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New Study Reveals That ‘Sexting’ Among Teenagers Is On A Disturbing Rise

A survey found that teens who “sext” are more likely to be having sex. (Credit: CBS 2)

A survey found that teens who “sext” are more likely to be having sex. (Credit: CBS 2)

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NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The numbers are terrifying.

A new study shows that “sexting” among teens is on the rise.

A middle school in Wyckoff, N.J., was rocked by a sexting scandal just a year ago. Police said a 13-year-old girl texted a revealing photo of herself to a boy, and before she knew it that photo had gone viral.

Now, a new study finds that 28 percent of high school students are sexting, sending nude pictures of themselves via their cell phones.

One teacher said that it’s something she hears about all the time.

“It’s very scary,” the teacher told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan. “I had some incidents at school that were so scary. It needs to be addressed.”

The study was done by the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Researchers interviewed 1,000 students from seven high schools, and the information that they came up with was shocking.

Of the students interviewed, it was revealed that half of the teens had been asked to send a nude photo of themselves to someone, and more than 30 percent had requested that a naked picture be sent to them.

“[It's] peer pressure, in order to be cool, in order to fit in,” child psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere said. “Especially for young women.”

The survey also found that teens who sext are more likely to be having sex, and that girls who send nude photos of themselves are more likely to engage in risky behavior.

“Parents should talk to their children, and [tell them] that getting involved in this kind of activity can lead to premature sexuality,”  Gardere said.

“I always tell my kids to be careful with anything that they put on the Internet,” parent Efrin Lebron said.

It’s something that experts said every parent should tell their children.

Some experts also said that parents should warn their children early on that they reserve the right to monitor their cell phone and computer use.

Parents, how disturbed are you about this seemingly growing trend? And how do you plan to protect your children from it? Sound off with your thoughts and comments in the section below…