A new poll says young people are more likely to use racial and sexual slurs in a casual manner than older people. The survey, sponsored by the Associated Press and MTV, notes that most teens and 20-somethings are pretty blase about pejorative words referring to race or sexual tendencies if used by friends. The same age groups don't seem to worry about potential employers finding such language in Facebook or other social media postings. According to the poll, seventy-one percent of respondents say people are more likely to use sexual or racial slurs online or on social media sites than in conversation. And only about half of those running into such language on the Internet asked the user to stop.

Just over half of those surveyed say they see slurs used on Facebook or MySpace. About the same number encountered people being mean to each other on those social networking sites. 54 percent of teens and 20-somethings say that using discriminatory language among friends is ok, because the group knows the words are not meant. But if the same words would be used outside their group of friends, around half of those surveyed feel they should not be used.

Parents should really worry about this result; almost two-thirds of the poll takers said that had little or no worries about their comments being seen by those outside their circle of friends,  even though such incidents are not uncommon on the Internet.

You can read a story on the poll here [it includes some of the slurs used in the survey; be aware]. Have you talked about being careful when using social media with your kids?