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Let’s review: Association does not prove causation.

December 21, 2009

Someone on talk radio this afternoon (how’s that for details?) mentioned a study of teenagers and “sexting.”  Sexting is sending sexually explicit photos via text messages.  Apparently, a lot of teens do this.  As you might imagine, it’s not a good thing to have nude photos floating around the interwebs.  At least two teens are known to have committed suicide after a photo which they had taken and sent was subsequently widely distributed.

A study found an association between suicidal thoughts and sexting.  The commentator said that “teens who sext are more likely to be suicidal.”  I think that may be backwards.  Teens who are suicidal may be more likely to sext.  Think about it.  If a teenager is feeling severely depressed, committing an act to try to get another person to like you would be very easy to justify.

On a personal note, I’m going to drill into my childrens’ heads that you should never send something which you would not want your grandmother to see.  Once you send anything on the internet, it is out of your control.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 21, 2009 9:27 am

    It is a good rule to not put anything on the Internet you wouldn’t want your family to read. Some people have more open minded families, than others mind you…

  2. December 24, 2009 11:50 pm

    The same thing is true about drugs. Kids that are depressed are more likely to do drugs (or any other harmful behavior) than kids that are not. But it sounds better to say the drugs cause depression to try to scare kids into not doing drugs.

    On another note many adults probably need to learn to keep themselves off the interets too.

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