A number of mental health providers are now reporting seeing a growing number of parents and children concerning sexting. What is sexting? It is defined as sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs, or images, primarily between mobile phones, of oneself to others. It may also include the use of a computer or any digital device.
According to the journal JAMA Pediatrics, one in four young people said they received sexts while one in seven reported sending them.
The studies authors suggest that “age specific information on sexting and its potential consequences should regularly be provided as a component of sex education.”
When we debate the positive and negative influence of technology on our culture, sexting certainly falls in the negative column as it applies to young people. It is important that parents and caregivers educate their children on the ramifications of participating in such activity. In addition, there is the component of dealing with social media after the sexts are forwarded to other recipients. The study also reports that 12.5% of young people report that they have been forwarded a sext without consent from the sender or receiver.
Mental health therapists say children need to be made aware of the emotional consequences of sexting and about the possible legal ramifications as well. Parents are well advised to research the law as it applies in this matter.
Source: Gary R’nel
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