CLEVELAND - More and more texting teens are becoming sexting teens after a new study found that sexting is more prevalent among teenagers and sexters are more likely to be sexually active.
Dr. Kate Eshleman did not take part in the study but is a psychologist at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital.
"A lot of kids have engaged in this behavior. Either asked, been asked, or sent. And then what they also found is that kids that are engaging in this behavior are at an increased likelihood to be engaging in other physical sexual activity," said Dr. Eshleman.
Researchers from the University of Texas studied the sexting habits of nearly 950 teenagers.
They found one in four teens sent a nude picture of themselves through electronic means. About half were asked to send a nude picture and about a third asked for a nude picture to be sent to them.
Researchers say sexters were also more likely to have been dating and to be sexually active than those who did not sext.
Dr. Eshleman says kids need to understand the potential consequences of sexting and parents are the first line of defense.
"Educating the parents so that they know and then leaving it up to the parents, as well as other providers: teachers, pediatricians, that sort of thing to educate the children as well," said Dr. Eshlman.
Complete findings for this study are in the journal "Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine" and can be read at http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1212181 .
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