Teen sexting on the rise, study finds
Sexting, using digital technology to send sexualised text, images or videos, has increased in recent years among youth under 18, according to a report published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
An analysis of 39 studies with over 110,000 participants conducted between January 1990 and June 2016 showed that one in four young people said they’d received sexts, which included sexually explicit images, videos, or messages, and one in seven reported sending them.
“The prevalence of forwarding a sext without consent and having a sext forwarded without consent were 12.0 and 8.4 per cent respectively,” the researchers added.
Researchers also mentioned that the prevalence increased with age and greater accessibility to electronic devices like smartphones.
According to CNN, co-author of the study Jeff Temple said the phenomenon was “not terribly surprising” considering teens’ interest in sexuality grows as they grow older.
Of the 39 researches, 22 were from the U.S., 12 from Europe and the rest from Australia, Canada, South Africa and South Korea.
On average, 47.2 per cent of the participants were male.
The analysis said there was no significant gender difference in the rate of sending or receiving sexts.
Some experts said the digital and physical safety of youth should be taken more seriously.
The study called for further research on nonconsensual sexting so as to target and inform intervention, as well as to improve sex education and policy efforts.