Sexting teens are more sexually active
Teens who send sexual text messages are more likely to be having actual sex.
Is your teen sneaking messages on his cellphone? Watch out- according to a study has shown that teens who send text messages of a sexual nature (sexting) are more likely to be having real-life sex.

Some adults may dismiss sexting as harmless behaviour, even in their kids, but the stats show that even tapping out a naughty message may lead to shring explicit pictures or worse. Here are some of the worrying results:

Of the 1000 15 and 16-year-olds interviewed:
28% admitted that they'd sent naked pictures of themselves to someone else.
31% said they had asked someone to send them naked pictures.
57% said they had been asked to send naked pics by someone else.
70% of the girls had been asked to send a sext.

It gets worse...

42% of girls who had NEVER sent a sext had had actual sex.
77% of girls who admitted sexting had engaged in real-life sex.
82% of boys who sext claim to be having real-life sex.
45% of boys who don't sext are sexually active.

Are cellphones the real issue?

Related to the study were findings that girls who sext were far more likely to engage in sexual activity in conjunction with other risky behaviour, including drug and alcohol abuse and sleeping with multiple partners.

It's not possible to dismiss the argument that there is a link between the behaviour. If you compare it to the "gateway drug" theory- cigarettes lead to dope smoking which leads to heroin abuse, the humble cellphone appears to take on a sinister mask- normal texting could turn into sexting, could turn into actual sex... The reality is, though, that most parents allow their kids to have a phone in order to keep in touch, and are unaware of the possible risky behaviour their kids may be taking part in. Of course, to twist the slogan "guns don't kill people, people kill people", cellphones aren't having sex- kids are.

There are other challenges such as trying to figure out how much privacy your child should have versus how much you feel he can be trusted, as well as general internet security.

Would these stats make you more likely to keep a closer eye on your child?
Suggest a vote

Read Parent24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Everything from parties to pre-schools in your area.