The good news: most teens know that sexting is a crime. The bad news: older teens are less likely to think sexting will have negative consequences. All this from a new study about teens and sexting, conducted by researchers at Boston University and the University of New Hampshire, published in the newest issue of Computers in Human Behavior and shared in a recent CNET article.
Of the 1560 children aged 10-17 and their adult caregivers, 14% did not think or weren’t sure that sexting was a crime, though the younger respondents were much more likely to report sexting photos to authorities than the older respondents.
It’s important for kids to understand that sexting isn’t just sending a racy message across any social media platform. In some cases, sexting (A.K.A. taking, sending, or receiving nude or sexual photos) can be prosecuted as a felony, with many states having established sexting laws. So basically, this is no joke.
When it comes to digital parenting today, we strongly encourage parents to have fluid and regular conversations about technology usage, privacy, and safety issues, as well as monitor their kids’ activity as they grow to become responsible digital citizens.