Teen sexting more prevalent

(WOIO) - A new study finds sexting among teenagers may be more prevalent than parents think.

University of Texas researchers found that one in four teenagers - 25% -  have electronically sent out a nude picture of themselves.

Dr. Kate Eshelman was not part of the study, but she is a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

"A lot of kids have engaged in this behavior. Either asked or sent," Dr. Eshelman said. "And then what they also found is that kids that are engaging in this behavior are at an increased likelihood to be engaging in other physical sexual activity."

Alex Felden is a 22-year-old Clevelander. Four years out of high school, and she sees sexting as a problem among younger teens.

"I actually heard of it more in middle school settings," Felden said. "That's where I saw the problem more than anywhere else."

The experts say the only chance you have of getting in front of this is to have what may be a very uncomfortable conversation with your children. Explain to them explicitly the dangers of sending or receiving those sexting messages.

Josephine Evans of Cleveland has raised three adult children, she agrees it's on the parents to educate their kids.

"Make sure they are on top of everything they are doing," Evans said. "Know when and who they are talking to, texting and things like that."

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