By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
A recent survey by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (NCPTUP) found that most young people think sending risqué photos of themselves is “a fun and flirtatious activity.” But when probed more deeply, 51 percent of teenage girls admit they sent the images because they felt “pressured by a guy.”
Sending nude or semi-nude pictures or videos of themselves has become the latest teen sensation, according to a recent survey by the NCPTUP. After polling 1,280 respondents, they found that one in five teens (13-19 years old) admitted to having electronically sent or posted online, nude and/or semi-nude photos and/or videos of themselves.
Eighty percent of the young men and women polled said they only sent these materials to their girlfriend or boyfriend. However, of that number, almost half admitted it was common for the suggestive messages and photos to be shared with people other than the intended recipient. Even more alarming, 15 percent said they sent revealing photos of themselves to strangers they met through the internet.
Today’s teens don’t see much wrong with this behavior. When asked, most of the participants said they think sending suggestive photos and messages is “a fun and flirtatious activity.” However, when probed a bit deeper, more than half of teen girls admitted they sent sexy messages or images because they felt “pressured by a guy.”
The NCTPUP suggests that parents keep the lines of communication open between themselves and their teens with respect to their online behavior and to discuss with them the consequences of this kind of behavior. In addition to monitoring their online activity, they also need to set proper limits and expectations with regards to what and whom they’re communicating with when they are online.
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