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‘Sexting’ continues to be growing trend

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‘Sexting’ continues to be growing trend

Teens know sending sext messages can have negative consequences. In fact, three out of every four teens know this, according to The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

Despite that fact, a recent Pew Research poll found that 40 percent of teens sent sexually suggestive messages via text, email or instant messaging in the last year.

If that’s not bad enough, more than half of those who receive “sexts” share them with others.

These new stats are alarming. Just three years ago, only 1 percent of kids ages 10 to 17 shared images of themselves or others that involve explicit nudity.

SEXTING IS LIKE TOOTHPASTE…

Here’s the issue with sexting: Imagine if you took a tube of toothpaste and squeezed it all into the sink. Now, picture if someone handed you a spoon and said, “Put all the toothpaste back into the tube.” You can’t!

Like the toothpaste, once you press “Send,” it’s out of your hands. You’ve created a mess and you can’t undo it. There’s no way you can go to every phone, every computer, every device and every server and get that text back.

And, not all of these messages are going to familiar faces. A recent study found that 15% of teens who have sent or posted nude/semi-nude images of themselves say they have done so to someone they only knew online.

HOW TO GET HELP AND STOP SEXTING

  • Think about the consequences of taking, sending or forwarding a sexual picture of yourself or someone else underage. You could get kicked off of sports teams, lose educational opportunities and even get in trouble with the law.
  • Never take images of yourself that you wouldn’t want everyone—your classmates, teachers, family—to see.
  • Never forward someone else’s sext message(s). It’s not funny, and could land you in serious trouble.
  • Report any unwanted sexual messages you receive to a trusted adult.

You can also check out our comic book on the dangers of sexting.

A single sext can have major consequences. Learn more at Who You Want 2 Be.

Pew Research poll shows 40 percent of teens have sent a sexually explicit message in the last year.

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