Tag Archives: Sexting

American Academy of Pediatrics study: Third and fourth graders who own cell phones are more likely to be cyberbullied

18 Sep

Technology can be used for information gathering and to keep people connected. Some people use social media to torment others. Children can be devastated by thoughtless, mean, and unkind comments posted at social media sites. Some of the comments may be based upon rumor and may even be untrue. The effect on a particular child can be devastating. Because of the potential for harm, many parents worry about cyberbullying on social media sites. Moi wrote about bullying in Ohio State University study: Characteristics of kids who are bullies:

A Rotary Club in London has a statement about the Ripple Effect
Ripple Effect – Sending Waves of Goodness into the World
Like a drop of water falling into a pond, our every action ripples outward, affecting other lives in ways both obvious and unseen.
We touch the lives of those with whom we come into contact and, by extension, those with whom they come into contact.
When our actions spring from a spirit of kindness or compassion or generosity, we set into motion a “virtuous cycle” that radiates far beyond our ability to see, or perhaps even fully comprehend.
Just as a smile is infectious, so are more overt forms of service. Our objective — whether in something as formal as a highly-structured website development project or as casual as the spontaneous small kindnesses we share with strangers in hopes of brightening their day — is to send waves of positive change in the world, one act of service at a time.
Unfortunately, some children due to a variety of behaviors in their lives miss the message of the “Ripple Effect.” https://drwilda.com/2012/03/13/ohio-state-university-study-characteristics-of-kids-who-are-bullies/

Science Daily reported in Third and fourth graders who own cell phones are more likely to be cyberbullied:

Most research on cyberbullying has focused on adolescents. But a new study that examined cell phone ownership among children in third to fifth grades finds they may be particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying.
The study abstract, “Cell Phone Ownership and Cyberbullying in 8-11 Year Olds: New Research,” will be presented Monday, Sept. 18 at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.
Researchers collected survey data on 4,584 students in grades 3, 4 and 5 between 2014 and 2016. Overall, 9.5 percent of children reported being a victim of cyberbullying. Children who owned cell phones were significantly more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying, especially in grades 3 and 4….
Across all three grades, 49.6 of students reported owning a cell phone. The older the student, the more likely to report cell phone ownership: 59.8 percent of fifth graders, 50.6 percent of fourth graders, and 39.5 percent of third graders reported owning their own cell phone. Cell phone owners in grades three and four were more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying. Across all three grades, more cell phone owners admitted they have been a cyberbully themselves.
According to the researchers, the increased risk of cyberbullying related to phone ownership could be tied to increased opportunity and vulnerability. Continuous access to social media and texting increases online interactions, provides more opportunities to engage both positively and negatively with peers, and increases the chance of an impulsive response to peers’ postings and messages…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170915095228.htm

Citation:

Third and fourth graders who own cell phones are more likely to be cyberbullied
Research to be presented at the 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition finds that they are also likely to be bullies too
Date: September 15, 2017
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
Summary:
New research suggests elementary school-age children who own cell phones may be particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying.

Here is the press release from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Third and Fourth Graders Who Own Cell Phones are More Likely to be Cyberbullied
9/15/2017
Research to be presented at the 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition finds that they are also likely to be bullies too.
CHICAGO – Most research on cyberbullying has focused on adolescents. But a new study that examined cell phone ownership among children in third to fifth grades finds they may be particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying.
The study abstract, “Cell Phone Ownership and Cyberbullying in 8-11 Year Olds: New Research,” will be presented Monday, Sept. 18 at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.
Researchers collected survey data on 4,584 students in grades 3, 4 and 5 between 2014 and 2016. Overall, 9.5 percent of children reported being a victim of cyberbullying. Children who owned cell phones were significantly more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying, especially in grades 3 and 4.
“Parents often cite the benefits of giving their child a cell phone, but our research suggests that giving young children these devices may have unforeseen risks as well,” said Elizabeth K. Englander, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Mass.
Across all three grades, 49.6 of students reported owning a cell phone. The older the student, the more likely to report cell phone ownership: 59.8 percent of fifth graders, 50.6 percent of fourth graders, and 39.5 percent of third graders reported owning their own cell phone. Cell phone owners in grades three and four were more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying. Across all three grades, more cell phone owners admitted they have been a cyberbully themselves.
According to the researchers, the increased risk of cyberbullying related to phone ownership could be tied to increased opportunity and vulnerability. Continuous access to social media and texting increases online interactions, provides more opportunities to engage both positively and negatively with peers, and increases the chance of an impulsive response to peers’ postings and messages.
Englander suggests that this research is a reminder for parents to consider the risks as well as the benefits when deciding whether to provide their elementary school-aged child with a cell phone.
“At the very least, parents can engage in discussions and education with their child about the responsibilities inherent in owning a mobile device, and the general rules for communicating in the social sphere,” Englander said.
Englander will present the abstract, available below, on Monday, Sept.18, from 5:10 p.m. to 6 p.m. CT in McCormick Place West, Room S106. To request an interview with Dr. Englander, contact eenglander@bridgew.edu or 508-531-1784.
Please note: only the abstract is being presented at the meeting. In some cases, the researcher may have more data available to share with media, or may be preparing a longer article for submission to a journal.
# # #
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit http://www.aap.org.

