SextingWhat is it?
Sexting is defined as the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically, primarily between mobile phones. The word is a combination of the words sex + texting.
A new term – “sexting virginity” has recently emerged in this context. A sexting virgin is someone who has not yet sent nude images of themselves using a mobile phone.
It is important to understand that these messages or photos are often originally sent innocently or without malicious intent. Imagine two high school students who have been going out for a while. The girl innocently sends a nude image of herself to her boyfriend and it’s all very exciting and feels “naughty”. A few days or weeks or months later, the couple breaks up, and he may be looking to get back at her. Or maybe they are still together but the boy just wants to show off to his friends. Either way – he simply forwards the nude image that was innocently sent to him on to his friends, and they forward it to their friends and pretty soon – the entire high school has seen it. As you can imagine, the effects of this can be devastating.
How widespread is it?
|A December 2009 Pew Internet Research Center survey found that:
Why do kids to it?
According to the Pew survey, sexting occurs most often in one of three scenarios:
- Exchanges of images solely between two romantic partners
- Exchanges between partners that are then shared outside the relationship
- Exchanges between people who are not yet in a relationship, but where often one person hopes to be.
So sexting is out there, and it’s probably a lot more widespread than you thought. As a matter of fact, your 15 year old daughter may be sending a nude photo of herself to her boyfriend at this very minute.
Click here to find out about the dangers of sexting and here to learn what you can do