In Cyber Safety, Sexting

Teen Sexting Statistics, Facts and Consequences

sexting statistics

Since the invention of the camera phone, and the popularity of taking “selfies”, the teenage sexting statistics on sexting has become more and more serious. The problem with girls sexting and boys sexting is that they do not understand the serious ramifications that sexting can have. If teens understood the sexting facts and statistics, teenage sexting would be less of a problem.

What is Sexting?

Sexting is when sexually explicit photos are sent to other people’s cell phones. Sexting is not limited to sexted pictures. Sexting messages are also common with teenage sexting. When teens are sexting messages, they often add sexually explicit messages along with the photos. The problem with teen sexting, is that they do not know where these sexting texts will eventually end up.

Statistics on Sexting

Sexting partially nude, or fully nude photos are more common among girls. About 22% of teen girls have admitted to sending these photos, where only 18% of boys have admitted to the same thing. This could be because boys will pressure girls to send these photos more often than girls will pressure boys. Of the 70% of teen girls who have sexted, 61% have said that they did so because they were pressured. When it comes to sexting sexually explicit written messages, more boys send them than girls. Statistics show that 24% of high school aged students (between the ages of 14 and 17), and 33% of college students (between the ages of 18 to 24), have at one time or another, sent a nude or semi nude photo to another person.

Who Are The Teens Sexting

It is most common for teens to sext their significant other. Boys and girls who are dating will commonly sext. About 15% of teens who have sexted nude or semi nude photos of themselves, send them to people that they have never met. They sext these photos to people they have met on the internet, but never in person.

Why Do Teens Sext

There are several reasons that teens sext. When it comes to boys sexting girls, 77% have said that they sext nude photos and sexually explicit photos to girls in order to get them in the mood for sex. When it comes to girls sexting boys, 40% have said that they did it as a joke, 34% have said that they did it to feel sexy, and 12% have said that they feel pressured to do it.

Why Is Sexting So Serious?

When teenagers do something wrong, it is typically because they do not understand the consequences and ramifications of their actions. This is true with sexting. When a teen boy or girl sends a nude or semi nude photo and sexually explicit messages, they believe that these messages will be for the receiver’s eyes only. This is not always true. Often times, when teen relationships fall apart, one or both teens will try to hurt their ex. One way that many teens will get back at each other is to use these sexts that were sent when things are good. Teens can send these sexually explicit photos and messages to classmates or post them on the internet. Many teens do not understand that once something is on the internet, these images are there forever. The information on the internet is there forever. Teens do not think of these things when they are sexting. They may have a great deal of trust during the relationship, which makes them feel that there is no danger in sending these messages. When these messages become public, it can be very embarrassing for the sender, and can cause long term effects.

When a sexted message gets out, it can cause a huge change in a teen’s behavior.

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Social problems in school
  • Become withdrawn from friends
  • Avoiding social activities
  • Being bullied
  • Fear of going to school
  • Loss of self esteem
  • Poor grades
  • Excessive absenteeism from school
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Become sexually promiscuous

Sexting Laws

With the invention of various electronic devices, the law was forced to catch up with the technology. This is why sexting laws have been implemented. The United States court systems defines sexting as “an act of sending sexually explicit materials through mobile phones. These messages can be in the form of a text, photo, or video. Currently in the United States, 8 states have enacted bills to protect minors from sexting. Also, an additional 14 states have bills that have been proposed to legislation.

Who is Prosecuted in a Sexting Case? What are the Charges?

If a teen sends a sexually explicit photo to another teen, and it gets in the hands of the authorities, it can be very serious. If the teen is under the age of 18, they can be charged with possessing and distributing child porn. Even if the messages or images are sent to someone over the age of 18, it is still a crime. This is a very serious charge. If convicted, the teen will be required to register as a sex offender for years, and possibly for life. There are several rules that registered sex offenders must follow:

  • Registered sex offenders must report their home address, which is shared on the internet and with families in the neighborhood. When a sex offender moves, they are required to report when and where they will be moving.
  • Registered sex offenders must remain a certain distance away from schools, parks, and other places that children gather. This includes where they are living.
  • Registered sex offenders cannot work with children.

Other than being required to register as a sex offender, teens under 18 who are caught sexting can be placed in a juvenile detention facility for a time determined by a judge. This can make going to college, getting a good job, and even having meaningful relationships difficult.

How To Prevent Your Children From Sexting

Most parents of teens try not to violate their privacy. This includes privacy related to cell phones. If parents request that their teens let them look through their phones, it can cause problems in the relationship. The teen will feel that their parents do not trust them, and will likely become angry. Going through your teen’s phone will not prevent them from sexting, it will just make them more conscientious when it comes to deleting the messages. The best way to prevent your teen from sexting is communication.

Letting your teen know the consequences of sexting is a good way to start. There are various articles online related to the consequences of sexting. There are many articles published by teens who were victims of sexting that has gone public. Letting your teen read these testimonials, and hearing from another teen who has been through it may have a larger impact than simply hearing it from a parent.

Letting your teens know the legal ramifications of sexting is a good idea as well. If you let your child know that they can be arrested and charged for the photos and messages they send, they will have a better grasp on how serious sexting really is.

The media has also started in the fight against teen sexting. Many channels targeted for teens, such as MTV, air commercials and specials to educate teens on the dangers of sexting.

The information age has opened up various new problems for parents and teens. Most teens think that sexting is all in fun, and won’t hurt anyone. This is not true. It can destroy a teenager’s life, both socially and legally. It is up to parents to inform teens of what can happen if these messages get into the wrong hands. The only defense that parents have against sexting is informing. When parents inform their children of what can happen, teens may be less likely to send these types of messages.

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