The University of Calgary (Canada) has analyzed the results of 23 studies, in which almost 42,000 children under 18 have participated, to answer the question of whether there is any relationship between the sexting and concrete sexual behaviors and mental health.
The sexting consists in producing and sending content (mainly photographs or videos) of a sexual or erotic nature in a totally voluntary and private way to another person, using the mobile phone or other technological device, according to Laura Cuesta, professor of Digital Strategy and Social Media at the Camilo José Cela University.
According to this meta-analysis, published in the journal JAMA Pedriatics, yes there is an association between specific sexual habits (such as the lack of contraceptive use or the amount of sexual activity practiced) and disorders such as anxiety and depression. The teenagers who sextean they have 2.16 more possibilities than the rest of not using any contraceptive method, and 1.79 of suffering from these pathologies, the study says. In addition, it also relates the sexting with drinking alcohol (3.78 more possibilities), drug use (3.48 times more risk) and tobacco (2.66 more options to be smokers). On the other hand, they also suggest that there is a correlation with delinquent behavior, since it has 2.50 more probability points.
In this work, it is explained that the youngest can sextear with relatively harmless intentions. However, in the event that such intentions are not so harmless, emotional disappointment may occur. The study insists, in any case, that the correlation does not indicate causality, that is, that who practices sexting You do not necessarily have to engage in risky practices.
According to this study, adolescents who sextean they have 2.16 more possibilities than the rest of not using any method of contraception and 1.79 more likely to suffer from pathologies such as anxiety and depression
The author, Sheri Madigan, is a psychologist, and had already participated in another study on sexting, where it was concluded that this habit is an increasingly common practice among young people: "The sexting It is becoming a normative component of the behavior and sexual development of adolescents. "According to her data, 1 in 7 under 18 (15%) has sent a message of this type and 1 in 4 ( 27%), you have received it.
For Ricardo Fardiño, clinical psychologist and one of the authors of The sexual struggle of adolescents in hypermodernity, it is usual that if a teenager "feels rejected by his peers, questioned in a massive way or publicly exposed in aspects of himself that feel more fragile" anxiety-depressive disorders may appear.
But sexting Do you have significant risks for the younger ones? According to the study, younger adolescents may be more susceptible to the risks associated with sexting due to its relative immaturity, compared to older adolescents. In addition, Cuesta believes that there is always the possibility that any content is accessible to third parties for many reasons (technical failures, hackers, carelessness, extortion, harassment, blackmail, terminal theft, spyware, Trojans, etc).
For families that may be concerned about how to deal with this situation with adolescents, Cuesta believes that although they are the ones with the most technological skills, they have neither the maturity nor the responsibility to make certain decisions. "I told my daughter about the Theory of 10. Before publishing a photo, I would have to think what I would feel when I saw that photo at 10 hours of seeing it published, then, at 10 days, then at 10 months, and finally at 10 years. If he was not ashamed of it, there would be no problem, "he adds.
Regarding how adolescents themselves should act, Fardiño believes that the most important thing is to protect privacy: "I would say that in sexuality, self-care and respect for others is fundamental. In this case it happens because we can not make public that image that has come to us as a shared intimacy. That is an aggression and we can also incur a crime ", ditch.
Mendigan's study concludes that it will be necessary to continue analyzing the sexting and the association that is made between this exchange of messages and the mental health of adolescents.
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