More than half of U.S. teens are sexting, & 1 in 4 is sexting with pics

More than 50 percent of surveyed teens send sexual texts to each other, and 28 percent of them are photos, according to a new study from Drexel University.

“Under most existing laws, if our findings were extrapolated nationally, several million teens could be prosecuted for child pornography,” explained a 2012 study on the rise of sexting among minors.

Despite adults’ attempts over the last two years, teens have not suppressed their inner demons in favor of legal prudence (shocker). Many teens could be held liable for texts they sent as a minor or between their friends of different ages.

Part of the difficulty with figuring out the prevalence of sexting is because there’s no agreed upon definition. “Exactly what constitutes a sext is not entirely clear,” note the researchers from Drexel. While 50 percent may seem high, this was a self-reported survey of extremely incriminating questions, which means the actual numbers could be much higher.

Beyond the legal ramifications, The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal has a fascinating look into another academic study on the double standards for girls. Girls who send sexts are considered promiscuous, while those who don’t could be socially isolated.

“This indicates that sexting is a lose-lose proposition for girls; regardless of whether or not they sext, their behavior is evaluated in harsh and often sexist terms,” explain the University of Michigan’s Julia Lippman and Scott Campbell.

In the study, one 14-year-old claimed, “I have received some pics that include nudity. Girls will send them sometimes, not often. I don’t know why they think it’s a good idea, but I’m not going to stop it. … I like classy girls, so I don’t like them as much anymore. It makes them look slutty.”

Interestingly enough, the rise in disappearing photo apps, including a brand new Snapchat competitor from Facebook, may help shield some from the legal and social consequences of lasting pictures. But reputations will still be on the line, and that can cause all the psychological trauma of high school drama.

Surprisingly, today’s teens are the most sexually conservative on record, with plummeting teen pregnancies (which could be due to better information about and access to contraception, granted). But digital outlets are not exempt from teenage hormones, and all signs point to increasing prevalence of sexting.


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7 comments
Bob Wu
Bob Wu

Julia Lippman stated that the boys didn't face any penalty [for sexting]:

"The girls who sexted were characterized as slutty, while the girls who didn't were characterized as prudes. But the boys didn't face any penalty. It was a very one-sided equation," said co-author Julia Lippman, a postdoctoral research fellow in psychology at the University of Michigan. Get real Julia. The boys are always facing penalties. It is called getting arrested for child pornography.


Ms. Lippman has an extremely warped view of what is actually going on.  In Mannassas, Virginia this July, the police In a ‘sexting’ case want to photograph a teen boy in sexually explicit manner. They want to take a photo of his erect penis, forcing the teen to become erect by taking him to a hospital and giving him an injection. My god this is wrong on so many levels. No one  should be injected with a chemical against their will. Certainly not a child. What has happened to our society? 


Furthermore, both the girl and the boy sexted each other. Why single out the boy? Only the boy was charged. He has been charged with two felony charges, for possession of child pornography and manufacturing child pornography, which could lead not only to incarceration until he’s 21, and possibly inclusion on the state sex offender data base for the rest of his life. We have to stop this madness. These are children. Ruing a child's life because he engaged in "I'll show you mine if you show me yours". Jeez. 


The reality is both the police and the prosecutors are pursuing these cases for their own career interests. Tough on crime. What a joke. These children are not criminals. The prosecutors and police are!

Iam Albus
Iam Albus

if anything, this stat could be an understatement

Luke Herbert
Luke Herbert

when everyone is illegaly doing something, theres a problem with the law

Klancy Kennedy
Klancy Kennedy

Quick, throw them all in jail, and label them as sex offenders INDEFINITELY. I do not want my teen to be a teen with other teens. That's gross, wrong, and unChristian! Punish them, punish them all! You know, that's pretty much the system we have in place, and it fucks over a lot of people for doing completely natural and innocent things. The thing is, if someone crusades against something that's wrong, then nobody dare speak out against it, that would be political suicide. This is why one false claim of rape, without evidence, can cause a college student to lose their financial investment, invested time, and pretty much ruin their lives. Innocent people commit suicide because the knee-jerk reaction of America (that means you) is so grossly out of proportion that it isn't even based on evidence or fact finding. The modern day witches and the modern day witch hunts, look no further than young men and women being prosecuted for bullshit.

Joel Reyna
Joel Reyna

I will develop MoneyShot as the leading source of revenge p!@$ pics. Bwaaaahaaaa!