What is Sexting?

Use of technology such as cell phones and computers to exert control over a partner has become increasingly commonplace in teenage relationships. This kind of abuse is just as serious and harmful as other forms of violence.

The statistics are alarming:

  • One in three teens who have been in a relationship say they’ve been text messaged 10, 20, or 30 times an hour by a partner finding out where they are, what they’re doing, or who they’re with.
  • 25% of teens who have been in a relationship say they have been called names, harassed, or put down by their partner on a phone call or in a text message.
  • 22% say they have been asked by their partner over the phone or internet to engage in sexual activity they did not want to.
  • 17% say their partner has made them afraid not to respond to a cell phone call, email, IM or text message because of what he or she might do.
  • 19% reported that their partner has used a cell phone or the internet to spread rumors about them.
  • 18% say their partner has used a networking site like Facebook or Myspace to harass or put them down.
  • One in ten report they have been threatened physically by a boyfriend or girlfriend over email, IM, or text message

SEXTING: WHAT IS IT?

Sending or forwarding nude, sexually suggestive, or explicit pics on your cell or online. For some people, it's no big deal. But real problems can emerge when the parties involved are under 18, when people get pressured into sexting, and when sexts go viral.

Was this my idea? If you're not in the mood to make, take, or share a permanent record of your stuff, choose a way to express your hotness that won't put you at risk for major overexposure. If you're being pressured to pose, and feel embarrassed to say no, play along, but keep your clothes on — not showing it all is way sexier. Still on the fence? Proceed to part two of this question: is it better to feel uncool for a half an hour or be totally humiliated when the pics wind up in everybody's inbox?

  1. Where will this picture end up? Possible answers:
    1. My bf or gf's phone.
    2. His or her friends' phones.
    3. Everyone's phone and inbox.
  2. What was going on when this pic was taken? If you're forwarded a sext, the answer is... who knows. Maybe the subject was having fun, but maybe s/he was coerced, or filmed/photographed without his or her knowledge or consent. Maybe s/he was drunk at the time and has no idea that the sext you just got is making the rounds. The point is, when you get a sext, you might not know if the person would be cool with you sending it around, so better to hit delete rather than forward.