As we’ve pointed out in our blog discussing the fundamentals of electronic dating violence among adolescents, and in our 2010 teen dating violence statistics released last week, we seem to be dealing with a significant social problem here. I wanted to share with you about the other research that has been done on this topic in previous year – which should help illustrate the problem. First, an online survey of teens sponsored by the Liz Claiborne company revealed that 36% of teens say their boyfriend or girlfriend checked up on them as many as 30 times per day and 17% reported that their significant other made them afraid not to respond to cell phone calls, email, or text messages. Another recent poll spearheaded by MTV and the Associated Press found that 22% of youth between the ages of 14 and 24 who were involved in a romantic relationship said that their partner wrote something about them online or in a text message that wasn’t true. This same survey reported that 22% of youth felt that their significant other checked up on them too often online or via cell phone.
The results of these studies, and the numbers from our data collected in the Spring of this year, illustrate that electronic dating violence is occurring across a meaningful proportion of youth. A lot of additional research is necessary to better parse out what leads to this problem, and how teenagers typically deal with it. I personally wish I could somehow reach every teenager who is romantically linked, and powerfully convey what constitutes a healthy and well-balanced relationship, and what depicts a dysfunctional, abusive one. What youth silently and reluctantly accept now in their teenage relationships, they may very well believe is normative in their adult relationships. And that would be such a travesty.