A new study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health shows a link between teens in relationships who “sext” and an increased rate of dating violence. Of 1000 Norwegian teens (ages 14-17) surveyed, 549 indicated they were in a romantic relationship. A third of these teens reported having sent sexually explicit messages and photos. The survey found that those teens who sent “sext” messages were 4 times more likely to suffer physical violence such as pushing, shoving, strangulation or being beaten with a hard object.
Lead author Per Hellivek said “there is a bigger chance of becoming a victim of intimate partner violence if you send messages with sexual content.”
The study also noted that more than 40 percent of the teens in relationships said they had experienced dating violence whether or not they had sexted a partner.
The study concluded that sexting itself does not cause violence, but other issues such as experiencing violence at home may be a contributing factor to teen dating violence.
“We wouldn’t let teenagers hang around in the streets all day without knowing what they are up to or who they were with,” said Hellevik.
“In the same way, they shouldn’t be allowed to hang around online on their own.”
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