Full-Text Fridays: Sexting and Sexual Behavior in At-Risk Adolescents

Happy Friday! This week’s full-text journal article is Sexting and Sexual Behavior in At-Risk Adolescents. Get more information about this week’s article after the jump:

Citation: Houck CD, Barker D, Rizzo C, Hancock E, Norton A, Brown LK. (2014) Sexting and Sexual Behavior in At-Risk Adolescents. Pediatrics Jan 6. [Epub ahead of print].

Why this article: 1.) Because I have a 7th grader so this article speaks to me personally and professionally. 2.) Adolescent sexting can have both legal implications (re: transmission of  images of child sexual exploitation, depending on the jurisdiction), as well as clinical. Understanding the age at which this is occurring and the extent of the activity allows for more effective engagement with both adolescent patients and parents of adolescents.

Key quote: [S]exual text messaging behavior of any kind, with or without pictures, was associated with greater likelihood of engaging in a variety of sexual behaviors, including touching genitals, having a “friend with benefits,” oral sex, or vaginal sex. Teenagers who had sexted were between 4 and 7 times more likely to have engaged in these sexual behaviors. For example, teen- agers who had sexted were 5 times as likely to have had vaginal sex, putting them at greater risk for pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections… Although any sexting appears to be a marker for sexual risk, sending photos is associated with even greater likelihood of early sexual activity.