Abstract Title: Cell Phone Ownership and Cyberbullying in 8-11 Year Olds: New Research
The study of cyberbullying has most often focused on adolescents. This study examined survey data on 4,584 students in grades 3, 4 and 5, gathered between late 2014 and 2016, as schools opted to survey their students about bullying and cyberbullying. Most, but not all, schools participating were in Massachusetts. Altogether, 49.6% of students reported owning their own cell phone. Older students were significantly more likely to report ownership; 59.8% of fifth graders, 50.6% of fourth graders, and 39.5% of third graders reported owning their own cell phone. Younger children were less able to define the term “cyberbullying” correctly, but 9.5% of all children reported being a victim of cyberbullying. Cell phone owners were significantly more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying, but this was only true for children in Grades 3 and 4. Although fewer students overall (5.8%) admitted to cyberbullying their peers, more cell phone owners admitted to cyberbullying, and this was true for all three grades (3, 4 and 5). When bullying in school was studied, only the third graders were significantly more likely to be bullied in school if they were cell phone owners, although both third and fourth grade cell phone owners were more likely to admit to bullying. Overall, cell phone ownership was more strongly related to cyberbullying (vs. traditional bullying) and the observed relationships were stronger among younger subjects (those in fourth, and especially third, grade).
https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/Third-and-Fourth-Graders-Who-Own-Cell-Phones-are-More-Likely-to-be-Cyberbullied.aspx

See, Kids Who Bully May Be More Likely to Smoke, Drink http://news.yahoo.com/kids-bully-may-more-likely-smoke-drink-170405321.html

Teri Christensen , Senior Vice President & Director of Field Operations at The Partnership at Drugfree.org wrote some excellent rules for helping kids develop healthy friendships.
Christensen suggests the following rules:

Here are 8 ways to encourage healthy friendships:
1. Regularly talk about what true friendship means – and the qualities that are important in a friend.
2. Help your child recognize behaviors that do not make a good friend.
3. Let your child know if you disapprove of one of his or her friends (or a group of friends) and explain why.
4. Try to be a good role model and use your own relationships to show how healthy friendships look and feel.
5. Get to know the parents of your children’s friends.
6. Talk to your child frequently — about everything from events of the day to his hope and dreams to dealing with peer pressure.
7. Know who your kids are hanging out with. (I don’t make my girls feel like I am being nosy but I do let them know that I have the right to check their phones, email and text messages should I feel the need to.)
8. Remind your child that that you are always there to lend an ear.
To me, a good friend is someone you can always count on. Someone who is there in the good times and bad. A true friend loves you for who you are and does not change how she feels based on what other people think.

Related Links:

When You Don’t Like Your Teenager’s Friends https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/ages-stages/teenager-adolescent-development-parenting/when-you-dont-like-your-teens-friends/

Talking About Sexting https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/talking-about-sexting

Teenage Girls and Cyber-Bullying https://www.girlshealth.gov/bullying/

How to Get Your Teen to Open Up and Talk to You More (and Text A Little Less) https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/resources-and-training/for-families/conversation-tools/index.html

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

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University of Southern California study: Teen who receive sexts six times more likely to engage in sex

1 Jul

We live in a society with few personal controls and even fewer people recognize boundaries which should govern their behavior and how they treat others. Common Sense Media has some great resources for parents about teaching children how to use media responsibly. Their information Talking About “Sexting” is excellent.

That picture’s not as private as you think
• 22% of teen girls and 20% of teen boys have sent nude or semi-nude photos of themselves over the Internet or their phones.
• 22% of teens admit that technology makes them personally more forward and aggressive.
• 38% of teens say exchanging sexy content makes dating or hooking up with others more likely.
• 29% of teens believe those exchanging sexy content are “expected” to date or hook up.
• (All of the above are from CosmoGirl and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 2009.)
Advice for Parents
• Don’t wait for an incident to happen to your child or your child’s friend before you talk about the consequences of sexting. Sure, talking about sex or dating with teens can be uncomfortable, but it’s better to have the talk before something happens.
• Remind your kids that once an image is sent, it can never be retrieved — and they will lose control of it. Ask teens how they would feel if their teachers, parents, or the entire school saw the picture, because that happens all the time.
• Talk about pressures to send revealing photos. Let teens know that you understand how they can be pushed or dared into sending something. Tell them that no matter how big the social pressure is, the potential social humiliation can be hundreds of times worse.
• Teach your children that the buck stops with them. If someone sends them a photo, they should delete it immediately. It’s better to be part of the solution than the problem. Besides, if they do send it on, they’re distributing pornography — and that’s against the law.
• Check out ThatsNotCool.com. It’s a fabulous site that gives kids the language and support to take texting and cell phone power back into their own hands. It’s also a great resource for parents who are uncomfortable dealing directly with this issue. https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/talking-about-sexting?utm_source=newsletter02.17.11&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=feature1-text

Common Sense Media has other great resources. Parent must monitor their child’s use of technology.

