New Research: Students who Sext are Sexually More Active

New Research: Students who Sext are Sexually More Active

A new research shows that young teens who send 'sex texts' to their friends are likely to be 6 times more sexually active and talk about it.

USC researchers who defined 'sext' in their survey as a sexually suggestive text or photo have given a new understanding of the relationship between sexual behaviour and "sexting" in early adolescence which contributes to an ongoing national conversation on whether sexually explicit text messaging is a risk behaviour or just an enabled extension of technology of normal teenage flirtation.

The researchers were interested in young teens particularly as past data had shown clear links between early sexual debut and risky sexual behaviour, including sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol, teenage pregnancy, experience of forced sex and higher risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

The researchers found that three-quarters of the middle school students had easy access to phones capable of texting.

Of the kids with access to cell phone, 20% said they had received at least one sext and almost five per cent had sent one. Students who had received a sext were about seven times more likely to be sexually active than those who hadn't and students who had sent a sext were about three times more likely to be sexually active, according to the researchers.

The researchers said that parents should think about keeping a track of their middle school-aged children's cell phones. They should do monitoring openly and also check with children about who they are texting, recommend the researchers.

Assistant professor and lead author Eric Rice said that these findings shift attention to the need to train health educators, paediatricians and parents on how to communicate in the best way with young adolescents about sexting in relation to sexual behaviour.

It was also found that students who were identified as LGBTQ were 9 times more likely to have sent a sext. However, LGBTQ young adolescents were not more likely to be sexually active.

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