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Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

New Survey Confirms 1 in 5 Teens Sext

  • Jim Liebelt
    Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
  • 2009 Jun 25
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A recently released survey from Cox Communications in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and John Walsh found that 1 in 5 teens (19%) have been involved in "sexting" — sending, receiving or forwarding sexually suggestive text messages. These findings are consistent with a previous survey released in 2008.

This new survey included helpful information, breaking down the 19% cumulative figure into percentages of teens involved in specific behaviors:

Teens that have sent sexts: 9%
Teens that have received sexts: 17%
Teens that have forwarded sexts to others: 3%

Largely, those teens who sent sexts said the messages were sent to a boyfriend/girlfriend (60%).

Perhaps most disturbing was the number of teens (11%) who sent sexts to someone they did not know.

About 80% of teens who sext are under the age of 18, with the highest age group of sexters (24%) was 17-year-olds.

Of teens surveyed, 74% believe that sexting is wrong.

Of teen sexters, senders are more likely to be girls (65%).

Teens who sext spend more time online per week (31.7 hours) compared to the overall average of teens surveyed (26.8 hours).

Source: Cox Communications

http://www.cox.com/takecharge/safe_teens_2009/media/2009_teen_survey_internet_and_wireless_safety.pdf

For more information on sexting, read my article, "Sexting: A Parent’s Guide to Keeping Your Kids Safe".