Science Daily reported in the article, Young teens who receive sexts are six times more likely to report having had sex:

A study from USC researchers provides new understanding of the relationship between “sexting” and sexual behavior in early adolescence, contributing to an ongoing national conversation about whether sexually explicit text messaging is a risk behavior or just a technologically-enabled extension of normal teenage flirtation. The latest research, published in the July 2014 issue of the journal Pediatrics, found that among middle school students, those who reported receiving a sext were 6 times more likely to also report being sexually active….. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630094751.htm

Citation:

Sexting and Sexual Behavior Among Middle School Students
1. Eric Rice, PhDa,
2. Jeremy Gibbs, MSWa,
3. Hailey Winetrobe, MPHa,
4. Harmony Rhoades, PhDa,
5. Aaron Plant, MPHb,
6. Jorge Montoya, PhDb, and
7. Timothy Kordic, MAc
+ Author Affiliations
1. aSchool of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California;
2. bSentient Research, Los Angeles, California; and
3. cLos Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles, California
Abstract
OBJECTIVE: It is unknown if “sexting” (ie, sending/receiving sexually explicit cell phone text or picture messages) is associated with sexual activity and sexual risk behavior among early adolescents, as has been found for high school students. To date, no published data have examined these relationships exclusively among a probability sample of middle school students.
METHODS: A probability sample of 1285 students was collected alongside the 2012 Youth Risk Behavior Survey in Los Angeles middle schools. Logistic regressions assessed the correlates of sexting behavior and associations between sexting and sexual activity and risk behavior (ie, unprotected sex).
RESULTS: Twenty percent of students with text-capable cell phone access reported receiving a sext and 5% reported sending a sext. Students who text at least 100 times per day were more likely to report both receiving (odds ratio [OR]: 2.4) and sending (OR: 4.5) sexts and to be sexually active (OR: 4.1). Students who sent sexts (OR: 3.2) and students who received sexts (OR: 7.0) were more likely to report sexual activity. Compared with not being sexually active, excessive texting and receiving sexts were associated with both unprotected sex (ORs: 4.7 and 12.1, respectively) and with condom use (ORs: 3.7 and 5.5, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: Because early sexual debut is correlated with higher rates of sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancies, pediatricians should discuss sexting with young adolescents because this may facilitate conversations about sexually transmitted infection and pregnancy prevention. Sexting and associated risks should be considered for inclusion in middle school sex education curricula.
Key Words:
• sexting
• sexual risk
• middle school
• adolescents
• cell phone
• Accepted April 17, 2014.
• Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics
1. Published online June 30, 2014

(doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-2991)
1. » AbstractFree
2. Full Text (PDF)Free http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2014/06/25/peds.2013-2991.full.pdf+html
Young teens who receive sexts are six times more likely to report having had sex
Date: June 30, 2014
Source: University of Southern California
Summary:
A study provides new understanding of the relationship between ‘sexting’ and sexual behavior in early adolescence, contributing to the ongoing conversation about whether sexually explicit text messaging is a risk behavior or just a technologically enabled extension of normal teenage flirtation. The latest research found that among middle school students, those who reported receiving a sext were six times more likely to also report being sexually active.

Here is the press release from the University of Southern California:

Tweens and teens who receive sexts are 6 times more likely to report having had sex
Study shows that middle school students who send more than 100 texts a day are also more likely to be sexually active
Contact: Suzanne Wu at suzanne.wu@usc.edu or (213) 503-3410; Tanya Abrams at tanyaabr@usc.edu or (213) 740-6973
LOS ANGELES — EMBARGOED UNTIL Sunday, June 29, 9 p.m. PT/Monday, June 30, 12:01 a.m. ET — A study from USC researchers provides new understanding of the relationship between “sexting” and sexual behavior in early adolescence, contributing to an ongoing national conversation about whether sexually explicit text messaging is a risk behavior or just a technologically-enabled extension of normal teenage flirtation. The latest research, published in the July 2014 issue of the journal Pediatrics, found that among middle school students, those who reported receiving a sext were 6 times more likely to also report being sexually active.
While past research has examined sexting and sexual behavior among high school students and young adults, the researchers were particularly interested in young teens, as past data has shown clear links between early sexual debut and risky sexual behavior, including teenage pregnancy, sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol, experience of forced sex and higher risk of sexually transmitted disease.
“These findings call attention to the need to train health educators, pediatricians and parents on how best to communicate with young adolescents about sexting in relation to sexual behavior,” said lead author Eric Rice, assistant professor at the USC School of Social Work. “The sexting conversation should occur as soon as the child acquires a cell phone.”
The study anonymously sampled more than 1,300 middle school students in Los Angeles as part of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Respondents ranged in age from 10-15, with an average age of 12.3 years. The researchers found that even when controlling for sexting behaviors, young teens who sent more than 100 texts a day were more likely to report being sexually active. Other key findings:
• Young teens who sent sexts were almost 4 times more likely to report being sexually active.
• Sending and receiving sexts went hand-in-hand: Those who reported receiving a sext were 23 times more likely to have also sent one.
• Students who identified as LGBTQ were 9 times more likely to have sent a sext.
• However, unlike past research on high school students, LGBTQ young adolescents were not more likely to be sexually active, the study showed.
• Youth who texted more than 100 times a day were more than twice as likely to have received a sext and almost 4.5 times more likely to report having sent a sext.
The researchers acknowledge that despite anonymity, the data is self-reported and thus subject to social desirability bias, as well as limitations for geographic area and the diverse demographics of Los Angeles. However, the dramatic correlation between students who sent sexts and reported sexual activity indicates the need for further research and summons attention to the relationship between technology use and sexual behavior among early adolescents, the researchers say.
“Our results show that excessive, unlimited or unmonitored texting seems to enable sexting,” Rice said. “Parents may wish to openly monitor their young teen’s cell phone, check in with them about who they are communicating with, and perhaps restrict their number of texts allowed per month.”
Overall, 20 percent of students with text-capable cell phones said they had ever received a sext, and 5 percent report sending a sext. The researchers defined “sext” in their survey as a sexually suggestive text or photo.
Jeremy Gibbs, Hailey Winetrobe and Harmony Rhoades of the USC School of Social Work were co-authors of the study. The data collection was supported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (grant 5U87DP001201-04).
For the embargoed PDF of the study, contact the American Academy of Pediatrics at commun@app.org. To arrange an interview with a researcher, contact USC News at uscnews@usc.edu.

