The practice of sexting leads to risky sexual behavior among teenagers

Sexting consists of sending messages, photos or videos with a sexual connotation via your smartphone or computer.

The practice of sexting leads to risky sexual behavior among adolescents and has detrimental effects on their mental health, according to a new JAMA Pediatrics study. Sexting is the practice of sending messages, photos or videos with sexual connotations to another person.

The researchers synthesized twenty-three studies including 41,723 participants aged between 12 and 17, men and women combined. This digitization of sex exchanges has led these adolescents to have multiple sexual partners, to dispense with contraception, to consume cigarettes, alcohol or drugs. It also increases the risk of suffering from anxiety or depression.

The more sexting is practiced young, the more dangerous it is. “Sexting is one of the developments in our modern technological age, and treating it in a punitive way may not be the most effective way to get young people disinterested in it,” says Camille Mori, a psychology researcher at the University of Montreal.

“In the future, education campaigns should aim to provide young people with comprehensive information about sexting and digital citizenship,” the researchers said. 60% of British teens between 13 and 18 say they have been asked for a picture of themselves naked, 40% say they have already taken a nude picture and 15% of those who have taken this kind of shot have already sent a picture strangers. One in seven people have already seen a picture or an intimate video of themselves be shared on the Internet without their knowledge.

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“The notion of privacy is a concept that constantly evolves over time and is dependent on the social context in which it is studied. Today, we are witnessing a veritable ‘paradox of private life’ with, on the one hand, an awareness of what is intimacy and on the other technological uses that seem contradictory, “explain the researchers.

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Emy Torres

Emy holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan and currently freelances part-time for The Talking Democrat.