Why You Need to Talk to Your Kids About “Sexting”

Have you talked to your kids about “sexting?”  If not, perhaps it’s time to have that conversation.

Researchers from Drexel University surveyed college students about whether they had sent sexual text message during high school and they were startled by what they learned.

54% admitted to sending or receiving “sexually explicit text messages or images” when they were under the age of 18. Almost all of them said it was in the context of a romantic relationship or as a means of flirting.

Study author David DeMatteo says “We were shocked by the prevalence and the frequency of sexting among minors. We were struck by how many of those surveyed seem to think of sexting as a normal, standard way of interacting with their peers.”

Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Southern California found that teens who send more than 100 texts a day are more likely to sext and to be sexually active.  In addition, kids who receive sexual text messages are six times more likely to report being sexually active.

Eric Rice at the USC School of Social Work says “Our results show that excessive, unlimited or unmonitored texting seems to enable sexting.”

Dr. Rice recommends that parents openly monitor their young teen’s cellphone, check in with them about who they’re communicating with, and even restrict the number of texts allowed per month.

By the way, if you find it difficult to talk to your kids about sexuality, here are two resources you may find helpful.  Psychologist Dr. Stan Jones and his wife Brenna have written a wonderful series of books called “God’s Design for Sex.”  You can read the books with your kids, and there is a specific book for each age range.

Also, youth expert Jim Burns has an outstanding book just for teens called “The Purity Code: Gods Plan for Sex and Your Body.”

And don’t wait—if YOU don’t teach your kids about sex, someone else will!

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.