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.

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Comments on “Shocking: Teens Talk Sex Online”

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Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Re: 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.

JO says:

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.”

toyotabedzrock says:

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.

Bradley Stewart (profile) says:


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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