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4 Right-Wing Sex Panics Debunked by Reality

Conservatives and the media are obsessed with the idea that everything will lead to more sex. They're wrong.

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Yet another study looks and looks--and finds only a media tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. From

University of Michigan researchers looked at the sexting behavior of 3,447 men and women ages 18-24 and found that while sexting—sending explicit messages or images by phone—is very common, it isn’t associated with sexually risky behaviors or with psychological problems.

The findings contradict the public perception of sexting, which is often portrayed in the media and elsewhere as unsavory, deviant, or even criminal behavior, says Jose Bauermeister, an assistant professor at the School of Public Health and co-principal investigator of the study, which will appear in a forthcoming issue of the  Journal of Adolescent Health.

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. The kids are alright, provided we give them love, support, and science-based practical information about sexuality. Teenagers, and indeed all of us, are much more likely to be influenced by families and peers--namely, those pesky interpersonal relationships--when making these decisions than by anything else.

What schools and health facilities and clinics should do is arm them with tools to have healthy bodies and relationships, not be in the business of instilling fear, taboos and myths.

Sarah Seltzer is a freelance writer based in New York City. Her work has been published at the Nation, the Christian Science Monitor, Jezebel and the Washington Post. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahmseltzer and find her work at

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