A study conducted by University of Southern California shows Smartphone use increases the likelihood of being solicited for sex on the internet, and having sex with an internet-met partner among teens.The research found that young people with smartphones are 1.5 times as likely to report being sexually active, almost two times as likely to have been approached online for sex, and more than twice as likely to engage in sex with an internet-met partner compared with those who do not access the Internet on their cellphones.Additionally, those being solicited online for sex are also found to be engaging in risky sexual activities like having unprotected sexual encounters.Five per cent of the participants reported using the Internet to seek sex partners and 17 per cent of the participants reported being approached online for sex by someone they did not know.
The researchers also found that compared with their heterosexual peers, non-heterosexual high school students were five times more likely to seek sex partners online.Overall, one-third of all participants use their cell phones to access the Internet. These results are based on last year survey distributed to high school students controlled for independent factors, including age, race, gender and sexual orientation.Parents, health educators, physicians must recognize that cell phones are yet another new way for adolescents to meet sex partners. Parents and school health professionals should talk to their teens about being safe in meeting people online and in using condoms to prevent sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies. The researchers noted that the Internet and apps for iPhones, Android and Windows represent prime venues for adolescent-targeted sexual health programs.