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Teens who engage in sexting are more likely to have sex

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Although only 15 percent of teenagers in a Los Angeles survey admitted that they had sent a sext, that minority was significantly more likely to have a need to undergo STD testing due to sexually risky behavior offline, according to new research. This information was compiled in the journal Pediatrics, and encompasses nearly 2,000 high school students who participated in the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

According to information provided by researchers at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, adolescents who indulged in sexually explicit text messaging were seven times more likely to be sexually active.

"No one's actually going to get a sexually transmitted disease because they're sexting. What we really wanted to know is, is there a link between sexting and taking risks with your body? And the answer is a pretty resounding 'yes'," said Eric Rice, a social networking researcher, quoted by Reuters Health.

The researchers also note the danger of sexts - which sometimes include naked pictures - getting posted on the internet, which could result in teens getting bullied or charged with child pornography. Furthermore, parents who want to keep their children from requiring STD testing are advised to bring up the subject in conjunction with news coverage of a celebrity or politician sexting scandal.

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