When it comes to sexting, there are some scholars who believe teens are largely influenced by the way they use media. But when it comes to actual evidence backing up this claim, there is very little. Fortunately, though, a study was conducted that focused on 329 adolescents, who were around 16-years-old. It was found in the study that “sexting behaviors were significantly associated with the consumption of pornography.” And as far as gender, the results were the same between both boys and girls.
51.7 percent of respondents in the survey admitted they had sent a text message that was sexual in nature. 14.9 percent had sent a sexual picture or had taken part in a webcam conversation that was sexual in nature.
The effect that media socialization has on adolescents’ sexting behaviors strongly correlates with how music videos and pornography influence offline sexual attitudes. It has been found that media containing sexual content does in fact accelerate teen’s sexual activity. It’s also been discovered that teens who visit sexually explicit websites are much more likely to have multiple sex partners. These teens are also more likely to engage in unprotected sex.
It’s safe to assume that many teenagers and adults alike have various views on sexting. Some feel that since no physical intimacy is taking place, that there’s nothing wrong with sexting. However, as anyone in a relationship knows, if the other party is caught sexting, it does feel like cheating.
A director working at the Elements Behavioral Health treatment center, Robert Weiss, says “according to the clients he works with, sexual texting, or texting about sex, is not the same thing as sexting… sexting only involves the exchange of images.” Whether one believes this is of personal opinion.
The important thing to keep in mind is that media does in fact influence sexting behaviors, and for those who watch or listen to sexually explicit materials, there’s a higher chance that risky sexual behaviors will take place. This is yet another reason why parents should fully monitor their children’s virtual activity.