Sex and Tech

After writing my last post regarding text messaging and my teenage daughter, I started looking at research. It was quite overwhelming. I wanted to share some of the statistics I found. This survey was conducted by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. You can read the entire study here.

How many teens say they have sent/posted nude or semi-nude pictures or video of themselves?
~ 20% of teens overall
~ 22% of teen girls
~ 18% of teen boys

How many teens are sending or posting sexually suggestive messages?
~ 39% of all teens
~ 37% of teen girls
~ 40% of teen boys
~ 48% of teens say they have received such messages

Although most teens and young adults who send sexually
suggestive content are sending it to boyfriends/
girlfriends, others say they are sending such material to
those they want to hook up with or to someone they only
know online.

Who are these sexually suggestive messages and images being sent to?
~ 71% of teen girls and 67% of teen guys who have sent
or posted sexually suggestive content say they have
sent/posted this content to a boyfriend/girlfriend.
~ 21% of teen girls and 39% of teen boys say they have
sent such content to someone they wanted to date or
hook up with.
~ 15% of teens who have sent or posted nude/semi-nude
images of themselves say they have done so to
someone they only knew online.

How many teens and young adults say they have been shown nude/semi-nude content originally meant for someone else?
~ 38% of teen girls and 39% of teen boys say they have
had sexually suggestive text messages or emails—
originally meant for someone else—shared with
them.
~ 25% of teen girls and 33% of teen boys say they have
had nude or semi-nude images—originally meant
for someone else—shared with them.

Why do teens and young adults send or post sexually suggestive content?
~ 51% of teen girls say pressure from a guy is a reason
girls send sexy messages or images; only 18% of
teen boys cited pressure from female counterparts
as a reason.
~ 23% of teen girls and 24% of teen boys say they were
pressured by friends to send or post sexual content.
Among teens who have sent sexually suggestive content:
~ 66% of teen girls and 60% of teen boys say they did
so to be “fun or flirtatious”— their most common
reason for sending sexy content.
~ 52% of teen girls did so as a “sexy present” for their
boyfriend.
~ 44% of both teen girls and teen boys say they sent
sexually suggestive messages or images in response
to such content they received.
~ 40% of teen girls said they sent sexually suggestive
messages or images as “a joke.”
~ 34% of teen girls say they sent/posted sexually suggestive
content to “feel sexy.”
~ 12% of teen girls felt “pressured” to send sexually
suggestive messages or images.

5 TIPS TO HELP PARENTS TALK TO THEIR KIDS ABOUT SEX AND TECHNOLOGY”
1. Talk to your kids about what they are doing in cyberspace.
2. Know who your kids are communicating with.
3. Consider limitations on electronic communication.
4. Be aware of what your teens are posting publicly.
5. Set expectations.

There is so much more information in this survey. I encourage you to read it. It has great tips and easy explanations for you and your teen. I am being called by God to jump on this and not only protect my teenagers but hopefully assist other parents with these issues.

All Information in this post supplied by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

Published in: on February 23, 2009 at 12:06 am  Comments (10)  

My Teen and Text Messaging

Don’t we all want to have the perfect life? The beautiful home, the studly husband, great kids that never fight or do anything wrong, enough money to be comfortable…You get the picture. Do you find yourself looking at other’s lives and thinking, “Boy have I got it good” or “If only I had that”? Are you the person that walks through the mall looking at other families teenagers thinking “My child will NEVER dress like that, look like that, act like that”? Have you ever had a small portion of your “perfect” world explode in your face, making you wonder where you went wrong? Tuesday was that day for me.

I received my cell phone bill online on Tuesday. I opened it up and started looking at how many minutes the 5 of us used, who text messaged the most, just did the basic review. Upon my inspection I found that my 13 year old daughter had 13,664 text messages. About that time I started thanking the Lord that I had signed up for unlimited texting. She in the past had her phone taken away for having excessive text messages. I wasn’t looking forward to talking to Craig about it but another part of me was glad for the support.

After really digging into the bill with him, we had a list of numbers that we wanted to know whose they were. We had also noticed that she was text messaging as late as 1:30 am and that it appeared that she would start receiving messages at 4:30 am. At this discovery we started to realize that this issue is more then just the number of texts that she is sending and receiving. When was she sleeping? I felt like a failure when I looked at that because I live right here with her. I still tuck her in and check on her before I go to bed.

When Hope got home on Tuesday from school she threw her backpack and stuff on her bed and came in to tell us she was home. Craig asked her to sit down and started talking to her about her text messaging. I got up and went to her room and got her phone. I rejoined the discussion and started going through her phone. (I know it is almost as bad as reading her diary. Oh Well!!) When she noticed what I was doing she told me that I was not going to like some of the stuff that I would find on her phone. Don’t you love an honest child….Boy was she right!!

