Sexting among teenagers

It is reported that one in four teenagers receive sex texts and one in seven is reported sending them according to study published by JAMA pediatrics. Sex texting or sexting is sharing of sexually explicit images and videos through internet or via electronic devices such as smart phones. In last decade teenagers have begun to explore sex and sexual development digitally.

It is believed that found that boys are the requesters and girls are the senders but this research tells us that girls and boys equally participate in sexting.

In children, sexting is prevalent in young teenagers and increase as they grow older. In adults it’s most prevalent in people in their forties. In adults, it’s the most prevalent for those who are in their forties. During 1990s till 2004, sexting took place in chat rooms of computers, but with the advent of smart phones it has become more personal and portable.

Parents have the power to educate their kids about responsible wireless use and the consequences of inappropriate or nonconsensual sexting.

What must parents do to tackle sexting

  • Start discussing about sex texting early. Understand what the teenager already knows and take conversation ahead.
  • Do not turn it into a conversation of morals. Discuss the subject in detail including unwanted distribution of photos or messages and possible legel consequences.
  • Emphasise the need to ot to get pressurized by peer groups. It is important to understand that love can’t be proved by sex texing
  • Have conversations regularly with teenagers. The earlier the parent begins the better.
  • Utilize the parental control tools, such as blocking downloads, blocking unknown numbers
  • Explain there are laws about sending and sharing explicit images and texts that can ruin young lives.

Use the Tools That Can Help Limit Sexting

  • Keep a close eye on how kids are using their wireless devices, especially for younger teens.
  • Wireless service providers also offer many tools to help empower parents to prevent sexting including:
  • Limiting who, when and how kids can use their phone to contact others using voice and text services offered by wireless service providers;
  • Password protecting camera, Internet or download functions on the device.
  • Contact your wireless service provider for more information about parental empowerment tools. Remember that wireless service providers offer tools that manage the services and applications they offer to you while downloadable applications may require the use of different tools or settings.

Reasons for both genders indulging in Sex texting

  • Teenage Experimentation
  • Addiction
  • Social media marketing
  • Instant gratification
  • Unhappy Marriages

Case studies reported in India

Case 1: A male engineering student found it difficult to speak and was low in confidence. It transpired that he had been sex texting and a female friend is now blackmailing.

Case 2: A 40 year old woman from Middle East, married with children, seemed to be suffering from psychosis. After interviews and initial treatment it was found that she was sending explicit pictures of herself to someone on internet who promised her lots of money. For the final deal, the person had asked for more pictures but she suffered a major psychosis and broke down.

Sexting and its Consequences

  • Sexting has real consequences. In some cases, sexting may cause emotional distress if the sender’s images or messages are forwarded on to unintentional audiences.
  • Sexting between a minor (someone under 18) and an adult violates child pornography laws in most states, regardless of whether the images sent or received were consensual. The consequences of this behavior, whether sending or receiving, are real and could be long-term.
  • Talk to your kids about the serious consequences of sexting, create family rules and use parental monitoring/management tools. By proactively addressing inappropriate sexting before it becomes an issue, parents and kids can help prevent it from happening.

Source:Trend Micro

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