A new study has found a link between teenage sexual activity and "sexting" -- using cellphone devices to send sexually suggestive or explicit messages and photos.
In short, teens who "sext" are seven times more likely to have sex.
The study polled more than 1,800 Los Angeles high school-age students. Of those polled, 15% acknowledged sexting, and 54% reported knowing someone who had sent a sext. Why is that second figure relevant? Because the study found that "knowing someone who sexted was strongly associated with an individual's own sexting behavior."
"There is peer pressure around sexting," said lead researcher Eric Rice, assistant professor at the University of Southern California. His findings were published Monday in the medical journal Pediatrics.
Rice told the Los Angeles Times on Monday that "sexting is still a minority activity."
But, he said, "there is an emerging sense of normalcy around sexting behavior. If you have friends that sext, you are 17 times more likely to sext."