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Tuesday
Mar222011

When Sexting Goes Viral Teens Suffer the Consequences

Goodshoot RF/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The proliferation of cellphones equipped with video cameras has made shooting and sending x-rated videos easier than ever for teenagers. The world of "sexting" -- sending sexually explicit text messages -- amongst teens that was once limited to raunchy words and pictures is increasingly moving into the video domain -- with devastating consequences.

According to a 2008 study by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, more than one in five teenage girls have sent or posted nude images of themselves.

The pressure to send illicit material is also beginning at shockingly young ages.

"I was asked for a picture in seventh grade," said 15-year-old high school student Jessica Pereira.

The explicit images are often made between teens in a relationship, but after the teens break up the videos can go viral.

When 16-year-old Julia Kirouac broke up with her boyfriend last fall, he shared the sexy images she says he pressured her into making for him. The humiliation sent Julia into a deep depression and in early February Julia downed a bottle of pills in an attempt to kill herself. She spent a week in the hospital recovering. Now, she says, she's learned a powerful lesson she wants to share with other teens.

"I just want them to know that they don't have to do anything that they don't want do," Julia said fighting back tears. "And if they think that they need to send pictures or videos, whatever it is, to a guy that they're dating or that they like, it's not worth it at all.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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