Teens: Stop Forcing Other Teens to Sext You

Photo: Owen Franken/Corbis

Teens have found a new way of making each other's lives awful, according to a new study titled “Sexting: A new, digital vehicle for intimate partner aggression?" The research, which comes from Indiana University and appeared in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, shows that one in five teenagers are coerced into sexting by their partners, who use either threats or manipulation in order to get the desired photos or messages.

What's more, lead researcher and developmental psychologist Michelle Drouin suggest that this widespread practice is a new form of intimate-partner violence among teens. She writes: “Because sexting is common among youth and young adults today, individuals may believe that sexting coercion is normal and even harmless.” But Drouin found that both male and female victims were more traumatized than people whose partners had coerced them into actual, physical sex. And for female victims, the act was more traumatic than other “traditional forms of partner aggression," such as verbal abuse.