February 21, 2014 — High school students who mentioned condoms or other contraceptives in text messages or other electronic communications were nearly four times more likely to use condoms during sex, according to a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, Reuters reports.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill studied 176 U.S. adolescents who were juniors or seniors in high school. About 64 of those individuals said that they were sexually active, and, of those, more than half said they did not consistently use condoms.
The study also found that students who discussed pregnancy or sexual limits via technology were more than twice as likely as other students to use condoms consistently.
UNC's Laura Widman, the study's lead author, said that while "prior research and media attention has focused on the risks of technology use -- like sexting," the new research shows "that adolescents might also use electronic tools to communicate about ways they might promote their sexual health" (Cohen, Reuters, 2/19).