January 3, 2018

Psychologist Says Teens Need to Stop Asking for Nude Texts

Sexting is a serious and growing problem for teenagers in the digital age. New research from Northwestern University researchers indicates it is especially harmful to young women who often face intense pressure, usually from their male peers, to send explicit photos of themselves.

The study found that more than two-thirds of girls between ages 12 and 18 said they had been asked for explicit images. If they refuse, these young women often face repeated requests, harassment, and even threats.

Two-thirds of girls between ages 12 and 18 said they had been asked for explicit images. #EndExploitation Click To Tweet

CBS News asked psychologist Lisa Damour what we need to do to reverse this troubling trend. Damour has spoken with many teens through her years of practicing psychology, and she says we need to improve how we talk to teens about sexting.

Damour explained that we often advise teenage girls not to send nude photos of themselves. While that is good advice, she says we also need to tell teenage boys not to ask girls for nude photos in the first place. The onus for preventing this type of harmful behavior should not be totally on teenage girls, Damour explains.

Alarmingly, the pressure on teenagers to share explicit photos of themselves starts young, often as young as age 12, which means parents have to educate their kids in age appropriate ways before this form of sexual exploitation begins.

The pressure on teenagers to share explicit photos of themselves starts young, often as young as age 12. #EndExploitation Click To Tweet

Last month, our Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach Haley Halverson joined an ABC affiliate in Iowa to discuss the growing problem of teen sexting there, noting the Internet Watch Foundation statistic that 88% of ‘sexts’ are essentially stolen from the original location.


Katherine Blakeman

Katherine Blakeman

Director of Communications

Katherine Blakeman joined the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) as Director of Communications in August of 2017.  She works to foster a community of people who want to restore human dignity and end sexual exploitation through traditional press outreach, digital media, and email marketing.  She has testified before the Maryland House of Delegates on the public health harms of pornography.

Katherine has appeared on, or been quoted in, several outlets including LifeSiteNews, NewsBusters, American Family News, EWTN Radio, Relevant Radio, Cosmo, Elle, Deseret News, the Daily Signal, the Daily Caller, NPR, HLN, and Fox News. She has been featured on Matt Fradd’s Love People, Use Things podcast, as well as the North Carolina Family Policy Council’s radio show Family Policy Matters. She writes a column for Townhall.com.  

Prior to joining NCOSE, Katherine served as Communications Director for two members of Congress and as the Communications Deputy at Heritage Action for America, where she blogged, conducted social media outreach, and joined radio shows across the country to discuss the organization’s priorities and goals.

Katherine participated in the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute fellowship at the United Nations Youth Conference in July of 2011, which sparked in her a passion for human rights issues and for speaking out for those living in poverty or a cycle of exploitation, particularly those who suffer from sexual exploitation. She is a graduate of Ave Maria University in Florida.  

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