In truth, a close relationship with your child will probably be more effective than spying. Put down that Blackberry, iPhone, and Droid and try connecting with your child. You should not only know who your children’s friends are, but you should know the parents of your children’s friends. Many parents have the house where all the kids hang out because they want to know what is going on with their kids. Often parents volunteer to chauffeur kids because that gives them the opportunity to listen to what kids are talking about. It is important to know the values of the families of your kid’s friends. Do they furnish liquor to underage kids, for example? How do they feel about teen sex and is their house the place where kids meet for sex? See, 10 Tips for Talking to Teens About Sex, Drugs & Alcohol which was posted at the Partnership for A Drug-Free America http://www.drugfree.org/10-tips-for-talking-to-teens-about-sex-drugs-alcohol/

So, in answer to the question should you spy on your Kids? Depends on the child. Some children are more susceptible to peer pressure and impulsive behavior than others. They will require more and possibly more intrusive direction. Others really are free range children and have the resources and judgment to make good decisions in a variety of circumstances. Even within a family there will be different needs and abilities. The difficulty for parents is to make the appropriate judgments and still give each child the feeling that they have been treated fairly. Still, for some kids, it is not out of line for parents to be snoops, they just might save the child and themselves a lot of heartache. https://drwilda.com/2012/06/07/talking-to-your-teen-about-risky-behaviors/

Resources:

Sexting Information: What every parent should know about sexting.
http://www.noslang.com/sexting.php

Social Networking and Internet Safety Information for Parents: Sexting
http://internet-safety.yoursphere.com/sexting/

Teen Sexting Tips
http://www.safeteens.com/teen-sexting-tips/
Related:

New study about ‘sexting’ and teens
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/new-study-about-sexting-and-teens/

Sexting’ during school hours
https://drwilda.com/2012/08/05/sexting-during-school-hours/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Study: Teens who are ‘sexting’ more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior

17 Sep

Moi wrote in What parents need to know about ‘texting’:                                     Parents must talk to their children about the appropriate use of technology.                                                                                              Jessica Citizen (Tecca) has a very parent-friendly Time article, 92 Teen Text Terms Decoded for Confused Parents:

These days, teens are texting more than ever, but the advent of QWERTY smartphone keyboards, predictive text, autocorrect, and the removal of message character limits should allow young social butterflies the opportunity to type full, real words. However, the confusing shorthand continues to live on anyway. With the help of Twitter, the microblogging site that still limits each post to a mere 140 characters, abbreviated slang appears to be here to stay. http://techland.time.com/2012/05/03/92-teen-text-terms-decoded-for-confused-parents/#ixzz1tvyDjnEp

Citizen includes a list of the most popular terms in her article.

For those who are unable or unwilling to set and observe personal boundaries, Apple just may bail you out. Alexia Tsotsis is reporting at Tech Crunch, Apple Patents Anti-Sexting Device So, for the stupid and truly clueless, looks like Apple is about to come to your rescue. Common Sense Media has some great resources for parents about teaching children how to use media responsibly. Their information about Talking About “Sexting” is excellent.

We live in a society with few personal controls and even fewer people recognize boundaries which should govern their behavior and how they treat others. Aretha Franklin had it right when girlfriend belted out, “Respect.”

In my day, we didn’t have self-esteem, we had self-respect, and no more of it than we had earned.

~Jane Haddam

https://drwilda.com/2012/05/04/what-parents-need-to-know-about-texting/

Laura Mc Mullen writes in the Health Buzz article, Sexting Teens More Likely to Have Risky Sex:

Study: One in Seven Los Angeles Teens Has Sexted

Sexting is once again linked to risky sexual behavior among teens in a study released today in the journal Pediatrics. One out of every seven Los Angeles teenagers surveyed for the study has sent a sexually-explicit text or photo, the study revealed, and those “sexters” are more likely to be engaging in unsafe sex, as in unprotected or under the influence. “What we really wanted to know is, is there a link between sexting and taking risks with your body? And the answer is a pretty resounding ‘yes,'” Eric Rice, sudy author and assistant professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work, told Reuters. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/09/17/health-buzz-sexting-teens-more-likely-to-have-risky-sex

Citation:

Sexually Explicit Cell Phone Messaging Associated With Sexual Risk Among Adolescents

  1. Eric Rice, PhDa,
  2. Harmony Rhoades, PhDa,
  3. Hailey Winetrobe, MPHa,
  4. Monica Sanchez, MAb,
  5. Jorge Montoya, PhDc,
  6. Aaron Plant, MPHc, and
  7. Timothy Kordic, MAd

