All the Hype About Teens and Their Cell Phones

We’ve seen a bunch of articles lately about teenagers and cell phone use. The biggest concern… teenagers browsing porn or forwarding racy pics to each other.

Call me biased, but my favorite article I’ve read about this topic so far is David’s informative summary about many of these concerns in this week’s YOUTH CULTURE WINDOW article titled, Mobile Porn.

Here’s just a snippet:

Recently, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy conducted a study on exactly what kind of pictures (and messages) teens have stored on their cell phones. Here are a few of their disappointing findings:

  • 20% of teenagers say they’ve sent (or posted) naked or semi-naked photos or videos of themselves, mostly to be “fun or flirtatious,” (33% of 20-26 year olds have done the same)
  • 33% of teenage boys say they’ve seen nude or semi-nude images sent to someone else (about 25% of teenage girls have done the same)
  • 39% of teenagers say they’ve sent suggestive text messages (59% of those ages 20-26 admit to it as well)
  • 48% of teens have received sexually suggestive text messages (64% of young adults also have)

In spite of these risqué behaviors, most of those surveyed (73%) said they knew sending sexually suggestive content “can have serious negative consequences.” Several teenagers already know this to be true; just ask these 15 year old cheerleaders who are facing child pornography charges for snapping nude pics of themselves and sending them to high school friends.

I love this article because it combines research with youth ministry experience. As always… we link every source so you can see the research yourself.

This is the second time our YOUTH CULTURE WINDOW articles have covered the topic of cell phones. Earlier this year David wrote an article about when texting becomes “Sexting.”

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over a dozen books including the new Get Your Teenager Talking, The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket, The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenager, and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and the 10-Minute Talks series. Jonathan speaks and trains at conferences, churches and events across North America, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan and his wife Lori, and their three teenagers Alec, Alyssa and Ashley live in California.
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One Response to All the Hype About Teens and Their Cell Phones

  1. jon says:

    thanks for the article. i used it last night. there is a great link to a story about 2 cheerleaders who sent nude photos of themselves. it has a news interview with their lawyer that leads into so many questions. But the thing that blew my kids away was the personal story David told about the boy who took an upskirt pic IN WORSHIP and sent it to his buddies. i asked “who is more guilty: a girl wearing a short skirt or the guy taking the pic?” the girls said the girl. the guys said the guy. it was interesting. honestly some of the girls saying that, wear questionable stuff.
    ya’ll are right on the money again. Can’t thank you enough for the great resources. Jon -North of Nashville. in a Free Will Baptist Church FYI

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