Teens, Sexting, and Dating Violence

Calender Posted on: October 18, 2021clock Time to read: 2 minutes

American teenagers spend an incredible amount of time on their phones. In fact, on average, American teens spend nine hours a day in front of screens (cell phones, laptops, tablets, etc.) Much of this time is spent harmlessly, communicating with friends, playing video games, streaming video, etc.

However, unfortunately, there is also a lot of sexting and other risky behavior that happens when teens communicate with each other digitally. Roughly 24% of high school-aged teens have participated in nude sexting.

 

The Dangers of Sexting For Teens

Many teens participate in sexting because they think it is a fun and harmless way to have fun with someone they are romantically involved with. However, roughly 17 percent of teens who receive nude photos from other teens share them with other people. So teens who sext or share nude photos are in danger of having their photos shared with people they did not want to share them with.

Another alarming statistic regarding teen sexting is that 15 percent of teens who sext do so with people they have never met in real life and only know through the internet. Sexting with people who they don’t know can result in teens putting themselves in dangerous situations.

Many teens are also unaware of the fact that sending or receiving a sexually explicit text or image under the age of 18 is considered child pornography and can result in criminal charges for themselves or for the person they are sending it to. So, this is another hazard of teen sexting.

 

Teen Dating Violence

In addition to issues related to sexting, many teens also experience violence in their relationships. In fact, roughly 1 in 11 female teens and 1 in 14 male teens experience dating violence every year. Teen sexting is also correlated with an increased risk of partner violence in relationships. Teens who participate in sexting are four times as likely to experience physical violence in relationships compared to those who don’t.

Dating violence can have a number of unhealthy consequences including physical harm, depression, anxiety, self-medication through alcohol and drugs, anti-social behaviors like lying, theft, and bullying, and suicidal thoughts.

Oftentimes, teens in relationships are experiencing a relationship for the first time and do not fully understand what is healthy and what is not healthy. They can also struggle to remove themselves from bad or violent relationships because they do not yet have the confidence or skills to deal with a breakup.

 

How to Help Teens With These Issues

There are a number of things that parents can do to help teens with these issues. Here are some of the most helpful things that parents can do to help teens with the issues of sexting and dating violence.

  • Teach teens about all of the dangers of sexting including the legal and social consequences that can come from it.
  • Make sure that teens are aware that violence is never acceptable in any relationship.
  • Look for signs of physical abuse.
  • Encourage teens to talk about any relationship problems they might be having.
  • Teach teens that being treated with respect is one of the most important things in a relationship.

Take Action to Prevent Sexting and Teen Dating Violence

If you want to learn how to prevent teenage sexting and teen dating violence, then click here to get in touch with us to learn about our Conflict-Wise course. This course provides key information for how to deal with these issues and teaches you how to prevent your teen from being exposed to danger related to sexting and dating violence.

 

References:
  1. “Teens Spend an Astounding 9 Hours a Day in Front of Screens: Researchers.” West Virginia Education Association. https://www.wvea.org/content/teens-spend-astounding-nine-hours-day-front-screens-researchers
  2. “11 Facts About Sexting.” Do Something. https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-sexting
  3. “Preventing Teen Dating Violence.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/teendatingviolence/fastfact.html
  4. “Teen Dating Violence: Tips for Parents.” American Academy of Pediatrics. https://patiented.solutions.aap.org/handout.aspx?gbosid=166252
  5. “Clear Link Between Sexting and Partner Violence.” Science Norway. https://sciencenorway.no/forskningno-norway-relationships/clear-link-between-sexting-and-partner-violence/1436468