"Sexting" is the popular name for the act of sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually suggestive photos via a text message on a cell phone or posting pictures on social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace. Some research has shown that technology may increase the likelihood that a teenager will share sexually suggestive material or nude photos, and that many of the teens who post this material have other problems with decision making, lack supportive role-models, or exhibit similar behaviors in real life.
You're probably wondering: What are teens thinking? It might be more helpful if we ask: What are adults doing to help?
That's where this study comes in. It provides parents, clergy, and teachers with a foundation for how to help teenagers make sexual decisions in day-to-day life that will also serve to benefit a teen's interactions in cyberspace. This study also takes an unflinching look at the social and legal ramifications of sexting. Now more than ever, parents, youth leaders, and clergy should talk to children and teens about healthy and safe ways to use new technologies. Adults do not need to know how to use the technology to have a meaningful conversation about it. What's important is recognizing that teens want to hear what their parents and clergy have to say about friendship, sexual relationships, and personal decision making.