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Taken together, the studies included data on more than 110,000 kids (they ranged from 11.9 to 17 in age, with a mean of 15.16).
These studies included kids of very different ages and asked — and answered — very different questions, a challenge the researchers acknowledged as they pulled together the information on this relatively new and probably rapidly changing set of behaviors.
Her advice to parents is to start talking about sexting — as with so many topics — younger than you think you need to.
She suggested that for younger children, the conversations could be simple and could be put in the context of other absolute rules.
So those conversations should include the “what if” scenarios: What if you feel pressured to send a sext and you don’t want to, what are the right strategies?
Who would you turn to, how could you get help and advice?
But if early sexual activity is decreasing, though still highly prevalent, digital sexual activity is probably — and not surprisingly — becoming more common.
In the new study, researchers looked at data from 39 studies of people under 18 sending and receiving sexually explicit images, videos and messages.
Let kids tell you what they know, what they think, what they’re seeing, what they’re feeling.
The most upsetting statistic to come out of these studies is that one in nine teenagers report forwarding sexts without consent.
Those are the scenarios parents worry about most; images end up in someone else’s hands, or made public.
Consider, also, that sexting can't spread disease or lead (at least directly) to accidental pregnancy.
There are times when the rewards of sexting outweigh the risks—it's up to you to decide.
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“Let them know not to get into a car with a stranger, let them know that text messages and emails and online communications should never include anyone with no clothes,” she said.