A study out of the USC School of Social Work examined the correlation in 10-15 year olds (with an average age of 12.3 years old; ie., middle schoolers) between their sexting habits and their physical sexual behaviors. As we learned in the last sexting study
we brought you: teenage boys think girls who sext are sluts. But what are the actual numbers? Get ready for some sexy math. Of the middle schoolers studied:
- Those who received sexts were 6 times more likely to have had sex.
- Those who sent sexts were 4 times more likely to be sexually active.
- Those who sent over 100 texts a day were more likely to be sexually active.
- Those who received sexts were 23 times more likely to have sent them.
- Those who self-identified as LGBTQ were 9 times more likely to have sent a sext (but were not more likely to be sexually active).
According to the study: “The researchers were particularly interested in young teens, as past data has shown clear links between early sexual debut and risky sexual behavior, including teenage pregnancy, sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol, experience of forced sex and higher risk of sexually transmitted disease.”
First of all, can we acknowledge the idea of a “sexual debut”? Should we have thrown ourselves a debutante ball the first time we got a fluttery feeling beneath our navels that summer of junior high we spent reading Judy Blume smut while laying out and feeling sophisticated?
Furthermore, the lead author on the study wrote that “the sexting conversation should occur as soon as the child acquires a cell phone,” but never really acknowledges or explains what that conversation is. Is it that parents and educators should teach children that sexting is a great way to explore their sexual desires and urges without engaging in risky physical contact with other humans? Is it that children should learn that dirty messages will send them straight to hell but not before making them unclean and unfit for the love of another person? No one knows.
What we do know is: middle schoolers are capable of sending 100 texts a day and we’ll never feel bad about ourselves again.
Reprinted with permission from Styleite. Want more?