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Students share thoughts and opinions on ‘sexting’

Written By Don Noel Ranasinghe

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Connor Kaye, believes that it is ok to sext but the line you should not cross is when you abuse the other person.
 
Voicing strong feeling on sexting, Eli Meholick believes it should be private and only be done between two people in a relationship.
 
Domenica Mackiewicz believes that sexting is a natural extension of social media today; cyber-dating abuse should not be surprising. 
 
Those were the reactions on the Point Park campus to a study done recently which says teens surveyed had experienced sexting and cyber-dating abuse in the context of a dating relationship and it is becoming the norm.
 
According to a Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC study, two in five teenagers that were surveyed had encountered cyber-dating abuse while in a relationship in the past three months. Thirty percent of them said they were involved in sexting; being asked to text photographs of themselves. Mostly, their partners used technology including mobile apps, social networks, texts, and other digital communication to repeatedly contact them to see where they were and whom they were with.
 
“Professionals should take cyber dating abuse seriously and actively ask teens if they are being monitored, threatened or sexually coerced by their partner using technology-based communication,” said Dr. Miller, an associate professor of pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

The study showed during the 2012-2013 school year, teen’s ages 14 to 19, was exposed to cyber dating abuse, adolescent relationship abuse, sexual behavior, and care seeking for sexual and reproductive health.
 
“I have sexted but I have never made my partner at the time do something she was not comfortable doing” said Kaye, student at Point Park University 
 
Kaye believes that with all the new applications on our mobile phones, it is easier to send pictures on the go; however, no one should be forced to do anything.
 
“I think it might have to do with people being told not to do, especially teenagers today, they are all careless,” said Meholick
 
Meholick believes that this occurs among young adults, because they are immature, they don't understand the outcomes, which could include hurting the other person, getting caught abusing his/her partner but they just want to satisfy the other person. Also, peer pressure and the environment we live in have made it the norm. When kids see famous celebrities and athletes getting caught doing them, they feel the need to do them as well.

The study showed during the 2012-2013 school year 41 percent of teens reported experiencing this form of abuse within the last three months, with more females than males reporting such victimization.
 
“It’s unfortunate that there are a higher percentage of girls than boys sexting and experiencing abuse” said Mackiewicz. 
 
Mackiewicz says that its mostly girls doing what their partner wants like sending sexually explicit messages, pictures and videos of themselves, because that’s what society wants them to do. They think that sending pictures to a guy will make them popular or like them more.
 
Izak believes that in the past 50 years people wanted to sext as much as people now, but did not have cell phones. Now there are cell phones and because of this, the number of people sexting increases as well. 

“People sext because they are obsessive and since you are not always with your significant other, it’s convenient, or maybe because some people are into exhibitionism and like to show their bodies,” said Chris Izak

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