Cracking the secret codes teens use for texting, sexting

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by Lisa Hernandez / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 22 at 7:21 PM

HOUSTON – Text messages between teens can read like a foreign language to their moms and dads.

We wanted to know how up-to-speed parents are with text lingo beyond OMG and LOL. More specifically, could they decode sexually-charged one-liners that researchers say are becoming more and more popular?

Researchers at the Education Development Center in Massachusetts say sexting is only growing in popularity. In fact 13-percent of high school students have received sexually explicit messages. Many of them "coded" so that adults can’t figure them out.

For example, do you know what GYPO means? If you don’t have a clue either, don’t feel bad. Most parents we showed these five sexting codes to had no idea what they meant.

But if you see GYPO on your teen’s screen, you might want to start asking questions. It stands for "get your pants off."

IWSN is "I want sex now."

GNOC is "get naked on camera."

"I’m mystified, stymied, shocked. I don’t know what to say," said one parent who took our test.

"It’s awful. It's dreadful, unacceptable!" said another.

Researchers who gathered the sexting acronyms also point to parents, saying up-front discussions need to be had with teens to help them understand the repercussions. If explicit text messaging includes explicit pictures or video, it could carry legal consequences.

"It will be child pornography. If they email it to their boyfriend, they’ve distributed child pornography," explained Merlyn Horton with Safe Online Outreach Society. "So the consequences for these actions is much more drastic than it ever was for mooning or flashing trucks."

Here are two more that no parent wants to see on their child’s phone: CU46 is "see you for sex" and GNRN is "get naked right now."

Click here for 35 common texting codes.

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