KUSA - When it comes to sexting and teens, a new study shows that using scare tactics probably won't work.
CU Denver Professor Dr. Amy Hasinoff says that using a scare tactic, like telling teens that if they sext, their photos will be distributed, can actually have a negative reaction.
She says teens will tune out messages like that because they don't match up with experiences they or their friends may have had.
Studies show only about 10 percent of private images are distributed without permission.
According to Hasinoff, about one-third of teens will sext even when they are told not to.
Dr. Hasinoff says simply telling teens not to sext may cause the opposite effect and have similar results as teaching abstinence-only sex education.
She also advises parents not to tell teens whose private images have been distributed that future job and college prospects are ruined and their photos are being viewed by child molesters.
This causes unnecessary shame, fear and victim blaming, as does telling girls that abstaining from sexting proves and preserves self-respect and self-esteem.
Dr. Hasinoff has some advice on what parents should say to teens about sexting.
She says it is important to teach teens to recognize and respect consent in themselves and others.
Talk about teen norms and expectations of privacy on the Internet and mobile devices and focus on discouraging privacy violations.
Monitoring teens' texts and mobile devices could send the wrong message about privacy violations.
Dr. Hasinoff says parents should talk about rape culture, shaming, homophobia and double standards to create strategies to stop harassment and bullying.
Don't be afraid to talk about sexting's similarities to other sexual activities and how it relates to ethics, consent and respect between partners.
She says to also consider potential legal consequences to both victims and perpetrators before reporting it to authorities.
Dr. Hasinoff has released a book called "Sexting Panic" that discusses these issues and challenges the idea that sexting inevitably victimizes young women.
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