Really? “Teens who send more than 100 texts a day are more likely to be having sex”

Teens who send more than 100 texts a day are more likely to be sexually active, researchers have claimed.

They also say that teens who ‘sext’ are six times more likely to be having sex.

The first major study into sexting said there were ‘clear links’ between sexting and risky behaviour.

The latest research, published in the July 2014 issue of the journal Pediatrics, found that among middle school students, those who reported receiving a sext were 6 times more likely to also report being sexually active.

‘These findings call attention to the need to train health educators, pediatricians and parents on how best to communicate with young adolescents about sexting in relation to sexual behaviour,’ said Eric Rice at USC, who led the research.

‘The sexting conversation should occur as soon as the child acquires a cell phone.’

Past data has shown clear links between early sexual debut and risky sexual behaviour, including teenage pregnancy, sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol, experience of forced sex and higher risk of sexually transmitted disease.

The researchers found that even when controlling for sexting behaviours, young teens who sent more than 100 texts a day were more likely to report being sexually active.

‘Our results show that excessive, unlimited or unmonitored texting seems to enable sexting,’ Rice said.

‘Parents may wish to openly monitor their young teen’s cell phone, check in with them about who they are communicating with, and perhaps restrict their number of texts allowed per month.’

Overall, 20 percent of students with text-capable cell phones said they had ever received a sext, and 5 percent report sending a sext.

The researchers defined ‘sext’ in their survey as a sexually suggestive text or photo.

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