One in 5 teenagers say they've electronically sent or posted online nude or semi-nude images of themselves, which may be fueling a more casual attitude toward sex, according to a "Sex and Tech" survey released this week by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and CosmoGirl.com.
About 22 percent of teen girls, including 11 percent of those between the ages of 13 and 16, and 18 percent of teen boys say they’ve shared racy photos of themselves and these racy images are also getting passed around: One-third (33 percent) of teen boys and one-quarter (25 percent) of teen girls say they have had nude/semi-nude images -- originally meant to be private -- shared with them, the online survey of 1,280 teens and young adults found.
The study also found that 15 percent of teens who have sent sexually suggestive content such as text messages, email, photographs or video say they have done so with someone they only know online.
Teens also said that hiding behind technology makes them bolder. Nearly one-quarter (22 percent of teens) said technology makes them more forward and aggressive. Thirty-eight percent of teens said that exchanging sexy content makes dating or hooking up with others more likely and 29 percent believe that by exchanging sexy content you are "expected" to date or hook up.
“That so many young people say technology is encouraging an even more casual, hook-up culture is reason for concern, given the high rates of teen and unplanned pregnancy in the United States,” Marisa Nightingale, senior advisor to the Entertainment Media Program at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, said in a news release.
“Parents should understand that their own notions of what’s public, what’s private, and what’s appropriate, may differ greatly from how teens and young adults define these concepts,” she added.