NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — When it comes to social media and teenagers, we often hear about the negative effects.
But some experts say access to so much information may be having a positive effect when it comes to teenagers and sex, CBSN New York’s Cindy Hsu reported.
The Centers for Disease Control surveyed more than 14,000 teenagers from high schools across the country and found the lowest rate of sex among high school students in more than 25 years. That’s not a big surprise to some teens Hsu spoke with on Monday.
“We’re more aware of what can happen and what kind of diseases or like what can spread,” 14-year-old Savita Kissoon said. “So we’re like scared sort of, so that’s why it’s like happening less.”
Experts say social media is exposing kids to sexual content and information earlier than ever before, which may be a factor in fewer teenagers having sex. High school students Thalia McCarthy, 17, and Theo Adkins, 16, shared their thoughts with Hsu.
“We’re all very desensitized to it,” McCarthy said.
“Sex is kind of just everywhere, so we kind of don’t see it as a big deal anymore,” Adkins added.
Psychologist Jeffrey Gardere said social media is really changing the game when it comes to sex and teens.
“So just that education, knowledge is power from social media seems to be making a difference,” Gardere said.
Gardere said with so much information bombarding kids, it can also have the negative effect of exposing them to explicit sexual content and pornography long before they’re mature enough to understand, which means parents need to stay on tops of things and have those uncomfortable conversations.
“It’s not real. That’s not the way life works. That’s not the way relationships work,” Gardere said. “This is a very skewed idea and can be a very dangerous idea for kids who are not prepared for that.”
Experts say learn about what your kids are watching, show interest in the latest videos and apps they’re into, ask lots of questions, and work on that open communication.