Online: A teenage sexual frontier

What you see on the Internet...
What you see on the Internet…

According to a new survey out by EenVandaag, 48 percent of high school girls today receive at least one request online for a nude photo of themselves.

At least 15 percent respond by sending either a nude photo or one that is sexually suggestive  over social media.  According to the survey, 69 percent of high school students worldwide know at least one person whose nude photo is in circulation.

At least 23 percent say they can imagine sending a nude photo of themselves over the Internet.

More than 50 percent high school girls say they have been approached by a stranger online in “a sexual way.”   This can involve sexual comments (30 percent), outright sexual proposals (24 percent), appearing in a sexually suggestive photo or video (18 percent).

In Floyd and surrounding counties, underage women have disappeared and were later found in the company of an older sexual predator who contacted them online.

A Floyd County teenager charges online visitors to view photos of her in racy lingerie.  Another local teen appeared in a webcam video last year where she performed a strip tease and then masturbated while nude.  The video was taken down after her parents were contacted.

In March of last year, at Louisa County High School in Virginia, Instagram accounts contained more than 100 photos of students nude, and some engaging in sexual activities

Writes Hanna Rosin in The Atlantic:

The accounts included about 100 pictures, many of girls from the local high school, Louisa County High, in central Virginia. Some shots he later described to me as merely “inappropriate,” meaning girls “scantily clad in a bra and panties, maybe in a suggestive pose.” But some “really got us”—high-school girls masturbating, and then one picture showing a girl having sex with three boys at once.

Major Donald Lowe of the Louisa County Sheriff’s office said he received calls from concerned parents after naked photos of their daughters appeared on cellphones, often sent around by mad boyfriends after a breakup but his investigation found a more serious problem in his rural county.  Louisa may be spread out and rural, it also has drug problems and young girls who get pregnant.

Some of the photos he found were of girls as young as 14.

“Every race, religion, social, and financial status in the town.  Rich, poor, everyone,” he told Rosin. “That’s what was more glaring and blaring about the situation.  If she was a teenager with a phone, she was on there.”

Some say “sexting” by teenagers is both common and “normal” in adolescent sexual behavior, says a study by Pediatrics Journal.

“It appears to be widespread,” says Elizabeth Englander, professor of psychology at Bridgewater State University and director fo the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center. “It’s engage in by many kids who are functioning well and not having problems and it’s not very unusual or rare.”

That explanation most likely does not sit well with the parent of a teenage girl’s who nude and/or sexually-suggestive photo pops up online or has been the target of a sexual predator.

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