Attitudes and Concerns around Sexting
Most American parents believe that there are legal consequences if teens are caught sexting, they worry about what it leads to and say they have talked to their teens about it.
Almost three quarters of parents (71%) believe that there are legal consequences if teens are caught sexting, while just over a quarter do not (29%).
A majority of parents (61%) worry that sexting will lead to cyberbullying among teens and about the same number of parents (59%) say they have talked to their 13-18 year old teen about sexting.
- Parents who have teens that have been cyberbullied are more likely than their counterparts with teens who have not been cyberbullied to agree that sexting leads to cyberbullying (77% vs. 59%). The same belief that sexting leads to cyberbullying is more often held by parents who believe that there are legal consequences associated with sexting compared to parents who do not (73% vs. 35%).
- Parents who are aware of sexting are more likely to talk about it with their teens than their counterparts who are unaware of sexting (70% vs. 35%).
- Not surprisingly, parents that are aware of sexting are also more likely to be aware of the legal consequences associated with sexting than parents who are not aware (79% vs. 54%).
- A minority of American parents (15%) admit that they don’t understand the potential dangers associated with sexting, while 69% think they do understand.
- Mothers are more likely than fathers to admit that they don’t understand the potential dangers associated with sexting. (74% vs. 65%).
- Parents with teens that have sent sexts are more likely than parents with teens that have received sexts to understand the potential dangers associated with texting (39% vs. 20%). Parents with teens that have been cyberbullied are more likely to understand the dangers associated with sexting than their counterparts with teens that have never been cyberbullied (47% vs. 11%).
- Not surprisingly, parents are more aware than teens regarding the legal consequences of getting caught sexting. A recent COX study indicates that more than half of teens (55%) believe that there are legal consequences if caught sending nude or nearly nude or sexually suggestive photos.
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