Sexting Tweens More Likely To Do The Real Thing, Study Says

Sexting tweens, also known as pre-teens and young teenagers who send sexually explicit messages and photos on their smartphones, may be six times more likely to actually be getting intimate in the bedroom. That's the revelation determined by a team of researchers at the University of Southern California, as part of a study that will be published in the July issue of Pediatric.

Although there's a good chance many adults have taken part in sexting, the data about tweens suggests that as soon as a child gets a cell phone, he or she is also old enough to have a conversation with a parent about how sexually explicit messages sent via cell phones don't have to lead to irresponsible behavior that occurs in real life.

The researchers in the sexting study targeted 1,300 anonymous 10 to 14-year-olds who were in middle school. The scientists discovered that the number of texts sent in a day had an impact on sexual behavior, along with the type of messages sent. Specifically, when tweens sent more than 100 texts on a given day, they were more likely to engage in sexual behavior in comparison with tweens who did not feel the need to text so frequently.

In an article from CBS News, study author Eric Rice discussed how, contrary to popular belief, tweens are not just using sexting as an alternative to being sexually active, but also using it to complement time between the sheets.

Surprisingly, a hefty 40 percent of tweens who participated in sexting reported being sexually active. Also, people who received such messages were six times more likely to be intimate with a partner. If a person was a sender in a sexting conversation, he or she was four times more likely to report being sexually active. As you might expect, the researchers also found that tweens who received those kinds of messages were 23 times more likely to have also sent them at some point.

In terms of sexting and teens who identified as LGBTQ, those individuals were nine times as likely to have sent a sexual text, but were not found more likely to be sexually active than straight individual

This information about sexting tweens is enough to raise eyebrows, but it's important to keep in mind how any time a person is asked to self-report on his or her amount of sexual activity, there's always the chance an individual won't be entirely forthcoming, even though this study was anonymous.

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