Go back five years and few people could even define the term “sexting.” Now sexting is entrenched in both the conversation and habits of many people who find it both fun and stimulating. According to Pew Research, sexting is growing rapidly among couples and singles. The number of young people ages 18 to 24 who report receiving sexts increased from 26% in 2012 to 44% in 2014. Sophisticated technology found in smartphones makes snapping photos —and sending, receiving and resending them — extremely easy.
With romantic conversations taking place over a screen more often than face-to-face, sexting – sending sexually explicit photos or messages by phone – has become a regular facet of many adolescent relationships. Professionals caution that parents should talk with their teens about the risks and dangers surrounding sexting.
A new study finds that adolescents who have behavioral or emotional issues may be especially vulnerable to sexting, which may lead them to engage in other sexual behaviors at an early age. Experts in the mental health field are taking note of these statistics and encourage guardians to talk to their children early and often about the risks of sexting.