Monday, June 30, 2014

Sexting in Middle School Students: Here & Happening More Than You Think

By: Lewis First, MD, MS

Photo by zoe via Flickr
We are well aware via journal studies and the public media that sexting, the sending or receiving of sexually explicit texts or photographs on smart phones and other computerized devices, is prevalent among older teens in high school—but what about students in middle school?

Winetrobe et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds. 2013-2991) opted to study almost 1300 middle school students who submitted data in the 2012 Youth Risk Behavior Survey for Los Angeles. These students answered questions about their sexting behavior and their sexual risk-taking behaviors in real life. Looking at the study results, the percentage of middle school students who sent or received sexual texts and were also sexually active is concerning. What’s even worse were the number of students more likely to sext and have unprotected sex.

Do you talk with your teen patients about sexting? Would texting your teen patients with advice on how to better use social media and the dangers of sexting be something you might consider?

We would love to know whether you address this problem with your patients by responding to this blog, or sharing your thoughts on this study or what you do in your practice to try to address sexting via Facebook, Twitter or perhaps via an eLetter to the journal.

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