+ Author Affiliations

  1. aSchool of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California;
  2. bDepartment of Psychology, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts;
  3. cSentient Research, Los Angeles, California; and
  4. dLos Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles, California
    Abstract
    OBJECTIVES: Sexting (sending/receiving sexually explicit texts and images via cell phone) may be associated with sexual health consequences among adolescents. However, to date, no published data from a probability-based sample has examined associations between sexting and sexual activity.
    METHODS: A probability sample of 1839 students was collected alongside the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey in Los Angeles high schools. Logistic regressions were used to assess the correlates of sexting behavior and associations between sexting and sexual risk-taking.
    RESULTS: Fifteen percent of adolescents with cell phone access reported sexting, and 54% reported knowing someone who had sent a sext. Adolescents whose peers sexted were more likely to sext themselves (odds ratio [OR] = 16.87, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 9.62–29.59). Adolescents who themselves sexted were more likely to report being sexually active (OR = 7.17, 95% CI: 5.01–10.25). Nonheterosexual students were more likely to report sexting (OR = 2.74, 95% CI: 1.86–4.04), sexual activity (OR = 1.52, 95% CI: 1.07–2.15), and unprotected sex at last sexual encounter (OR = 1.84, 95% CI: 1.17–2.89).
    CONCLUSIONS: Sexting, rather than functioning as an alternative to “real world” sexual risk behavior, appears to be part of a cluster of risky sexual behaviors among adolescents. We recommend that clinicians discuss sexting as an adolescent-friendly way of engaging patients in conversations about sexual activity, prevention of sexually transmitted infections, and unwanted pregnancy. We further recommend that discussion about sexting and its associated risk behavior be included in school-based sexual health curricula.

Key Words:

Abbreviations:

CI —
confidence interval
LAUSD —
Los Angeles Unified School District
LGBTQ —
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning/unsure
OR —
odds ratio
STIs —
sexually transmitted infections
YRBS —
Youth Risk Behavior Survey
  • Accepted May 21, 2012.
  • Copyright © 2012 by the American Academy of Pediatrics

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/09/12/peds.2012-0021.abstract

Moi wrote in Talking to your teen about risky behaviors:

Many parents want tips about how to talk with their kids about risky behaviors and whether they should spy on their children.

Perhaps the best advice comes from Carleton Kendrick in the Family Education article, Spying on Kids

Staying connected

So how do you make sure your teens are on the straight and narrow? You can’t. And don’t think you can forbid them to experiment with risky behavior. That’s what they’re good at during this stage, along with testing your limits. You can help them stay healthy, safe, and secure by doing the following:

  • Keep communicating with your teens, even if they don’t seem to be listening. Talk about topics that interest them.

  • Respect and ask their opinions.

  • Give them privacy. That doesn’t mean you can’t knock on their door when you want to talk.

  • Set limits on their behavior based on your values and principles. They will grudgingly respect you for this.

  • Continually tell them and show them you believe in who they are rather than what they accomplish.

  • Seek professional help if your teen’s abnormal behaviors last more than three weeks.

A 1997 landmark adolescent health study, which interviewed over 12,000 teenagers, concluded that the single greatest protection against high-risk teenage behavior, like substance abuse and suicide, is a strong emotional connection to a parent. Tough as it may be, you should always try to connect with them. And leave the spying to James Bond. It will only drive away the children you wish to bring closer.

In truth, a close relationship with your child will probably be more effective than spying. Put down that Blackberry, iPhone, and Droid and try connecting with your child. You should not only know who your children’s friends are, but you should know the parents of your children’s friends. Many parents have the house where all the kids hang out because they want to know what is going on with their kids. Often parents volunteer to chauffeur kids because that gives them the opportunity to listen to what kids are talking about. It is important to know the values of the families of your kid’s friends. Do they furnish liquor to underage kids, for example?  How do they feel about teen sex and is their house the place where kids meet for sex?Lisa Frederiksen has written the excellent article, 10 Tips for Talking to Teens About Sex, Drugs & Alcohol  which was posted at the Partnership for A Drug-Free America

So, in answer to the question should you spy on your Kids? Depends on the child. Some children are more susceptible to peer pressure and impulsive behavior than others. They will require more and possibly more intrusive direction. Others really are free range children and have the resources and judgment to make good decisions in a variety of circumstances. Even within a family there will be different needs and abilities. The difficulty for parents is to make the appropriate judgments and still give each child the feeling that they have been treated fairly. Still, for some kids, it is not out of line for parents to be snoops, they just might save the child and themselves a lot of heartache. https://drwilda.com/2012/06/07/talking-to-your-teen-about-risky-behaviors/

Resources:

Sexting Information: What every parent should know about sexting.                                                                                                                                     http://www.noslang.com/sexting.php

Social Networking and Internet Safety Information for Parents: Sexting                                                                                                                                     http://internet-safety.yoursphere.com/sexting/

Teen Sexting Tips                                                                                 http://www.safeteens.com/teen-sexting-tips/

Related:

New study about ‘sexting’ and teens                        https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/new-study-about-sexting-and-teens/

Sexting’ during school hours                                                           https://drwilda.com/2012/08/05/sexting-during-school-hours/

CDC report: Contraceptive use among teens                             https://drwilda.com/2012/07/24/cdc-report-contraceptive-use-among-teens/

Title IX also mandates access to education for pregnant students                                                                     https://drwilda.com/2012/06/19/title-ix-also-mandates-access-to-education-for-pregnant-students/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Sexting’ during school hours

5 Aug

In Teaching children about ‘sexting’ Moi said:

We live in a society with few personal controls and even fewer people recognize boundaries which should govern their behavior and how they treat others. Laura Hibbard has an eye opening post at Huffington Post about a teacher who was “sexting” one of her students. In the article, Cynthia Stewart, School Counselor, Jailed For Sexting Boy Hibbard reports:

After allegedly texting naked photos of herself to a 15-year-old boy, 43-year-old school counselor Cynthia Stewart faces possible jail time, NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported.

According to the report, Stewart, a counselor at Olympia Elementary School, has been charged with with solicitation of a minor as well as receipt of child pornography.

Authorities arrested Stewart after the boy’s parents found the correspondance, which included more than 20 naked photos of the counselor, My San Antonio reported.

