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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Are teens under pressure to sext?

Relaxnews, AFP   December 02, 2013
First Published: 14:42 IST(2/12/2013) | Last Updated: 14:45 IST(2/12/2013)

When it comes to sexting, social pressures from friends and romantic partners outweigh a teen's own attitudes, a new study finds.


The study surveyed 498 US adolescents aged between 15 and 18 years, finding that most teens sext for attention, to lower the chances of catching STDs, and to find a romantic partner.

Twenty-six percent of the teens surveyed had engaged in sexting in the two months preceding the survey. Risks of sexting, such as a gaining a bad reputation or being blackmailed, didn't appear to influence a teen's rationale for sexting or not sexting.

"Remarkably, only the behavioral beliefs that expected positive outcomes of sexting were significant in predicting adolescents' willingness to engage in it," the authors wrote.

The study, announced this week, is published in the Behavior & Information Technology.

Adolescents were most likely to sext if they had complete trust in the recipient, while a lack of trust would have a significantly adverse effect. In addition, the more positive social pressure they had from romantic partners, the more they were inclined to sext, findings showed.

A separate study, announced last year and published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, found that nearly one in five teens have sent sexually explicit photos on their mobile phone -- many of them with little or no awareness of the possible psychological, social, and sometimes legal consequences of doing so.

British officials recently issued a report stating that teenage girls are experiencing increasing pressure to text and email sexually explicit pictures of themselves, with many accepting it "as a fact of life." In the report, sexting was said to affect more than a third of adolescents under the age of 18.


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