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Teen sexting is more common than previously thought

Local educators say you need to talk to your teen about sexting, because chances are, they are already doing it.

A new study from the journal JAMA Pediatrics says at least one in four teens are receiving sexually explicit messages, and at least one in seven are sending those pics or videos.

“Teenagers are impulsive, they are in love, they are trusting,” said BJ Weller, the director of responsive services with the Canyons School District.

Weller says many teens think this is a way to connect.

“They do not think through those consequences at all,” he said.

Images are forwarded or shared, and the teen can be devastated. If it’s hostile or cyberbullying, that can lead to criminal charges or expulsion from school.

Weller says keep open lines of communication, check phones and social media accounts, and talk through the consequences.

He says you may want to ask “when is the last time you received a nude picture or video?” instead of “Have you received a nude picture or video,” because chances are they have.