After the two became friends on Facebook two years ago, their messages turned sexual in nature, the report said. Investigators are still unsure whether or not any sexual exchanges ever took place offline, but are continuing to look into the matter.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/16/cynthia-stewart-school-counselor-sexting-student_n_1098301.html?ref=education

Unfortunately, “sexting” incidents involving children and adults with authority over them are not that uncommon.

Children are not mature and adults cannot expect the same level of maturity that most adults are presumed to have. Immature people, like kids, will take even harmless interactions and embellish and broadcast them to the world at large. The safest course of action for for teachers who want to be viewed as teacher professionals is to use common sense when using all social media and never put yourself in a situation with a student which can be viewed as compromising.

Common Sense Media has some great resources for parents about teaching children how to use media responsibly. Their information  Talking About “Sexting”  is excellent.

Maureen Feighan reports in the Detroit News article, Schools in Troy seek to curb sexting:

Sexting — texting or emailing sexually explicit pictures or texts — is surging among teens, legal experts say, and one local school district is stepping up the fight against it.

The Troy School District Board of Education adopted a sexting policy this month that puts students on notice that their cellphones, laptops and other electronic devices may be searched starting in September if there’s “reasonable suspicion” of sexting, and local authorities may be contacted.

While school officials say the policy wasn’t prompted by a specific incident, it may be one of the first of its kind to specifically address sexting in a Metro Detroit school district.

“It was just a matter of being proactive and recognizing that unfortunately across the United States with the proliferation of communication devices and social media, it’s … only a matter of time before this may occur,” said Rich Machesky, Troy’s assistant superintendent for secondary instruction.

Still, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan has concerns about Troy’s policy, including how broadly it defines materials of a sexual nature and the handing over of a student’s private cellphone to police. They say under the current definition, biology books would be off-limits.

“Usually, this is kids being irresponsible and careless and certainly not criminals, and they shouldn’t be treated that way,” said Michael J. Steinberg, legal director for ACLU Michigan.

One infive teenage girls say they have electronically sent or posted online nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves, according to a national survey, “Sex and Tech,” by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and CosmoGirl.com.

Andone inthree teenage boys say they have had nude or semi-nude images, originally meant to be private, shared with them.

A study by researchers at the University of Michigan found sexting is also common among college-age people. The U-M SexLab and Prevention Research Center of Michigan surveyed 3,500 young adults, ages 18-24, and found 43 percent had received or sent sex-related messages on their phones.

As common as it may be, the consequences are serious. In Michigan, youngsters who sext can be prosecuted under child pornography laws and face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Just possessing sexually explicit material is a four-year felony. A juvenile conviction for a sexual offense could land someone on the state’s sex offender registry….

“I’ve gotten a lot of calls from parents that their kids are facing these serious charges and they’re flabbergasted,” Service said.

Plymouth-Canton Community Schools uses its student code of conduct to make it clear to students that sexting is forbidden.

“If we even suspect it, we get the police involved,” said district spokesman Frank Ruggirello.

But where does student privacy end and a district’s right to know begin? The ACLU’s Steinberg said standards are different for schools; a district has to have reasonable suspicion of possible illegal activity to conduct a search of someone’s belongings. Police, on the other hand, have to have probable cause that a crime has been committed.

“It’s a much higher standard than school officials,” said Steinberg, who has problems with Troy officials potentially acting as agents of the police.

The district’s policy states “all evidence and electronic devices shall be turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agency.”

Machesky said students could say no to a request to search their cellphone or laptop if a school official suspects sexting; the district would then contact the parents, he said.

If a student is found in violation of the policy, discipline could range from a minor infraction to up to a 10-day suspension.

“The real challenge to policing this whole issue of social media is behavior that happens outside of school versus behavior that happens inside school,” Machesky said. “Where it becomes a gray area is when incidents happen outside of school and may have an impact on school.”
http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120731/SCHOOLS/207310359#ixzz22cUJCAvR

See, School district acts to stop ‘sexting’                                           http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/school-district-acts-to-stop-sexting/2012/08/04/fe2e2552-db29-11e1-b829-cab78633af7c_blog.html

Common Sense Media has other great resources including including Caroline Knorr ‘s excellent article, How Rude! manners For the Digital Age

Parent must monitor their child’s use of technology.

Resources:

Sexting Information: What every parent should know about sexting.

http://www.noslang.com/sexting.php

Social Networking and Internet Safety Information for Parents: Sexting

http://internet-safety.yoursphere.com/sexting/

Teen Sexting Tips

http://www.safeteens.com/teen-sexting-tips/

Related:

New study about ‘sexting’ and teens                                                                               https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/new-study-about-sexting-and-teens/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

What parents need to know about ‘texting’

4 May

Jan Hoffman does masterly reporting in the New York Times article, A Girl’s Nude Photo, Altered Lives which provides the anatomy of a childhood mistake because of “sexting.”

One day last winter Margarite posed naked before her bathroom mirror, held up her cellphone and took a picture. Then she sent the full-length frontal photo to Isaiah, her new boyfriend.

Both were in eighth grade.

They broke up soon after. A few weeks later, Isaiah forwarded the photo to another eighth-grade girl, once a friend of Margarite’s. Around 11 o’clock at night, that girl slapped a text message on it.

“Ho Alert!” she typed. “If you think this girl is a whore, then text this to all your friends.” Then she clicked open the long list of contacts on her phone and pressed “send.”

In less than 24 hours, the effect was as if Margarite, 14, had sauntered naked down the hallways of the four middle schools in this racially and economically diverse suburb of the state capital, Olympia. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of students had received her photo and forwarded it.

