys.

    I was shocked, appalled, and yet still very interested to hear what she had to say...

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 9:25am

    The problem with your conclusion is that they are still doing it. 80% know it is dumb, but 40% are still doing it.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 9:34am

    Re:

    Ooh, can I be in that 20% slice who know it's dumb but is doing it anyways?

     

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  9.  
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    DS, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 9:45am

    This thread is useless without pics.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 9:49am

    Re: Re:

    Sounds good. Teenagers are probably the most logical people on the planet, so I am guessing I did the math wrong.

     

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  11.  
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    eebsnallof, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 11:15am

    If abstinence "education" actually prevented pregnancy, the species would be in big trouble.

     

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  12.  
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    toyotabedzrock, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 11:18am

    I believe this study and i think that the number are a little low. With the internet teens are able to for the first time develop there own sense of morality based on a more worldly view, rather than the view of there parents and community. The only thing that worries me is not that they share said pictures but who they share them with, for instance a person online pretending to be there age.

    Also i think this study came about because of a 15yo who was arrested for having child pornography, of herself, on her cell phone. Follow the link for more info.

    http://www.newarkadvocate.com/article/20081008/NEWS01/810080302

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 11:34am

    Carlo and Mike,

    I am constantly amused by some of the comments provided here. While unrelated to blogging, there can be times when a background in horticulture can be useful. Have you found a proper pruning technique yet?

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 11:50am

    we all come here for the comments anyways, it's the humorless sacks of hair that come in from time to time that makes this place boring.

     

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  15.  
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    Joe, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 1:03pm

    so 1/5 teens send semi sexi pictures...

    and 4/5 know it's not a smart thing to do. At least the math adds up.

    I'm not shocked, nor do i think this is something most parents should worry about. Most likely the parents who should worry are the ones who don't pay attention anyway.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 2:01pm

    Re:

    There are comments here? Where are they?

    I've been thinking of sending something mean to people that mean the most to me as a holiday gift. Maybe a big sack of goat or cow hair or something. Ideas?

     

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  17.  
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    Bradley Stewart, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 2:44pm

    TEENS DO SILLY THINGS? I'M SHOCKED!

    Well I'm not worried because I know Congress will hold endless hearings on the subject and if these great problem solvers can't get a fix for this shocking behavior I just don't know who can. I can hardly wait to see the rightess indignation on the faces of people like Joe Lieberman brooding and demanding that we must do something about this. I know, they will appoint a Blue Ribbon Commission to write a report on the subject. I certainly can't think of a better way to spend our tax dollars than this. The only thing that worries me is I hope that there is enough room on a dusty old shelf in that room where they send all these reports never to be seen again.

     

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  18.  
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    Dayamn1994, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 8:41pm

    hey

    anyone in the mood for a bj tonight?

     

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  19.  
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    Dan, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 11:33pm

    What? Teens are thinking about sex, and worse yet talk about it amongst themselves? We need immediate legislation to outlaw such selactious behavior. That should fix the problem.

     

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  20.  
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    ali, Dec 16th, 2008 @ 7:31am

    god s curse on u

    sick people,this is your sick culture,way of like,that yu want to send us? yu can go to hell and thake your sick and dirst culture and way of life with u,god s curse on yu,liers,frauds,land grabersoil stealers,USE CONDOMS,AND PLAN B PILL,Syu basterd.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    DS, Dec 16th, 2008 @ 12:41pm

    Re: god s curse on u

    Yes, I totally agree that you should use birth control to avoid procreating...

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 26th, 2008 @ 7:42pm

    call me my number is 9025790

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    abdallah, Jan 8th, 2009 @ 4:32am

    sex

    I hope to do my good habits

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2009 @ 4:50pm

    Offf fuck I am so horny !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    peyton, Feb 13th, 2009 @ 10:05pm

    omg

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2009 @ 10:06pm

    i am aight

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    fuck you, Feb 13th, 2009 @ 10:07pm

    Re:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    emily howards, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 6:36pm

    sex

    i looove sex and i am only ten

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2010 @ 2:51pm

    Re: TEENS DO SILLY THINGS? I'M SHOCKED!

    you want to have sex

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    pardonsimango, Mar 9th, 2010 @ 4:56am

    wuusp dood

    hie

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    alissa, Jul 18th, 2010 @ 4:13pm

    do you have sex

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    usha, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 6:57am

    sex

    i love having sex, i want to have sex but i cant find anyone to have it with!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Mark, Sep 6th, 2010 @ 6:10pm

    sex

    hi u guys umm i would like to say i was out in town with my girl friend we were talking and we went past two bins and behind was a hobo having sex with another hobo it was so disgusting.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    mark, Sep 6th, 2010 @ 6:13pm

    toilet

    hi again i was going to stick the rubbish in are bin out side when i opend it a hobbo was having a poo
    i was acaualy sick

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    hannah adams, May 1st, 2011 @ 7:55pm

    Re:sex

    do some shit in the bed im naked right now

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 11:21pm

    hi

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    sex, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 11:22pm

    sex

    hi sex

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

    I want sex but I don't want anyone watching my video I need a guy and I want sex

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    manoj, May 4th, 2012 @ 2:56am

    oye

    lets have sex

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    manoj, May 4th, 2012 @ 2:57am

    oye

    lets have sex

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    cody, May 4th, 2012 @ 3:31pm

    sexyiness

    hey people some people are to sexy if the they want to be sexy just get naked take a picher and post it who whould not like that

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    BRAM, May 15th, 2012 @ 6:36pm

    HAVING SEX WITH SEXY GRILS

    HI AM 13 YEARS OLD AND AM LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO COME OVER TO MY HOUSE TO HAVE SEX I LIVE AT 87920 TERRITORIAL RD VENETA OR IF YOU WANT TO COME OVER AND HAVE SEX JUST GO TO THE RED BARN IN THE BACK YARD

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Wasim, Aug 21st, 2012 @ 12:51am

    Re: HAVING SEX WITH SEXY GRILS

    I'm comming

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Savez, Aug 21st, 2012 @ 1:08am

    Having sex

    Just come

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Khan, Aug 21st, 2012 @ 1:09am

    Re: Having sex

    Come

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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