You've probably read the horror stories about sexting that are popping up all over the news, but what exactly is sexting? Is it something I should worry about as a parent? Who's actually sexting? Is it really a problem? Don't worry, we'll help you learn everything you need to know about sexting slang. Recent studies claim that as much as 39% of teens and 59% of young adults have sexted at least once.
Sexting is defined as the act of sending sexually explicit messages or images between cell phones. It's the modern equivalent of what we older people used to call phone sex. Sexting is a combination of the words "sex" and "texting" and originated in the early 2000's as people became equipped with camera phones. Unlike phone sex however, sexting leaves very little to the imagination.
Sexting is a natural progression among couples. It can be fun and playful - but it can also have consequences for teens. If you suspect your teen is sexting, you should talk to them about the dangers of sending out pictures.
In most states, teens caught with "sexting pictures" on their phones can actually be charged with possession of child porn - even if they themselves are under 18, and sometimes even if the images are of themselves.
It's also a good idea to remind your teen that those images can be permanent. It may seem fun and risky to send sexy pictures to a current boyfriend, but what happens if the relationship ends? Can that person really be trusted not to do anything with those images? It's not a chance your teen should take.