In short order, students would be handcuffed and humiliated, parents mortified and lessons learned at a harsh cost. Only then would the community try to turn the fiasco into an opportunity to educate.

Hoffman goes on to report about the contact the participants had with the criminal justice system and how the prosecutor settled on a criminal charge. This incident has had an effect not only on the immediate participants, but the community as well. This definitely is a must read.

Parents should discuss what happened to the victim with their children:

THE VICTIM

When the police were finished questioning Margarite at Chinook in January 2010, her mother, a property manager, laid down the law. For the time being, no cellphone. No Internet. No TV.

Margarite, used to her father’s indulgence and unfettered access to technology, was furious.

But the punishment insulated Margarite from the wave of reaction that surged online, in local papers and television reports, and in texted comments by young teenagers throughout town. Although the police and the schools urged parents to delete the image from their children’s phones, Antoinette heard that it had spread to a distant high school within a few days.

The repercussions were inescapable. After a friend took Margarite skating to cheer her up, he was viciously attacked on his MySpace page. Kids jeered, telling him to change schools and go with “the whore.”

The school to which Margarite had transferred when she moved back in with her mother was about 15 miles away. She badly wanted to put the experience behind her. But within weeks she was recognized. A boy at the new school had the picture on his cellphone. The girls began to taunt her: Whore. Slut.

Margarite felt depressed. Often she begged to stay home from school.

In January, almost a year to the day when her photo went viral, she decided to transfer back to her old district, where she figured she at least had some friends.

The episode stays with her still. One recent evening in her mother’s condominium, Margarite chatted comfortably about her classes, a smile flashing now and then. But when the moment came to recount the events of the winter before, she slipped into her bedroom, shutting the door.

As Antoinette spoke about what had happened, the volume on the television in Margarite’s room grew louder.

Finally, she emerged. The smell of pizza for supper was irresistible.

What is it like to be at school with her former friend?

“Before I switched back, I called her,” Margarite said. “I wanted to make sure the drama was squashed between us. She said, were we even legally allowed to talk? And I said we should talk, because we’d have math together. She apologized again.”

What advice would Margarite give anyone thinking of sending such a photo?

She blushed and looked away.

“I guess if they are about to send a picture,” she replied, laughing nervously, “and they have a feeling, like, they’re not sure they should, then don’t do it at all. I mean, what are you thinking? It’s freaking stupid!”

Parents must talk to their children about the appropriate use of technology.

Jessica Citizen (Tecca) has a very parent-friendly Time article, 92 Teen Text Terms Decoded for Confused Parents:

These days, teens are texting more than ever, but the advent of QWERTY smartphone keyboards, predictive text, autocorrect, and the removal of message character limits should allow young social butterflies the opportunity to type full, real words. However, the confusing shorthand continues to live on anyway. With the help of Twitter, the microblogging site that still limits each post to a mere 140 characters, abbreviated slang appears to be here to stay.

 http://techland.time.com/2012/05/03/92-teen-text-terms-decoded-for-confused-parents/#ixzz1tvyDjnEp

Citizen includes a list of the most popular terms in her article.

For those who are unable or unwilling to set and observe personal boundaries, Apple just may bail you out. Alexia Tsotsis is reporting at Tech Crunch, Apple Patents Anti-Sexting Device So, for the stupid and truly clueless, looks like Apple is about to come to your rescue. Common Sense Media has some great resources for parents about teaching children how to use media responsibly. Their information about Talking About “Sexting” is excellent.

We live in a society with few personal controls and even fewer people recognize boundaries which should govern their behavior and how they treat others. Aretha Franklin had it right when girlfriend belted out, “Respect.”

In my day, we didn’t have self-esteem, we had self-respect, and no more of it than we had earned.

~Jane Haddam

Self-respect is the fruit of discipline…

~Abraham J. Heschel

He that respects himself is safe from others; he wears a coat of mail that none can pierce.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.

~Frederick Douglass

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

New study about ‘sexting’ and teens

5 Dec

We live in a society with few personal controls and even fewer people recognize boundaries which should govern their behavior and how they treat others. Lindsey Tanner of AP is reporting about a new study which finds fewer teens than previously thought are participating in the type of “sexting” where nude pictures are sent. In the article, Few teens sexting racy photos, new research says, Tanner reports:

Updated 10:18 p.m., Sunday, December 4, 2011

  • Chart shows sexting rate among 10-17 year-olds Photo: AP / AP

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Few-teens-sexting-racy-photos-new-research-says-2343330.php#ixzz1fe3ScLGG

According to this study, the majority of teens are not involved in sending inappropriate texts.

Here are key facts from the study, which also examined other studies:

CONCLUSIONS

Recent media reports have given the impression that “sexting” is a problem of epidemic proportions among teenagers today. However, analysis of the relevant research to date reveals that there is little consistency in the estimated prevalence of sexting among adolescents. In addition, the high estimates that have received the most media attention come from studies with a number of problems including unrepresentative samples, vaguely defined terms, and great potential for public misperception. Many otherwise valid findings have been presented

by the media in ways that exaggerate the true extent of the problem. While sexting does seem to occur among a notable minority of adolescents, there is little reliable evidence that the problem is as far‐reaching as many media reports have suggested. Although more conservative estimates do exist,4 these statistics are not as widely publicized.

Changes should be made to improve future studies on this topic. First, researchers should limit samples to only include minors (age 17 or younger) if they wish to address the primary concerns about youth‐produced child pornography. While it may be interesting to study sexting rates among young adults, sexual images of this population are not illegal and should not be combined with estimates of sexting among minors.

