You already know that sexting and sending nude photos is risky–they can get passed around and you can get not only humiliated, but also in big trouble for it. Now there’s even a link between sexting and STDs. Wait, what?
A study was done in Houston, Texas, showing that around 1 in 4 high school students sent a nude photo of themselves to someone else–and those students were shown to be much more likely to engage in risky, unprotected sex. This is scary, girls! Here are more numbers: 40 percent of teens surveyed said they’d had sex, and only two-thirds of those who were sexually active used condoms.
That doesn’t mean that everyone who sends a nude photo is going to get an STD, or that sexting causes STDs–that’d be physically impossible, dude! But it does imply that people who send naked photos may lack the foresight and smart decision making skills that come with having safe sex.
The study also noted that girls who sent naked photos were also more likely to engage in drugs or alcohol before having sex, which lends some credibility to that idea as well. Often these behaviors go hand-in-hand with low self esteem, and chances are if you don’t respect yourself, you won’t really care about having safe sex or being healthy.
Another thing the study shows? That your offline life is a reflection of your online life, and vice-versa. If you’re taking sexual risks in the digital world, you may well be doing that in the real world, too. We’re not going to tell you not to have sex, because, well, that’s dumb. It doesn’t work. But if you’re going to have sex–and that’s totes your prerogative, given you and your partner are both legal and willing–we just want you to be safe and make smart decisions. And sending nude photos is almost never, ever a smart decision!
Do you think there’s a link between sexting and STDs? Have you ever sent a nude photo? Do you always use condoms? Has anyone ever sent you a nude photo? Tell us in the comments!
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