Study: 7th graders engaged in sexting 4-7 times more likely to have sex.
A new study revealed that adolescents aged 12-14 who sext are more likely to engage in oral sex and sexual intercourse than their non-sexting counterparts.
The authors of the study, published in the American Academy of Pediatrics, surveyed 420 seventh graders from five urban public schools in Rhode Island.
The results of the survey showed that 22 percent of students engaged in sexting; 17 percent sent text messages only, while 5 percent acknowledged sending texts and explicit pictures.
After reviewing the data, researchers found that adolescents who engaged in sexting were 4-7 times more likely to engage in sexual behavior. Students who sent pictures had an even higher rate of sexual activity.
What can parents do?
Monitoring cell phone usage and access to social sites is a start. Limiting the amount of texts that can be sent from an account may also have a positive effect. A recent study found that teens who hyper-text (send more than 120 text per day) are more likely to have sex, do drugs and drink alcohol.