I found texts that were sent to her from the 14 y/o daughter of a good friend telling Hope she had slept with 4 guys. Other texts with questions about sex. Picture texts of boys standing in a bathroom only wearing boxers really low. Boys texting Hope about loving her and stuff. Just things that are really inappropriate especially at the age of 13. I took lots of deep breaths and said my Thanks Yous to God that Hope didn’t have a camera on her phone.

After having a few long discussions with just Hope and I. I believe that she is still not sexually active. That she may be experiencing crush-love. Also she no longer has a cell phone if she ever gets it back there will be no texting on it. I am going to take her to experience the wonderful female physical with an GYN. We are starting a study together of a book that I purchased last August in Oklahoma called Eyes Wide Open-Avoiding the Heartbreak of Emotional Promiscuity. Hope is close with her Pastor and his wife and she will be seeing him for some counseling sessions. I am praying that the Village of People that I am going to be surrounding her with will help remind her that she is a blessed child of God and she needs to protect herself.

I must admit that the saddest part of this experience is the broken trust that I now have were she is concerned. I love my daughter so much but she has crossed a line with me that will forever make me cautious as to what is really going on in her life. The other sad part was calling my friend and informing her thather daughter told Hope that she had slept with 4 boys. She wasn’t surprised by what I told her and informed me that they had a pregnancy scare last week with her. That broke my heart.

My only advice is if you are going to give your kids a cell phone do one of two things… 1 get the Disney Phone which only lets you program in 4 numbers and nothing else…..2 be nosy, know who they are talking to, know what they are saying and never get them a camera phone or text messaging!! I have heard on the news a lot lately about teens taking naked pics of themselves and sending them to their friends who then send them to their friends and so on and so on.

Just remember….It can be your child. Don’t ever sit back complacently and say not my kid she/he knows better. Hope is an A student, involved in drama & youth group and aside from having her phone taken away for too many text messages, the worst thing she has ever done is have a dirty room.

Published in: on February 20, 2009 at 4:05 pm  Comments (13)  

Monday Meditation & A 16th Birthday

Those that are most slow in making a promise
 are the most faithful in the performance of it.
— Jean Jacques Rousseau

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My son turns 16 today. It has been an interesting year with him. I am really proud of what he has accomplished, what he has chosen to stand for, and his self control that he exhibits daily with his grandfather. Now ssshhhhh, I am not suppose to talk about him on my blog so don’t tell. 🙂

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY RYAN!!

Published in: on February 16, 2009 at 12:05 am  Comments (2)  

1,000th Commenter

I have reached a milestone!!!  I have had 1,000 comments on my blog.  I know there are those of you celebrating way more!  I am a small time blogger and it takes us little ones a longer time to hit the big numbers.

My 1,000th Commenter was ABBI.  She is a busy woman.  She writes on 3 other blogs that I know of.  Many Meadows (Her Fiances Family’s Blog), The Bod Squad (getting in shape forum), and Z as in Zebra (cake making, yummy!).

She is planning her wedding to Andrew.  She is excited to be becoming a Meadows and the Meadows are just as excited to have her.

I am going to have to think of something fun for her.  A prize for being #1,000.  🙂  Go visit her blogs!!  She is one awesome lady!!

Published in: on February 2, 2009 at 11:47 am  Comments (4)  

I Forgot About….

Every morning before my husband got laid off we had a schedule. He would wake me up as he was leaving for work. I would start waking up, slowly get out of bed. I would get ready for work, get dressed, put on make-up, do my hair, make sure that Hope was awake and having breatfast. Sometime during that hour of me getting ready I would get the sweetest text. It usually read “Good Morning Honey, I Love you! Have a great day see you at lunch!”.

This morning as I was working it popped into my head that since he was home in the mornings now I never get those sweet messages anymore. Ho Hum…. So I text messaged him and asked him how come. I mean what woman wants to not get her sweet nothings text messages anymore.

My sweet husband called me at work. He said “HoneyBee (his nickname for me), Do I make you breakfast every morning and get you Ice Tea to take to work?” “Yes” I said. OHHHH DUHH! I get it!!

You see I got so use to my regular lavishing from my husband that I FORGOT TO SEE THE NEW MORE CURRENT LAVISHING. I am so blessed by my husband in so many ways everyday. Thank you Lord for my Husband that you picked for me.

Do you ever forget about a way you are taken care of? Or get caught up in what is missing from before that you miss what is new today?

Published in: on January 22, 2009 at 11:00 pm  Comments (2)