Want to know which middleschoolers are sexually active and which ones aren’t? Just check their texting habits. At least, that’s what the American Academy of Pediatrics would have us believe, having just published a new study that compared the texting habits of 1,285 middle school students with their sexual activity.
The results of the study, first reported by BetaBeat, would only be surprising to someone who has completely forgotten what it’s like to actually be in school: The kids who are the most social—in this case, sending more than 100 texts per day—are the same ones who are hooking up for some extracurricular activity during non-school hours.
The study also found that sexting was more prevalent among the student who exchange massive numbers of texts per day, and that the students who were engaged in sexting were also more likely to be engaged in actual sex.
When you consider the results, there’s really nothing shocking here. Intuition tells us that the kids who spend the most time socializing will always be the ones that first discover intimacy, and the ones who are already sharing their bodies via sexts are obviously not far off from engaging in actual sexual contact.
Perhaps the only unexpected statistic relates to the number of students who admitted sending or receiving sexts. A whopping 20 percent of middle school students admitted to receiving a sext, while just 5 percent claimed they’d sent one. That huge discrepancy makes it clear that while many kids feel mature enough to send lewd messages, they’re not yet mature enough to talk about it.