Child Sexual Abuse & Exploitation: Facts for Prevention

Impact of Media and Technology on Youth Because children have high levels of exposure, media have greater access and time to shape young people’s attitudes and actions than do parents or teachers, replacing them as educators, role models, and the primary sources of information about the world and how one behaves in it.

Youth and technology • A national survey reported teenagers spend, on average, 8.08 hours a day using various forms of media, not including time spent doing school work or talking or texting on a cell phone. This includes television, commercial or self-recorded video, movies, video games, print, radio, recorded music, computers, cell phones, and the Internet. 2 Youth media use encompasses both consumption of media and creation of content from a variety of platforms as detailed below.

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Internet activities • Most children are introduced and use the Internet while they are kindergarten age or younger. 3 • 90% of 13-17-year-olds have used some form of social media and 75% have a profile on a social networking site. 4

• 38% of youth share photos, stories, videos and art. 6 • 47% of online teens have uploaded pictures where others can see them. 5

• 27% of teens record and upload video to the Internet and 13% stream video live to the Internet for others to watch. 6 • 30% of parents stated they do not monitor their child’s Facebook activity. 7

Mobile media • 77% of all 8-18-year-olds have their own cell phone, up from 44% in 2004. Cell phone ownership has increased with age, as 87% of teenagers 14-17- years-old now own a cell phone, and 31% of these older teens have smartphones. 8 • 20% of all media consumption occurs on mobile devices (cell phones, iPod, or handheld games). 2

• 46% of 8-18-year-olds report sending an average of 118 texts per day with 7th – 12th graders spending an average of an hour and a half a day sending or receiving texts. 2 • 63% of all teens exchange text messages every day with people in their lives — far surpassing all other forms of daily communication including email, instant messaging, social networking and phone calling. 7

Games • “Interactive media, such as video games and the Internet…[have] even greater potential for positive and negative effects on children’s physical and mental health. Titillating violence in sexual contexts and comic violence are particularly dangerous, because they associate positive feelings with hurting others. Child initiated virtual violence may be even more profound than those of passive media.” 1 • A national study found only half of homes surveyed had rules about videogames.