Who is Sexting?
Every parent wants to know the answer to the burning question, “Has my child ever sent somebody an inappropriate image?” Many parents turn to the latest study or survey to find the answer. We have provided some information for those who want to know if they should even be concerned about sexting. A recent study conducted by MTV and The Associated Press, uncovered these interesting facts.
- 33% of people age 14-24 have sent a “sext” message
- 15% of people age 14-24 have sent a naked photo to somebody
- Almost 50% of those who shared a naked photo, felt pressured to do so
The MTV/Associated Press study is just one of many on the topic of digital safety. While each survey may record slightly different findings on sexting, they all reflect one commonality. The older a child is, the more likely they are to send somebody an inappropriate image. Here are a few helpful suggestions you can share with your child.
- Report any nude or semi-nude image your child receives to your local law enforcement agency or contact www.cybertipline.com.
- Let your child know they can always come to you if they receive an inappropriate image on their cell phone or through email.
- Talk to your child about the social and legal consequences of Sexting. The consequences range from social exclusion to criminal charges.
- Tell your child to never forward an inappropriate image or message.
- Educate yourself on the school policies regarding the use of cell phones.
- Keep abreast of the capabilities of the cell phone you purchase for your child. Consider implementing safety features offered by your cell phone carrier.
- If you have concerns about something you’ve found on your child’s cell phone, don’t be afraid to ask for help.