Teens Listen to BFs, GFs and BFFs about Sexting

Jan 02, 2014

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Sexting is the latest danger plaguing American teens, with a quarter of them having sexted a minimum of once in the past two months. A recent study reveals that teens brush-off discouraging discussions from parents and instead accept encouraging pressures from love-interests and friends. Particularly girls feel pressured to send sexually explicit photos on their mobile phones.

The survey examined 498 teens aged 15 to 18 to determine their thoughts about sexting. The results showed that teens most often decided to sext because of the pressure from romantic interests (boyfriend = BF or girl friend = GF) and best friends (BFF).

It is with these decisions that teachers and parents lose any influential power. Teens also lose the ability to foresee possible negative consequences from sexting, like harassment or blackmail.

“Remarkably, only the behavioral beliefs that expected positive outcomes of sexting were significant in predicting adolescents’ willingness to engage in it,” said the conductors of the survey.

Young people proved more likely to sext when feeling “complete trust” with their sexting recipient. When deciding whether or not to sext, teens were most influenced by positive encouragement from BF's, GF's, and BFF's. They didn’t significantly fear or worry about parental monitoring during the decision-making process.

And, the study showed that teens are more strongly influenced to sext by a romantic interest’s social pressure than by subjective motivations. Girls, specifically, admit to feeling greater pressure than boys to sext. Investigators noted, “Our results suggest that in order to reduce sexting among teens, preventive initiatives should allude to what significant others in teenagers’ lives think about them engaging in sexting.”

Furthermore, the investigators encourage politicians and educators to increase awareness of the dangers and reality of sexting among teens by including sexual education in classes and opportunities to teach adolescents how to cope with peer pressure in group discussions.

Although the study shows parental influence as weak, parents should still inform their teens of the dangerous consequences that follow sexting. Parents can instigate these group discussions at home.

Speak with your teen and listen to their concerns about sexting. Have an open and honest group discussion with some of their friends to address any problems with sexting. 

 

Source: http://www.medicaldaily.com/teenagers-listen-peers-when-it-comes-sexting-264112