Fifteen percent of these teens also claimed to have received sexually explicit photos.
This suggests a consent issue of people receiving photos without asking for them.
has received wide international media attention for calling into question the findings reported by the University of New Hampshire researchers.
In the University of Utah's study, researchers Donald S. Sustaíta, and Jordan Rullo surveyed 606 teenagers ages 14–18 and found that nearly 20 percent of the students said they had sent a sexually explicit image of themselves via cell phone, and nearly twice as many said that they had received a sexually explicit picture.
Students who had sent a picture by cell phone were more likely than others to find the activity acceptable. note: "The news-worthiness of [the University of New Hampshire study] derives from [their] figure [2.5%] being far below (by a factor of 5 or more) the prevalence rates reported in the previous surveys.
However, while technically accurate, the 2.5% figure is actually rather misleading.
Nevertheless, Australian laws currently view under-18s as being unable to give consent to sexting, even if they meet the legal age for sexual consent.
Even though users believe their photos on Snapchat for example will go away in seconds, it is easy to save them through other photo capturing technology, third party applications, or simple screenshots.According to Albury and Crawford, sexting was not only an activity occurring in the context of flirtation or sexual relationships, but also between friends, as a joke or during a moment of bonding.” Reportedly, hedonism played a role in motivating sexting, and the length of relationship was negatively correlated with sexting behaviors.The study had a small sample size, so more research needs to be done surrounding sexting and motivation, but it is clear that sexting is a phenomenon that is not constrained to simply unattached individuals looking for fun; it is used by those in intimate relationships to increase feelings of intimacy and closeness one's partner.Thus, instead of increasing intimacy in these types of relationships, sexting may act as a buffer for physical intimacy.In a 2008 survey of 1,280 teenagers and young adults of both sexes sponsored by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 20% of teens (13–20) and 33% of young adults (20–26) had sent nude or semi-nude photographs of themselves electronically.Additionally, 39% of teens and 59% of young adults had sent sexually explicit text messages.A widely cited 2011 study indicated the previously reported prevalence was exaggerated.As seen in Table 1 of their publication, Mitchell et al.found that among the quarter of their sample that were ages 10–12, [less than] 0.6% 'appeared in, created, or received a nude or nearly nude image' while among those age 15–17, 15% of participants reported having done so.This is enhanced with Snapchat, as the person receiving snapchats will not be aware of the contents until they open it. In a 2011 study, 54% of the sample had sent explicit pictures or videos to their partners at least once, and ⅓ of their sample had engaged in such activities occasionally.In 2013, it was found that sexting is often used to enhance the relationship and sexual satisfaction in a romantic partnership.