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Probably about to go get high, drink some booze, have promiscuous sex, and then get in a fist fight...  (Source: CBC)
Teen texting is very bad (apparently)

As if parents these days didn't have enough to worry about these days with children "whiffing" chocolate and "getting high" off music, a new study claims that texting pretty much is the root of all teenage evil.

A new study by Case Western Reserve School of Medicine says that teens who frequently text message are more likely to engage in all sorts of risky behaviors.

Among its findings, teens that text heavily are:
  • Twice likely to have tried alcohol
  • 43 percent more likely to binge drink
  • 40 percent more likely to smoke cigarettes
  • 41 percent more likely to try illegal drugs
  • Three and a half times more likely to have sex
  • 90 percent more likely to have sex with 4 or more partners
  • 55 percent more likely to get in a physical fight
According to the study, giving your kid a cell phone with a text messaging plan is about as bad as letting them go and join a gang.

States Scott Frank, lead researcher on the study, "The startling results of this study suggest that when left unchecked texting and other widely popular methods of staying connected can have dangerous health effects on teenagers.  This should be a wake-up call for parents to not only help their children stay safe by not texting and driving, but by discouraging excessive use of the cell phone or social websites in general."

The study based its findings on a survey of the 20 percent of Midwestern teens who reported that they texted heavily.

According to the study heavy social networking -- which approximately 11.5 percent of teens engage in -- is almost as bad.  The hyper-networkers are:
  • 79 percent more likely to have tried alcohol
  • 69 percent more likely to binge drink
  • 62 percent more likely to smoke cigarettes
  • 84 percent more likely to try illegal drugs
  • 69 percent more likely to have sex 
  • 60 percent more likely to have sex with 4 or more partners
  • 94 percent more likely to get in a physical fight
According to another study, the average teen girl sends 80 texts a day, while boys average 30. The definition of "hyper-texting" is sending more than 120 messages per school day. Hyper-networking is defined as spending three or more hours per school day on social networks.

Aside from sex, drugs, booze, and violence studies claim a link between frequent social networking and texting have and increased traffic accidents (though recent studies have also shown texting bans to have had little effect on accident rates).  Other studies have claimed that the behaviors negatively impact children's grammar, while other have indicated that children's grammar was not adversely impacted.

Additionally some older teens who have "sexted" (sent sexually explicit messages or pictures) to their underage girlfriends have been arrested, prosecuted, expelled from school, sent to jail, and registered as sex offenders.

The most recent study's claims certainly sound outlandish, but they might be enough to convince some parents to start requesting their child's text messaging logs -- or take away the cell phone altogether.




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