Sex and the PC

Survey shows Teens Sharing Nude Images Online
by: Jerry Liao

Being able to communicate with practically anyone online has its advantages and disadvantages. Camera equipped mobile phones is no different. It’s so easy to take pictures and send it to friends and relatives anytime and anywhere. The same can also be done with computers or notebooks, with webcams fast becoming part of a PC, users can just click away and send it to anyone they like.

I came across a survey released by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and Cosmogirl.com revealed that one in five teenage girls say they have electronically sent, or posted online, nude or semi-nude images of themselves.

To all the parents reading this, you may want to continue reading on so that we will know how to deal with this reality — whether its already happening to our kids or not, its good that we are a couple steps ahead of them right? The survey was done in the U.S.

The survey indicated that one in five teen girls (22%)—and 11% of teen girls ages 13-16 years old—say they have electronically sent, or posted online, nude or semi-nude images of themselves. These racy images are also getting passed around: One-third (33%) of teen boys and one-quarter (25%) of teen girls say they have had nude/semi-nude images—originally meant to be private—shared with them.

The survey of 1,280 teens and young adults—conducted online by TRU, a global leader in research on teens and 20-somethings—indicates that 15% 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.

Teen girls are not the only ones sharing sexually explicit content. Almost one in five teen boys (18%) say they have sent or posted nude/semi nude images of themselves. One-third (33%) of young adults—36% of women and 31% of men ages 20-26—say they have sent or posted such images. What teens and young adults are doing electronically seems to have an effect on what they do in real life: Nearly one-quarter of teens (22%) admit that technology makes them personally more forward and aggressive. More than one-third of teens (38%) say exchanging sexy content makes dating or hooking up with others more likely and nearly one-third of teens (29%) believe those exchanging sexy content are “expected” to date or hook up.

Other findings from the survey include:

– Sending sexually suggestive messages is even more prevalent than sending nude/semi-nude images. Nearly half of young people (49% total, 39% of teens, 59% of young adults) have sent sexually suggestive text messages or email messages to someone.

– Even more have received sexually suggestive messages: 48% of teens and 64% of young adults (56% total). Fully one-third of young teen girls (ages 13-16) have received sexually suggestive messages.

– Teen girls who have sent or posted sexually suggestive content provide a number of reasons why: Two-thirds (66%) say they did so to be “fun or flirtatious,” half (52%) did so as a “sexy present” for their boyfriend, and 40% as a “joke.”

– Even though nearly three-quarters of young people (73% total, 75% of teens, 71% of young adults) say that sending sexually suggestive content “can have serious negative consequences,” nearly one-quarter (22% total, 19% of teens and 26% of young adults) say sending sexually suggestive content is “no big deal.”

Some of you might think that it can’t happen or won’t happen to you and your kids. Let me share with you that just a couple of weeks ago, I was surprised to find out that my 10 year old daughter has a Facebook account containing all our pictures. Worst, it’s not even in private mode.

Solution: I explained to her the dangers surrounding the online world. I also asked her why she created the account, her answer is very simple — most of her friends has one. Need I say more?

About the survey: This survey was conducted online by TRU (www.tru-insight.com). At present, it is estimated that about 90% of teens and young adults are online. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in TRU’s online surveys. Respondents were stratified according to the U.S. census and the data have been weighted to reflect the demographic composition of teens and young adults. Respondents do not constitute a probability sample.

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