STUDY: Sexting may be warning sign of other risky behaviors among teens

(WXYZ) - Researchers say "sexting" may be just one of several risky sexual behaviors your teen is engaging in.

A new study published Monday in the journal "Pediatrics" surveyed 1,800 students in the Los Angeles area.

Researchers found 15 percent of teens with cell phones had taken part in "sexting" by either sending or receiving a sexually explicit message or photo, but more than 54 percent of teens say they know someone who has.

Researchers found teens who "sext" were also more likely to engage in actual physical sexual behavior and more likely to have unprotected sex.

Experts recommend parents talk to their kids about the consequences of "sexting".

"It is against the law," said Dr. Kate Eshleman, a psychologist at Cleveland Clinic. "And kids expect that it will not happen to them, but if they are caught, they can get into serious trouble."

Experts also recommend checking your teen's cell phone from time to time, to see who they're texting and what type of messages they're sending.

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