Teens are posting/sharing suggestive pics

A recent survey by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unwed Pregnancy and CosmoGirl.com investigated the online habits of youth and young adults. The results suggest that 18% of teen boys and 22% of girls have sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures or videos of themselves. Thirty-nine percent of teens have posted sexually explicit messages. These posts are made despite the fact that 75% of youth state that doing so might “have serious negative consequences.”

The report urged teens to stop and think before sending such material, reminding them (as we did in a recent Family Anatomy episode on internet safety) that information posted online doesn’t “go away.” They also list some tips for parents:

  1. Talk to your kids about their online activities.
  2. Find out who your kids are talking.
  3. Think about putting limits on their internet communication.
  4. Be aware of what they’re posting.
  5. Set clear expectations about what you consider to be appropriate on the internet.

An excellent website, Commonsense Media, has a section about online behaviour and supervision, along with detailed information for parents about movie and television content. You can read more here and here (.pdf).

Let us know what you think – leave a comment!

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3 Responses to Teens are posting/sharing suggestive pics
  1. phdinparenting
    January 15, 2009 | 9:49 pm

    In addition to the things you suggest, I think there is a need to go back to basics and ask what is missing in that child’s life that they feel the need to post nude pictures online? Often it is a matter of impressing others, getting attention, etc. In the book Hold On To Your Kids, Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate talk about the dangers of our kids being too peer oriented.

  2. brianmacdonald
    January 15, 2009 | 9:59 pm

    Here’s the Amazon link for the “Hold On To Your Kids” book:
    http://tinyurl.com/8tnp3g

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