111 (HealthDay News)
— Some Boston parents might be in for a rude
awakening: 13 percent of area high school students say they have received
“sext” messages and one in 10 has either forwarded, sent or posted
Sexually suggestive, videos or explicit or naked pictures of people they know by
cellphone or online.
Thus found a study of more than 23,000 students, with
The results scheduled to be presented at the American Public Health
Association’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
can include overtones of intimidation
And teens, and coercion who are involved were more likely to report being
psychologically distressed, depressed
or even suicidal, according to the 2010 survey of 24 (of 26) high schools in
Boston’s metro-west region.
Twice as many respondents who said they had sexted
in the past year reported depressive symptoms, compared to teens who failed to.
Moreover, a suicide attempt was reported by 13 percent of teen
during that period compared with 3 percent of non-sexting teens, according to
the research workers at the Education Development Center in Newton, Mass.
That really doesn’t mean that melancholy is led to by sexting
Danger. “Itis a cross-sectional study — it shows an
association but not a causal relationship,” explained lead researcher
Shari Kessel Schneider.
Yet, she added, “It Is crucial that you know
There’s a connection between emotional and sexting distress. It is something to be
considered should you know of a youth who is involved in sexting.”
Of the high-school pupils, 10 percent of boys and
11 percent of girls said they had sent one of these images previously year,
While 6 percent of 4 percent of females and males had had such a picture sent of
The researchers found that youths who didn’t self-identify
as heterosexual — that is, they described themselves as homosexual,
Lesbian, bisexual other or not certain — were more inclined to be entailed
Other research have analyzed sexting on a national
basis, prompting parents to question how they can prevent their particular kids
From posting — or modeling for — these pictures.
“I encourage parents to treat a child’s
Cellphone as a computer: thinking of protecting, securing and restricting
it,” said Marian Merritt, Internet security promoter for Norton, part of
Symantec Inc. As soon a child receives his or her first cell phone, “Set
family rules. Age 12 is standard.”
“If that phone is a smartphone, password
Shield it,” she said. “It could prevent your kid becoming
victimized” by another person who picks it up and uses it. And also to track
your son’s or daughter’s use: “Check your online statement, to view if your
Kid is sending a lot of photograph messages.”
Parents need to take back control of the
Technology, she said, while it’s by establishing on-line time limits on the home
Wireless router or restricting privacy and access: “Bill the phone in the
Kitchen, some central place, so that it’s not on their pillow, buzzing at
Nighttime with text messages.”
Keep in touch with your kids, she said. “Do not wait
That is precisely the wrong way to do things until they are 16. Begin much before.
Especially with lads, know how very common it’s going to be for them to receive
a [sext] message. Inquire them, ‘What would you do?’ What is the proper thing to do
to protect the girl? Delete it?’ Try to make sure he shows for the
Some youths will be more impacted than others,
Merritt said. “In general, with the things on the net, it is very
hard to forecast who’ll be affected. Some children can roll to it and
You can find other people who can’t.”
Justin Patchin, co-director of the Cyberbullying
Research Center, said his first advice to teens
who receive a sext message is this: “You must delete it and not tell
anybody. When it’s doesn’t get disseminated and spread, it is
He said he is received flak for proposing on the
Center’s site that kids don’t constantly need to go to adults when sexting
Includes a friend (or girlfriend or boyfriend), but he still believes, “If
you tell grownups, you are throwing that individual under a bus.” Once individuals in
Authority, including principals and teachers, are made conscious of sexting, legal
reporting requirements come into play.
“Grownups, it appears, are made to react to
sexting in extreme ways — ways that have long term, irreversible
Outcomes,” he posted in February. “Until we are able to develop
Fair answers that do not possibly foreclose on the futures of all
Involved, we are not unwise to advise that pupils do not contact grownups, unless the
Scenario is seeming to get unmanageable. And I think adolescents understand when it is
out of control.”
Patchin doesn’t ignore that sexting can have
serious ramifications. “You’ll be able to look at high profile examples, of folks
with acute mental difficulties,”
He explained, referring to two publicized cases of young girls committing suicide
where sexting was a factor.
In his centre’s relations with sexting, he said,
“We have spoke with frustrated, embarrassed, worried kids.”
Merritt cautioned against overreacting about the
Findings and said she would like to see more data, for example, on sexting
Links to adolescents’ sex orientation.
The group of Kessler Schneider does mean to do more
studies for the reason that area. For the time being, she said, the Boston findings should “attract
Focus to the link between sexting and mental health, which ought to be
addressed by anti-bullying and health-promotion initiatives.”
Since the brand new study was presented at a medical
Meeting, the data and conclusions must be considered as preliminary until
published in a peer-reviewed journal.