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Sexting Teens More Likely to Be Sexually Active, USC Says

Sexting does appear to lead to more sexual activity, at least for kids. Which is worrisome.

USC this week unveiled a study that found middle school students who had reported receiving a sext were six times more likely to be sexually active.

Not only that, but tweens who sent more than 100 texts per day, regardless of whether or not the messages were sexual in nature, were more likely to be sexually active as well:

Researchers at the USC School of Social Work looked at more than 1,300 L.A. middle school students ages 10 to 15 who took part in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The results of their work was published in the July issue of the journal Pediatrics.

They found that "young teens" were four times more likely to be sexually involved if they had reported sending texts.

LGBT students were nine times more likely to sext, USC said.

One in five students with cellphones said they had received a sext and five percent said they had sent one, according to the study.

Researchers defined a sext as "a sexually suggestive text or photo," according to USC.

Lead author Eric Rice, assistant professor at the USC School of Social Work, said:

These findings call attention to the need to train health educators, pediatricians and parents on how best to communicate with young adolescents about sexting in relation to sexual behavior. The sexting conversation should occur as soon as the child acquires a cell phone.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.