The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Opinion-Teens not cautious with ‘sexting’

Teenagers are doing more than just talking or texting on their cell phones these days. Some are sending explicit photos of themselves.

It’s called “sexting.”

According to a survey from CosmoGirl.com and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 22 percent of teen girls and 11 percent of 13-16-year-old girls said they have electronically sent or posted online nude or semi-nude images of themselves.

One-third of teen boys and one-quarter of teen girls said they have had nude or semi-nude images, intended to be private, shared with them.

The survey, conducted online with 1,280 teens and young adults, said 15 percent of teens who have sent suggestive material such as text messages, e-mail, photos or video did so with someone they knew only online.

The survey also said that 18 percent of teen boys sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves.

One-third of young adults age 20-26 say they have sent or posted such content.

Four Northwest High School students are under investigation after nude photos of a 16-year old classmate were thrown in a school hallway in an incident Thursday.

“Teenagers should be aware of the real consequences to this type of behavior, and we need to provide them with guidance and encourage them to make smart choices,” said Susan Schulz, special projects editor for Hearst Magazines, in a press release.

Marisa Nightingale, senior adviser of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, said in a statement that this phenomenon should concern parents.

“Parents should understand that their own notions of what’s public, what’s private and what’s appropriate may differ greatly from how teens and young adults define these concepts,” she said.

One-third of girls age 13-16 reportedly received sexually suggestive messages, the survey found.

Reasons why teen girls send or post sexual content included wanting to be “fun or flirtatious” or to send a “sexy present” to their boyfriends.

And although 73 percent of young people said that sending sexual material “can have serious negative consequences,” 22 percent said it was “no big deal.”

For an 18-year-old Cincinnati woman, the consequences of sending sexually explicit material were too high.

On July 3, after enduring months of harassment, Jesse Logan hanged herself in her bedroom when an ex-boyfriend e-mailed nude photos of her to other girls in her high school, according to an NBC report.

The suicide occurred two months after the blue-eyed, blonde-haired, fun-loving teenager went to a Cincinnati television station to tell her story.

“I just want to make sure no one else will have to go through this again,” she said in the interview.

Jesse’s story should serve as a reminder to everyone considering sending nude photographs over the Internet or by cell phone that it can be dangerous and destructive.

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