One in seven teenagers sends sexts, one in eight has forwarded sexts and one in four receives them, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics.
The older young people are, the more likely they are to send and receive sexts.
“It is possible that this behavior may be a normal part of sexual behavior and identity formation in the digital age. Consequently, efforts and resources to criminalize sexts should be redirected to educational programs on digital citizenship and healthy relationships,” the study’s authors say.
“Moreover, given that the mean age of first smartphone acquisition is 10.3 years, it is important for middle school educators, pediatricians, and parents to have ongoing conversations with tweens regarding sexting and digital citizenship.”