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Friday, December 12, 2008

Large Percentage of Young Adults Posting Nude Pictures

A new survey by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy has found that 22% of teen girls have posted nude or semi-nude pictures online. Most important findings from the survey are below.

Also check out research that was published in our own Sexuality Research and Social Policy Journal - Journalist or Panderer? Framing Underage Webcam Sites - which talks about new technologies changing social relationships and view of teen's sexuality.

Survey Findings:(Full survey summary is here).
  • One in five teen girls (22%)—and 11% of teen girls ages 13-16 years old—say they have electronically sent, or posted online, nude or semi-nude images of themselves.
  • One-third (33%) of teen boys and one-quarter (25%) of teen girls say they have had nude/semi-nude images—originally meant to be private—shared with them.
  • The survey of 1,280 teens and young adults indicates that 15% of teens who have sent sexually suggestive content such as text messages, email, photographs or video say they have done so with someone they only know online.
  • Teen girls are not the only ones sharing sexually explicit content. Almost one in five teen boys (18%) say they have sent or posted nude/semi nude images of themselves. One-third (33%) of young adults—36% of women and 31% of men ages 20-26—say they have sent or posted such images.
  • What teens and young adults are doing electronically seems to have an effect on what they do in real life: Nearly one-quarter of teens (22%) admit that technology makes them personally more forward and aggressive. More than one-third of teens (38%) say exchanging sexy content makes dating or hooking up with others more likely and nearly one-third of teens (29%) believe those exchanging sexy content are “expected” to date or hook up.
  • Sending sexually suggestive messages is even more prevalent than sending nude/semi-nude images. Nearly half of young people (49% total, 39% of teens, 59% of young adults) have sent sexually suggestive text messages or email messages to someone.
  • Even more have received sexually suggestive messages: 48% of teens and 64% of young adults (56% total). Fully one-third of young teen girls (ages 13-16) have received sexually suggestive messages.
  • Teen girls who have sent or posted sexually suggestive content provide a number of reasons why: Two-thirds (66%) say they did so to be “fun or flirtatious,” half (52%) did so as a “sexy present” for their boyfriend, and 40% as a “joke.”
  • Even though nearly three-quarters of young people (73% total, 75% of teens, 71% of young adults) say that sending sexually suggestive content “can have serious negative consequences,” nearly one-quarter (22% total, 19% of teens and 26% of young adults) say sending sexually suggestive content is “no big deal.”
For effects of this sexualization, especially on girls, please see the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls: http://www.apa.org/pi/wpo/sexualizationsum.html

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