A Lesson in Teen Sexting

I learned a lot about teens and sexting over the past few months. However, I would say that not all teens are sexting. It seems more like 50-50. Some teens that I speak with aren’t even quite sure what it is while others can share with me multiple stories about people they know where sexting experiences have gone wrong. There seems to be a range of acceptance within the sexting world.  Many of the girls that I speak with will send sexy messages to their boyfriends, but many draw the line at sending naked photos.

Just to bring everyone up to speed, sexting is when a girl or boy sends a sexual message or photo to another girl or boy. Many of the teens that do sext are very smart about it. They have rules. You don’t sext and post over the Internet ( i.e. Facebook.) They only sext via text because, in their words “that can easily be deleted.” When we hear stories of sexting in the news, it’s usually because of 1 of 2 scenarios have occurred.

1) A girl has sent a photo to a boy that she likes. Keep in mind that he may have requested the photo. That particular boy has a girlfriend. The girlfriend intercepts the photo from his phone, is angry that another girl has sent him a photo and shares the photo with others over the Internet basically as revenge.

2) A boy requests a photo from a girl. Sometimes he’ll send a photo of himself shirtless to the girl first and then requests a photo back. The boy has no real interest in the girl, he just wants the photo. The girl, if she likes him, is usually flattered and unsure what to do next. Bad judgment comes into play as well as peer pressure, so she sends a photo of herself back to him. This could be anything from shirtless, to completely topless, to completely nude. The boy then shares the photo with his friends (male and female) and before you know it, the photo has gone viral.

From the teen perspective, most sexting stays private. They see it as harmless. I’ve heard stories of girls transferring to another school after an embarrassing sexting experience, and yet teens still think it’s ok to send photos of themselves. With this younger generation, it seems that the line between public and private has become completely blurred. This is where I see technology as a very dangerous tool, if not understood and used properly.

Here are a few sexting codes that teens are using today.

KPC= Keeping Parents Clueless

#8= Oral Sex

TDTM= Talk Dirty to Me

GNOC=  Get Naked on Cam

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About Carol Langlois
Dr Carol is a former University Dean and Associate Provost, trained therapist, researcher, educational consultant and writer. During her training, she counseled hundreds of clients in one-on-one sessions as well as in group settings where her work was with college freshman dealing with transitional and developmental issues on campus. Her primary research focus is female self-esteem development among teens. Her published dissertation “The effects of single gender versus coeducational environments on the self-esteem development and academic competence of high school females” focused on 15 year old girls in the Bay Area where her research findings showed disturbingly low levels of self-esteem across the board. This staggering discovery has led her to further research this topic. She is working on her second book called Girl Talk: Boys, Bullies and Body Image, which is a compilation of interviews with teens girls on the topic of self-esteem while offering an effective and practical system designed to RAISE (Resilience, Attitude, Independence, Self-Respect and Empowerment) teen self-esteem. In addition, she runs groups for non-profits interested in adding self-esteem training into their overall mission. carol@dr-carol.com

4 Responses to A Lesson in Teen Sexting

  1. It would be great to find out your thoughts on snapchat and sexting – especially since it isn’t a done deal that snapchat goes away – with screen shots and other options.

  2. Pingback: Protecting Your Teen from the Dangers of Texting by Diane Griffin | Jackie's Book Reviews

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