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Should I worry about my teens texting?

By Michael Rich, MD: Q: I’ve noticed that many parents worry a lot about their children texting. But when we were kids, we would spend hours on the phone, sometimes not even talking much. When my teens are texting with friends at home, I liken it to those phone calls of yesteryear. I don’t allow […]

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‘Revenge porn’ is about betrayal, not pornography

Sharing explicit pictures or videos with an intimate partner is not always a harmful practice, but it can be devastating if those images get into the wrong hands — like those of Kevin Bollaert. In the first criminal prosecution using a new California law targeting “revenge porn,” San Diego-based Bollaert, 28, was convicted Monday on […]

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Sexting & the plummeting teen pregnancy rate

Don’t believe anything you hear about sexting causing an increase in teen pregnancy. There is no way it can be true. How can I say that? Because teen pregnancy in the US has plummeted since 2007. “For five years now, America’s teen birth rate has plummeted at an unprecedented rate, falling faster and faster. Between […]

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Researcher sets the record straight on teen sexting

I rarely blog about other people’s blog posts, but the post, “Chances are, Your Teen has NOT Sexted” by Dr. Justin Patchin is worthy of amplification and further comment. Patchin, who is a professor of criminal justice in the department of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research […]

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About our strange way of understanding teen sexting

Guest post by Nina Funnell Based on her many thoughtful conversations with youth and adults about sexting over several years, Australian researcher and author Nina Funnell – who I met and heard speak at an Internet safety conference in Sydney last year – offers adults the rare opportunity to step outside the box of conditioned, […]

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Virginia teen sexting case: (Somewhat) reduced injustice

It was a picture-perfect example of how a law intended to protect children can be used to victimize them. But the juvenile judge didn’t comment on the perversion of justice – or the prosecution’s victimization of a teenager by ordering police to photograph the boy’s genitals and threatening even more abusive treatment. He just eased […]

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‘Revenge porn': Exposing cruel disclosure

This is a sidebar to my earlier post about social norms as one of the solutions to social cruelty online, zooming in on one form of it. “Revenge porn” needs to be understood and exposed for what it is so it can be neutralized. Its power to harm will lessen as we stigmatize the shaming […]

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Social media major factor in teens’ social & sex lives: Australia study

With its 5th national study of Australian teens’ sexual attitudes, behaviors and health since 1992, La Trobe University for the first time took a careful look at social media’s role in their social and sexual lives, finding that it plays a significant one. “Our survey clearly shows the major role social media has in the […]

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Net safety’s ‘3 alarmist assumptions': Researcher

This is news, and not just for the Internet safety field. It’s important for policymakers, parents, educators, researchers, healthcare providers and journalists to know about: In the Journal of Child Psychology, sociologist David Finkelhor, one of the US’s most prominent experts on child victimization, challenges the “alarmism reflected by so much of the scholarly and […]

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Family Contract for Smartphone Use

Pledge for kids and teens I will not touch or look at my phone when it’s dangerous to do so such as driving, riding a bike or walking. I will be considerate of others and not use my phone to text or talk when it may disturb others or at inappropriate times or places such […]

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