Sexting

Sexting, Social Media, & Cyberbullying

Social media is a two-way street that gives you the ability to communicate remotely.

  • Over 50% of youth log on to their favorite social media sites more than once per day
  • 25% log on more than 10 times per day
  • Many are always connected via their smartphones

It is often a reflection of our online lives including clique forming, cyberbullying and online harassment, and sexual experimentation.

Dr. Temple and BHAR are developing evidence-based prevention programs addressing risk and protective factors of social media use among teens. BHAR utilizes evidence-based best practices to educate youth, teachers, parents and guardians, as well as organizations and institutions about both the risks and rewards of our connected world.

Dr. Temple’s research on adolescent health and risky behaviors, including his longitudinal study, also contribute to and inform the development of BHAR’s prevention strategies.

To request a presentation or workshop on any of these topics or for more information, please contact us at bhar@utmb.edu

Fact Box for Parents and Caregivers

For all parents and caregivers of tweens and teens:

  • Remember that "the talk" is an ongoing conversation that should start early and emphasize healthy relationships and cohesive sexual education.
  • Become familiar and stay current with advances in technology.
  • Download and learn popular sharing apps like Instagram and Snapchat.
  • For younger kids, "friend", "follow", or "like" their accounts.
  • For older kids, Where autonomy is critical to development, you may opt to give more privacy. Consider employing an "I won't check until you give me a reason" approach.
  • Talk to your kids about sexting. Be sure they know the potential risks associated with sending nude pictures.
  • Avoid scare tactics such as: "If you send a nude photo, you'll never get into college or get a good job." While this may happen, it is unlikely, and you may lose any credibility you had on the subject.

If you think or discover that your tween or teen has sexted:

  • While certainly unsettling, this does not mean your child is deviant, depressed, or a "bad kid".
  • Sexting is associated with sexual behavior, including future sexual behavior. Use this as an opportunity to begin or continue "the talk", with an emphasis on healthy relationships and comprehensive sex education that includes abstinence and safe sexual practices.
  • Consider a formal monitoring system of his/her cell phone and social media accounts.

Temple, J.R.(2015). A primer on teen sexting. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Connect, 2, 6-8.