Added: Shaina Militello - Date: 04.08.2021 04:48 - Views: 34291 - Clicks: 8966
Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. What are these teens texting about? Sexting is the term used to describe sending and receiving sexually explicit messages, or nude or seminude photographs or videos electronically primarily between cell phones, but can occur between any media-sharing device or technology — ie, e-mail or the Internet.
Sexting has been a recognized occurrence for several years and is a global practice among teens and young adults. Despite its prevalence, we know very little about this phenomenon. This is partly because technology is changing rapidly, making it difficult to study.
They surveyed young people — teens ages 13 to 19 years and young adults ages 20 to 26 years — about sexting during the fall of This study reported data on teens and young adults separately. According to the survey, one in five teens had sent or posted nude or seminude pictures or videos of themselves. Why might teens be involved in sexting?
Adolescence is an important time for the development of identity and independence. Some experimentation and self-discovery occur through texting or sexting. Texting is a skill that allows teens to be sociable and interact with others, while providing distance from personal contact. Texting provides an electronic medium that allows teens to conceal who they are while expressing themselves and fostering personal relationships that might not otherwise occur face-to-face. For instance, shy, lonely and anxious people tend to find texting to be a less stressful and more comfortable way to express themselves, and an easier way to develop friendships than by a direct encounter 3.
Peer pressure and peer expectations may play a role in why teens are sexting. Although it can be challenging for teens to resist peer pressure, they should be encouraged not to do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable, even in cyberspace. We still have much to learn about where sexting behaviour comes from. The obvious danger associated with sexting is that the material can be easily and widely disseminated. Once the message or image is in cyberspace, the sender loses control over the material and cannot assume that it will remain private 4.
Teens need to understand that nothing in cyberspace ever really gets deleted. Friends, enemies, parents, teachers, coaches, police, strangers, sexual predators and potential employers may receive or find past postings. There are social, psychological and legal consequences to taking, sending or forwarding sexually suggestive images. Teens need to be aware that they can be arrested, charged and convicted for possessing and distributing child pornography, even when the pornography they are sending is of themselves 5.
Unlike other countries, to date, no charges have been laid in connection with sexting in Canada. The bottom line is that nothing is anonymous in cyberspace. In this digital world, parents need to become more knowledgeable about the technologies their children are using. They also need to be aware that many teens are sexting 1. Parents should be encouraged to ask their children, in a developmentally appropriate manner, what they know about sexting. Therefore, parents can open discussion with them about sending or receiving pictures of naked kids, teens or adults. Further, parents can teach children that text messages should never contain pictures of kids, teens or adults with their clothes off or kissing or touching each other in a manner that makes the child feel uncomfortable.
Parents need to have discussions with their child about safe and responsible online and cell phone activity. Parents need to reinforce that messages or pictures they send on their cell phones or online are not private or anonymous. Parents need to be transparent and explain to their teen that they will monitor online and cell phone activities, including who their kids are spending time with online and on the phone.
As with other adolescent behaviours, parents should communicate to their teen what they consider to be responsible electronic messaging behaviours. Parents can help teens identify the possible consequences of behaviours, such as sexting, to help them come to their own conclusions about the potential outcomes of their actions. Schools may be another resource to help educate parents, teachers and students about the risks and consequences of their online and cell phone behaviours 4.
Health care professionals caring for teens should recognize that sexting is a public health issue. Health care professionals need to become better informed about the issue so that they can comfortably include questions about sexting in their teen health visits, and integrate discussions on safe and responsible online and cell phone activity.
Using the HES Home, Education, Activities, Drugs, Sex and sexuality, and Suicide and mood interview strategy can help health care professionals to organize their questions so that they can better explore the many issues that relate to sexting 6.
Most importantly, health care professionals need to speak with teens and their families about the risks and potential consequences of sexting. Addressing these issues may prevent a teen from finding him- or herself in a compromising position.
Technology is here to stay and is evolving rapidly — children and teens will continue to use the current and new technologies. Health care professionals and parents need to develop novel approaches to keeping children digitally safe and responsible while influencing positive behaviours and good judgment in this technologically savvy world. We must do everything possible to prevent teens from making a mistake that could alter their life forever. The recommendations in this statement do not indicate an exclusive course of treatment or procedure to be followed. Variations, taking into individual circumstances, may be appropriate.
National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Paediatr Child Health v. Paediatr Child Health. DK Katzman. Author information Copyright and information Disclaimer. Telephone , fax , Web sites www. All rights reserved. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Boy: I am feeling hot tonight. I need to see you. Girl: O. Do you want to see some pictures? Boy: Cool. Sex and tech: from a survey of teens and young adults.
Psychosocial development in normal adolescents. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; Text or talk? Social anxiety, loneliness, and divergent preferences for cell phone use. Cyberpsychol Behav. American Academy of Pediatrics Talking to kids and teens about social media and texting. Criminal Code of Canada Offences tending to corrupt morals. Department of Justice Canada. Norris ML.
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Teen Sexting and Prevention Strategies