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Study Exposes Teen Sexting Myth

What’s with those teenagers sending around photos of their privates? It turns out they’re just a fantasy. A new study asked kids whether they had created and sent sexually explicit images of themselves (rather than the vaguer “do you sext?”) and only 1 percent said “yes.”

That number more than doubles if you include photos that show mere (mere???) nudity.

About 7 percent of the young people interviewed told researchers that they had received images ranging from nearly nude to, well, we’d rather not imagine.

This research was conducted by the Crimes Against Children Research Center, which speaks to the concerns of parents, educators and lawmakers everywhere. Sexual texting, you see, is considered by many to be child pornography, even if it’s the product of teenagers being teenagers.

Luckily it turns out to be something very few teens engage in. Perhaps we titillated adults in the media and academic communities can move on to issues that are far more dangerous to children, such as obesity (more than one-third of teenagers in 2008 were overweight or obese). — PZS

NPR:

Just 1 percent of teens say they’ve created sexually explicit images and shared them, according to a new survey of 1,560 teenagers by the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. About 2.5 percent of teens said they’d appeared in or created nude or nearly nude photos or videos. That’s a far cry from the “22 percent of all teens are sexting” data that’s been tossed around in the past few years.

More teenagers are getting sexy images on their phones, but even then those numbers are modest, so to speak. About 7 percent said they had gotten a nude or nearly nude image, and 6 percent said they’d gotten a sexually explicit image, which included naked breasts, genitalia, or buttocks. In the majority of cases, the images were sent as “romance as part of a relationship.”

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