An impulsive decision can have long-term consequences for your children. Teen sexting is one of the foolish choices. There are real case of people even took their own life, because of their sexting image was expose to other.

In this section, we will go into detail about the reasons behind why do teens sext. Explore the psychological, and social factors driving this behavior and solutions for parents to prevent it.

What is sexting?

Sexting is sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit content via text or email.

According to Internet Matters, sexting is most prevalent among those aged 15 and over with 17% having sent a nude or sexual image of themselves to others. For 13 years old, it is 4% and 7% for 14 years old.

According to Safer Internet, WhatsApp and Snapchat are the most commonly used apps by teens to sext.

Why do teens sext?

Subjective reasons: Explore sex and relationships

Exploring sex, gender and relationships is a natural part of adolescence. Teens often feel that expressing those sexual feelings with sexual photos will show their love and trust to their partners.

However, sometimes children might be put under pressure so that teens send nudes to please a demanding boyfriend or girlfriend or they do it because “Everybody is doing it!” – called peer pressure.

why do teens sext

Objective reasons: Online sexual attackers

There are LOTS of online predators out there who use social media platforms, communities, peer-to-peer networks, and group chats to disguise as children, and entice other children to send them sexually explicit images/videos, which they can then distribute and/or used to blackmail the child into other forms of sexual exploitation. 

Lots of children who severely suffer from the mental consequences of sexting are always worried that people they meet will recognize them in those materials.

According to sexting facts and statistics, child pornography materials saw a 30% increase during the epidemic period in 2021 compared to the previous year. Online predators entice children to achieve the ultimate goal of sexually harming children in real life.

Parents can read more about sexual attackers and how to protect kids:

  What is online sexual predators? How to protect kids from online sexual predators?
  Inappropriate sexual behavior in teenagers - what and why it is serious?

Sexting’s negative effects on people in real life

Case 1: Sophia Ankel, 23, of London said she was “totally insulted” after sexually explicit images of her were spread around her school.

Being posted with pornographic images made her feel as if she wanted to disappear. That affected her mental health badly, and that time was a terrible memory of her life forever.

why do teens sext

Case 2: Another worst case is that of Damilya. It’s a pity when Damilya took her own life after her boyfriend threatened to attack Damilya and reveal her private sexual photos and videos.

Once that explicit content spreads over the internet, there is no way to stop it. It’s like a digital footprint, even if you delete something you post right away, it remains forever online. Your children’s reputation is now negatively affected both at school and in their community. It may affect their career possibilities in the future.

why do teens sext
Damilya, cre: central news

3 tips to talk to your children about sexting

“Hey dear, what do you think?”

Before starting a conversation about sexting, you proactively give information about sexting, why is sexting bad and ask your daughter what they think. Ask your child if they have ever heard of this and what they think about it. You might get some sort of feedback and they’ll talk openly about it, letting you know what they know.

In turn, you can talk about why is sexting bad.

Stay informed

Schools often create conferences about problems related to dangers on the Internet, and obviously, sexting will be one of them. Make sure you join these school meetings frequently to keep yourself updated about these topics and use this information as materials to start a conversation at home.

Sometimes what parents (maybe you) think is true but in fact, inaccurate and baseless.

During those meetings and discussions, you can meet with other parents and know how they share sensitive problems with their children as well as other parenting tips. 

why do teens sext

Don’t teach. Pay attention to your tone of voice

Don’t become too worried if you find something on your child’s phone or you hear some of their friends doing it. To understand your kids and their friends talking, you might need to know some terms related to sexting.

Remember – this is an opportunity for you to reach out to your child, and open the door for future conversations with more sensitive problems. So, it is important not the thing you say but the way you say it. 

Pay attention to your tone of voice, if the kids realize you are too serious or going to scold them, you are slamming this important door and pushing your kids away. (And they won’t talk to you about anything personal for a long time.)

Try and you may love this:

  Inappropriate sexual behavior in teenagers - what and why it is serious?
  Recap: Child Sexual Exploitation Online: How to Fight it with Artificial Intelligence
  What is online sexual predators? How to protect kids from online sexual predators?
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