The May 2009 newsletter from the Medical Institute contains valuable information for parents about “Sexting” - meaning the posting or sending of sexually suggestive electronic images and messages:

A recent survey of a nationally representative sample of 653 teens, aged 13 to 19, and 627 young adults, aged 20 to 26, compiles information on ‘sexting.’ The survey reported that one in five teens and one in three young adults have sent or posted semi-nude or nude images of themselves in cyberspace. Half of the teens and young adults have sent or posted sexually suggestive messages. This trend is surprising since nearly 3/4 of teens and young adults acknowledged that sending such images and messages “can have serious negative consequences.” The most commonly listed negative consequences were regret (79%), potential embarrassment (73%), bad reputation (69%), and disappointing family (57%).

This edition of the Medical Institute’s newsletter also discusses new research underscoring previous research findings that sexual activity in adolescents is influenced by what they watch on TV. Read the whole thing.