Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Family & Parenting
  3. Behavior & Discipline

How to tell if your middle school teen is sexually active

See also

Want to know if your middle school teen(s) is sexually active? According to a new study published on June 30, the answers may be hiding in the smartphones or text-capable cellular phones. Researchers from the University of California found middle school teenagers were six times more likely to be sexually active if they received sexually explicit text messages (sexting) on their phones.

Just peek at the pictures lurking in their smartphones to see if they have been ‘sexting.’ Sexting is the behavior of sending sexually-charged pictures via any text-capable cellular phone. Sexting has become popular not only for adults, but now also for teens and middle school children which may indicate precocious behaviors.

The researchers sampled 1,300 middle school children in the Los Angeles area as part of a survey aimed at 'youth risk behaviors' for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The children involved in the study ranged from 10-15 years of age with the average being 12 years old. The findings suggest the urgency of an awareness between sexting and risky behaviors resulting in contagious infections amongst the younger population. The CDC reports an estimated 8,300 young people between 13 and 24 years old had an HIV infection in 2009.

Of the middle school teens who reported receiving a sext message, 23 percent also reported sending a sext message. That means if your middle school teens had a sext message on their smartphones, they were 23 percent more likely to have sent one to someone else. Furthermore, the study showed when teens texted over 100 times a day, they were more than twice as likely to have received a sext message and sent one, as well.

The researchers caution the study may have limits due to certain factors. The study relied on self-reported activities in addition to being restricted to the Los Angeles area. However, the researchers suggest further research on the association between technology use and adolescent sexual behaviors.



  • Dan Savage
    Dan Savage cares about LGBT youth, bullying and saving lives
    Today's Buzz
  • Raku
    Teachers and students can use this summer to learn a new skill
    15 Photos
  • Beach body
    Fitness: Earn your beach body badge with bootcamp classes
    10 Photos
  • Greek wine
    Unwind with these delicious wines: The thrilling wines of Greece
    7 Photos
  • Mandy Moore
    Exclusive interview with Celebrity Mandy Moore concerning animal activism
    5 Photos
  • Educational family vacations
    Find out how to take an educational family vacation that doesn't break the bank
    9 Photos