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One in Five Teens Have Sent Nude Pictures Electronically or Online

51% of teen girls said they send sexy messages or images because they are “pressured by a guy.”

  • In a recent survey by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (NCPTUP), 1 in 5 teens (13-19 years old) admitted to having electronically sent or posted online, nude and/or semi-nude photos and/or videos of themselves.  For young adults between the ages of 20 and 26, that percentage rose to 33%. The survey initially found that about 80% of the young men and women that responded said they had only sent such materials to their girlfriend/boyfriend.  However,  about 15% of those who had sent such materials admitted to having done so to individuals they know only through the Internet.

    This online survey, which was completed by a total of 1,280 respondents, was geared to understand why teens and young adults engage in activities involving sexually- explicit messages/ pictures sent or received through the Internet.  Most of the participants said they engage in such behavior because, “it is a fun and flirtatious activity.” However, when probed a bit deeper, 51% of teen girls said that they send sexy messages or images because they are “pressured by a guy”.   Among the most disturbing findings of the study was that 44% of both teen girls and teen boys say it is common for sexually suggestive text messages to get shared with people other than the intended recipient.   A similar finding was observed with nude or semi-nude photos.

    In addition to reporting the results of the online survey, the NCTPUP also offers suggestions in this article to both teens and parents of teens on how to handle sex and technology.  The most important tip to parents is to keep the lines of communication open between parents and the teen with respect to their online behavior and to orient them as far as the consequences of that behavior.  Parents should also monitor their teen’s online behavior and set proper limits and expectations with regards to what and whom they’re communicating with when they are online.[1]

[1]”Sex And Tech: Results From a Survey of Teens and Young Adults,” The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and, Dec. 2008 pg. 1-19



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