A Drexel University study published this month by David Dematteo, JD, PhD reveals some telling new statistics about teen sexting that should come in handy for parents of kids young enough that a conversation about the risks of sexting is an upcoming event, and an eye opener for parents of current teens.
The study polled 175 undergraduate students about their experience with sexting while they were still minors. Some of the stats are consistent with teen sexting data that we’ve previously discussed, but some of it covers new ground. The full report is not available online, but a Drexel website has published a summary with some of the key findings.
Among the findings that are consistent with other published data:
- 54% of respondents report having sexted as minors
- 28% reported engaging in sexting that involved photos
- Only 2% reported a sext message to an adult after receiving one
The following data, while not totally surprising, is new to us and should be considered carefully by parents prior to having discussions with teens or tweens about the dangers of sexting:
- 61% were not aware that sext messages could be considered child pornography
- 59% stated that had they know this, they would have been less likely to engage in sexting
As a parent, if you have older teens you probably assume that they understand the basic concepts covering child pornography and minors and the risks associated with sexting. Unfortunately, that may not be the case, even for well-educated youth.
We started ThirdParent to provide a resource for parents, not to put more pressure on them, but the fact of the matter is the pressure is on. Our teens are more connected electronically than ever, and always on.
A frank discussion about sexting may be uncomfortable, but it far easier than dealing with the worst-case scenario after it happens.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.