When we go on the internet and listen to stories, we often hear comments about sexting among teens. With all of this talk, it may sound like this is something that all teens are doing. However, according to a study published this week by JAMA Pediatrics, only about 14.8% of teens have sent these messages, and approximately 27.4% of teens have received a sext . This means that roughly 17 out of 20 teens have never sent sexually explicit images, videos, or messages.
Though this rate is lower than we may have expected, sexting is becoming more commonplace, and that is cause for concern. Many teens, view sexting as private and therefore safe. However, approximately 12%, are forwarding sexts without consent of the sender . Additionally, many teens don’t realize that even though some messaging apps that allow video and image sharing appear private, they may not be .
Often times, sexting is a normal by-product of teens trying to establish their identities and wanting to explore their sexuality . However, many teens just are not aware of the dangers that can come with sexting. Along with these concerns, teens just need to be reminded that it’s not OK for them to be pressured to share more of their bodies than they’re comfortable, and that consent is theirs to give.
 Madigan, S., Ly, A., & Rash, C. L. (2018, February 26). Prevalence of Multiple Forms of Sexting Behavior Among Youth. Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.5314
 Gabriel, E. (2018, February 26). 1 in 4 young people has been sexted, study finds. Retrieved from CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/26/health/youth-sexting-prevalence-study/index.html