Showing posts with label phones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label phones. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Is Teen Sexting a Predictor of Subsequent Sexual Behavior?

By: Lewis First, MD, MS; Editor-in-Chief 

Photo by BdwayDiva1 via Flickr
We have published a number of recent studies on the increasing prevalence of sexting amongst teens, but have not published data on the role of active sexting (sending a nude picture) in mediating or promoting the relationship between passive sexting (being asked for a nude picture) and then going on to have intercourse. But this week, Temple and Choi (doi:10.1542/peds.2014-1974) share relevant data from a six-year longitudinal study of more than 950 high school students.

These students were asked about sexting at baseline entry into the study and one year later as well as whether sending a nude picture encouraged sexual intercourse in that relationship. The results are well worth your attention. It's interesting to note that while sexting overall was not temporally associated with risky sexual behaviors, active versus passive sexting was more associated with having intercourse over the next 12 months.

Since the study was cross-sectional, it cannot prove cause and effect, but it can still identify sexting as a key component in the ongoing sexual development of teens and potentially be considered a potential harbinger for future (if not current) adolescent sexual activity.

Do you ask your teen patients about sexting, or if their friends sext? Do you get positive responses and if so, what do you then say? We would love to hear your approach to helping teens deal with sexting. Leave a comment, send us an eLetter through our journal site, or join in the discussion via Facebook or Twitter.

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