SEXTING IN ADOLESCENTS ON THE RISE

Posted: October 1, 2012 by patrishalyle in Melbourne, Pets and Family, Social Issues
Tags: , , ,

Sexting has now become more common among teenagers than previously thought.

Statistics from a survey conducted by Tru-Insight, a global leader in research on tweens, teens and 20-somethings, have found shocking results in that 21 per cent of teen girls and 18 per cent of teen boys have sent or posted nude or semi-nude images of themselves.

Sexting also appears to be on the increase, a submission prepared by Australian charity The Salvation Army reveals that more than a third of under 18s in Australia have received a sexual text or image via their mobile or computer.

As more teenagers are using their mobiles and computers to communicate sexually, the concerns of parents and adults involved are rising.

Hugh Stevens, a member of the Victorian Privacy Commissioner’s Youth Advisory Group, believes the growing number of adolescents sexting is due to their lack of knowledge of the circumstances,

“Sexting is a phenomenon where this communication has significant negative consequences, often beyond the thoughts of young people involved.”

The consequences leading to humiliation, harassment and bullying can be detrimental and life threatening to a teenagers health and well-being.

But high school student, Stephanie Tate, 17, thinks otherwise and believes that people concerned are over-dramatizing the issue and that teenagers are actually more aware of the matter than people think they are,

“Of course we understand and are fully aware of the consequences. Teenagers are smart enough to know that once something is sent you can’t get it back. Friends my age may send a text that could be sexual, but not a picture. I think parents forget that teenagers are growing into adults and are in an important stage of exploring their sexuality. But if we have gone too far, it’s a mistake that we must learn from.”

SEX IN THE MEDIA

It’s the popularity and demand of new communication technologies that play an increasingly important role in the lives of the young, especially adolescents. The easy access to these devices coupled with the freedom of the social media and the internet create an open door for kids to be influenced by and act upon the provocative and sexual nature of what they see on screen.

Assistant Vice-Principal of the Alice Smith School, Tobin Connell, believes part of the media contributes to creating the normalization of this behavior of exchange to teenagers,

“What we see in the cinemas, and what is so easily obtained on the internet has no regulation, and it’s very, very difficult to try and keep ahead of that kind of game. The normalization of the, ‘Yeah, well everybody does it’ is a very, very scary concept, especially in educational circles because students aren’t mentally prepared enough to deal with the issues that are coming their way.”

Donald Strassberg, professor of psychology at the University of Utah states that, “These results argue for educational efforts such as cell phone safety assemblies, awareness days, integration into class curriculum and teacher training, designed to raise awareness about the potential consequences of sexting among young people.”

If you are a concerned parent or someone who is receiving uncomfortable messages, there are many helpful websites you can go to for support and information:

www.cybernettrix.com.au

www.wiseuptoit.com.au

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