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Parents, Stop Worrying: New Research Shows There’s No Such Thing As A ‘Sexting Epidemic’

As any parent will tell you, baby’s don’t come with a handbook. There’s no set guidelines and no accepted rules for raising children. Really, there’s only one thing American parents can all agree on and that’s the simple fact that EVERYTHING IS SO MUCH WORSE THAN WHEN I WAS A KID. Sure, this wildly accepted fact is something every generation says and is almost always horse crap. However, it’s a lie parents like believing and, as such, the media will continue to reenforce. So, it’s not surprising that every media figure and talk show host worth their weight in Daytime Emmys has spent the past few years warning everyone about the “Sexting Epidemic” facing our kids. And, it’s even less surprising that the whole thing doesn’t actually exist.

Yes, it turns out that, despite what the compelling news story your aunt sent you said, our nation’s children aren’t all emailing each other photos of their junk. We now know this thanks to a study being published in the latest issue of Pediatrics, a children’s health journal.

From the Associated Press:

“Only 1 percent of kids aged 10 to 17 have shared images of themselves or others that involve explicit nudity, a nationally representative study found. Roughly the same number said they’d shared suggestive but less graphic photos; while 7 percent said they’d received either type of picture.

The research focused on teens only — not young adults, an age group included in some earlier studies which showed considerably higher sexting participation. The new study suggests texting of sexual photos among younger kids is rare.

The results are reassuring, showing that teen sexting isn’t rampant, usually isn’t malicious, and is generally not something parents should panic over, said lead author Kimberly Mitchell, a research assistant psychology professor at the University of New Hampshire.”

Huh. You know, I think I’d be more stunned by this development if I hadn’t grown up in America myself. As I’ve said before, I was in school back when every news show in the nation was warning parents about the “Blow Job Epidemic” President Clinton had inspired. We actually had a special Health Class where they sat us all down and forced us to watch an Oprah special decrying the crazy blow job parties we were all apparently having. The only thing that class accomplished was making us all depressed, thinking there were a bunch of secret parties at our school that none of us were invited to.

So, no, parents, your kids aren’t sexting each other. You can calm down.

Of course, this means that parents need something new to freak out needlessly about. As a member of the media, I will take it upon myself to help out.

Hmmm…

PARENTS, HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT HOLO-SEXING? IT’S LIKE CYBER-SEX BUT IT INVOLVES TWITTER AND HOLOGRAMS! THE KIDS WERE INSPIRED BY WILL.I.AM AND NOW THEY’RE ALL DOING IT! YOUR KIDS ALL HAVE HOLO-HERPES! EVERY SINGLE ONE!

There. Are you all sufficiently scared? Then I’ve done my job.

(h/t Slate, photo via the website Stop Teen Sexting)

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