Sexting, the use of technology to send or receive sexually explicit messages, photos, or videos, is a relatively new trend and, in many cases, has legal implications. As many as 25-50% of young people may participate in sexting. A close-up look at the sexting practices of a group of urban ethnic minority youths is presented in an article in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
In fact, sexting is relatively common among ethnic minority youth, according to Melissa Fleschler Peskin, PhD and coauthors, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health. They calculated the prevalence of sexting based on data collected from more than 1,000 tenth graders from a large urban school district. They reported that 20% of students reported sending a nude or semi-nude picture or video or a sexual text message—any one of these considered a "sext"—and more than 30% reported receiving a sext.
Additional, sexts were often shared with unintended recipients, and one-third of the youths reported sharing or receiving sexts that were meant to be private.
"In the relatively new discipline of cyberpsychology, we seek to explore the many challenges of current behavior that social networking potentiates. Certainly, such research enables us to better prepare for the behavioral changes that advances in Internet technology will continue to bring," says Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCIA, Editor-in-Chief of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, from the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, CA.
The article is available online on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website.