Second, terminology should be consistent among studies, accurately reported by the media, and adequately explained to youth participants. Using terms such as “nude or nearly‐nude images” may confuse teens participating in the studies and result in inaccurate estimates. It would also be best to focus only on images, not written exchanges, because sexual photographs of minors are illegal; sexual text messages between youth are generally not. If researchers used this standard terminology, more meaningful comparisons could be made between studies.

It is clear that a standardized definition of sexting is needed. Although sexting has become a popular term among the public, it has come to encompass too many activities to make it an appropriate term for formal research. Instead, the authors suggest using the term “youth‐produced sexual images,” defined as images created by minors (age 17 or younger) that depict minors and that are or could be considered child pornography under criminal statutes.

Third, there should be a greater emphasis on who these youth are sharing sexual images with and their reasons for doing this. While most media reports focus on youth sexting among peers, some youth may be sending sexual images to people they barely know, such as people they meet online.

http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/pdf/Sexting%20Fact%20Sheet%204_29_11.pdf

Citation:

The True Prevalence of “Sexting”

Kaitlan Lounsbury, Kimberly J . MIitchell & David Finkelhour

Crimes Against Children Research Center

http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/pdf/Sexting%20Fact%20Sheet%204_29_11.pdf

Common Sense Media has some great resources for parents about teaching children how to use media responsibly. Their information about Talking About “Sexting” is excellent.

Joyce Meyer often says “hurting people hurt other people.” We seem to be a culture of the walking wounded. The key is to channel the hurt away from self-destructive activities and into something more life affirming. Children, especially girls, need to feel good about themselves, particularly their body image. For some girls, sports have been a lifesaver. For other girls, whatever their talent or their interest(s) are, those interest(s) need to be encouraged. Too often, girls are “hooking up” before they are ready because everyone else is doing it or just because. The focus for children should be to find their voice. A wag once said to the Dixie Chicks, a popular female country crossover group, after they got involved in a political flap, shut-up and sing. Well, children, shut-up and sing.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Teaching children about ‘sexting’

18 Nov

We live in a society with few personal controls and even fewer people recognize boundaries which should govern their behavior and how they treat others. Laura Hibbard has an eyeopening post at Huffington Post about a teacher who was “sexting” one of her students. In the article, Cynthia Stewart, School Counselor, Jailed For Sexting Boy Hibbard reports:

After allegedly texting naked photos of herself to a 15-year-old boy, 43-year-old school counselor Cynthia Stewart faces possible jail time, NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported.

According to the report, Stewart, a counselor at Olympia Elementary School, has been charged with with solicitation of a minor as well as receipt of child pornography.

Authorities arrested Stewart after the boy’s parents found the correspondance, which included more than 20 naked photos of the counselor, My San Antonio reported.

After the two became friends on Facebook two years ago, their messages turned sexual in nature, the report said. Investigators are still unsure whether or not any sexual exchanges ever took place offline, but are continuing to look into the matter.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/16/cynthia-stewart-school-counselor-sexting-student_n_1098301.html?ref=education

Unfortunately, “sexting” incidents involving children and adults with authority over them are not that uncommon.

Children are not mature and adults can not expect the same level of maturity that most adults are presumed to have. Immature people, like kids, will take even harmless interactions and embellish and broadcast them to the world at large. The safest course of action for for teachers who want to be viewed as teacher professionals is to use common sense when using all social media and never put yourself in a situation with a student which can be viewed as compromising.

Common Sense Media has some great resources for parents about teaching children how to use media responsibly. Their information  Talking About “Sexting” is excellent.

That picture’s not as private as you think

  • 22% of teen girls and 20% of teen boys have sent nude or semi-nude photos of themselves over the Internet or their phones.
  • 22% of teens admit that technology makes them personally more forward and aggressive.
  • 38% of teens say exchanging sexy content makes dating or hooking up with others more likely.
  • 29% of teens believe those exchanging sexy content are “expected” to date or hook up.
  • (All of the above are from CosmoGirl and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 2009.)

Advice for Parents

  • Don’t wait for an incident to happen to your child or your child’s friend before you talk about the consequences of sexting. Sure, talking about sex or dating with teens can be uncomfortable, but it’s better to have the talk before something happens.
  • Remind your kids that once an image is sent, it can never be retrieved — and they will lose control of it. Ask teens how they would feel if their teachers, parents, or the entire school saw the picture, because that happens all the time.
  • Talk about pressures to send revealing photos. Let teens know that you understand how they can be pushed or dared into sending something. Tell them that no matter how big the social pressure is, the potential social humiliation can be hundreds of times worse.
  • Teach your children that the buck stops with them. If someone sends them a photo, they should delete it immediately. It’s better to be part of the solution than the problem. Besides, if they do send it on, they’re distributing pornography — and that’s against the law.
  • Check out ThatsNotCool.com. It’s a fabulous site that gives kids the language and support to take texting and cell phone power back into their own hands. It’s also a great resource for parents who are uncomfortable dealing directly with this issue.

Common Sense Media has other great resources including including Caroline Knorr ‘s excellent article, How Rude! manners For the Digital Age

Parent must monitor their child’s use of technology.

Resources:

Sexting Information: What every parent should know about sexting.

http://www.noslang.com/sexting.php

Social Networking and Internet Safety Information for Parents: Sexting

http://internet-safety.yoursphere.com/sexting/

Teen Sexting Tips

http://www.safeteens.com/teen-sexting-tips/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©