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Teens Say Sexting Too Common:Explain why Teens Share Nude Photos - KOAM TV 7

Teens Say Sexting Too Common:Explain why Teens Share Nude Photos

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 Cell phones are a teenager's social lifeline.

It's how they connect with friends and as their hormones rage, some  experiment with sexting.

We talked with tweens and teens about why some are willing to bare it all.

Kara Evansco, a Webb City high school junior, calls herself a picture person. She loves selfies. None are nudes, but she and other teens at the Impact Life Church youth group say plenty of teens are willing to pose for them and share.

Kara says, "I think it's like way too common. I know way too many people who do it and just do it casually and don't take it seriously. And I think that's why we need to open up the conversation on it."

Isaac North from Joplin high school agrees, "I feel mostly, probably girls. I hear more about girls doing it than guys but I agree that it's very common."

Even Joplin middle school students say they know those who've texted nudes and they say the backlash dies away way too quickly.

Hannah Holland who is in eighth grade says, "It just dies down, becomes part of the normal things kids do I guess."

Mya Hyles another eighth grader says,  "Honestly,  at this age because so many people do it, no one really cares anymore."

Principal Stephen Gilbreth says, "Middles school kids are very savvy with technology, with phones especially. Anything you can do on a phone, a middle school kid can probably tell you how to do it. They're used a lot."

Sometimes for sexting.

Gilbreth says,   "It only takes one picture that's right, that has happened."

Students say it starts with flirting texts and turns into talk about sex.

Isaac says,   "All of a sudden it leads to the dirty conversations   and then you like those. You like having those and then you  want to take  it a step up with pictures."

Kara adds,  "A lot if it's like when you're talking to a guy and you start to get close and he wants  to see that. And you feel kind of obligated cause you like him and you want him to like you. And like if he wants that then why not."  

 Teens say there's often pressure and guilting someone into sexting.

Quenten Klarner, a Webb City high school junior says, "I think that's more guys pressuring girls, then girls initiating it .It's a lot more  the guys pushing for that point."

 Kara agrees,  "They like send them to girls and try to get girls to send them back. They like try to make them  feel bad that they have theirs and they don't have theirs and so they try to like guilt them into it."

So sexting often goes beyond just boyfriends and girlfriends..

Juvenile officer April Foulks investigates when nude photos are found on teen phones. She says, "Boys seem are going to share pictures a little  quicker especially of girls.  But you would be surprised. We have girls that I think have a lot of low self -esteem have no problem sending those pictures out."

Students say whether they want them or not messages or naked pictures come their way.

Andrew Pefferman, another south middle school student says, "I didn't ask for it, but I checked my messages and one popped up and I deleted it right away."

Kara says, "I have like received so many,  my block  list on snapchat is like a mile long because random people I don't know  see my name is feminine, will add me,  and then send me pictures of themselves  and be like  hey send pics."

And some girls have sent nudes in hopes of landing a boyfriend.

Foulks says, "If a girl sends a picture to a boy no matter what  the girl looks like,  that boys going to respond positive because he just gotten  to see  nude pictures. That seems to encourage girls with low self- esteem."

Emma Briley, in eighth grade at south middle says,  "I think that  it starts  by someone feeling insecure about themselves. When they  feel like someone's going to accept them then that's when it happens. They don't realize the consequences."

And there are many, both emotional and legal.  Sexting makes kids vulnerable to bullying and other sexual predators operating online. And sharing those pictures can lead to criminal  charges because even if he or she takes photos themselves,  if  under 18, it's child pornography.

Joplin school students in eighth grade take a digital citizenship class warning them of online risks and  the consequences of sexting.
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