Sexting: Study Finds Alarming Numbers

Sexting: Study Finds Alarming Numbers
By: CJ Cassidy

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - You know all about online dangers, but do you know what your kids are doing with their cell phones?
Anytime someone sends racy messages or nude pictures via email or cell phone, they're engaging in what's called tech sex or "sexting."
A new study shows it's more common than you might think, especially among teenagers.
All the teenagers Hearland News spoke with say they don't have suggestive pictures or racy texts on their cell phones.
Still a survey by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reveals one in five teens admits to sending nude or half-naked pictures of themselves to someone using their phones.
"I haven't sent any, but I've seen friends who have like they're like oh yeah, this is my girlfriend.  I'm like really!" 19-year-old Angela Tolcou said.
"It's weird to think one in five.  The people in there might have done that in the lunchroom.  It's weird," said high school student Jordan Sheets as he shook his head.
The survey goes on to say twice as many teens say they've sent racy or suggestive text messages.
Charity Huff teaches Health Education at Central High School.
She says teens these days have an overly casual attitude towards sex, and she says tech sex could get them in hot water just as easily.
"If a person's going to send a racy picture of themselves or somebody else, the expectation might be higher that it might be appropriate," she said.
"Simple mistakes.  I'm clumsy and could send it to the wrong person.  That would be really awkward," Abbey Kiefner added.
In fact some teens say with tech sex at hand, plain old romance could be fading from their screens fast.
"You hardly ever see notes anymore.  It's actually kind of funny, a guy wrote a girl a note, with a check yes or no asking her to the Winter Ball.  It's so old fashioned," Sarah Uptmor said.
The teens I spoke with say if they did end up getting a naughty picture they would delete it from their phones.
We've all heard the horror stories of people who've lost their phones in public places and the photos on them ended up online.
Experts also suggest parents keep an eye on their kids' cell phones just to make sure they don't get out of control.