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December 15th, 2009
02:53 PM ET

Survey: 15 percent of teens get sexual text messages

A new survey finds that about 15 percent of teens have sent or received nude or nearly nude photos via text messages

A new survey finds that about 15 percent of teens have sent or received nude or nearly nude photos via text messages

John D. Sutter
CNN

Nearly one-sixth of teens who own cell phones have received nude or nearly nude images via text message from someone they know, according to a new survey on "sexting" from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The national telephone survey confirms parent and teacher worries that young people are using cell phones to send out and receive sexually explicit images of themselves and of romantic partners.

The 800-person survey, released Tuesday by the nonprofit research group, found 15 percent of cell-phone-owning teens ages 12 to 17 had received nude or nearly nude photos by phone. Four percent of the teens said they had sent out sexually explicit photos or videos of themselves.

Older teens were more likely to send sexual images through text messages than younger teens. Four percent of 12-year-olds reported sending sexually suggestive images by text message, while 8 percent of 17-year-olds reported texting nude or partially nude photos.

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Filed under: Education
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Richie

    Teens have no right to be sending sexually related messeges of any kind.Society in general has failed our kids.

    December 15, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  2. Chiana (Canada)

    Probably the most frightening aspect of sexting is how it can be downloaded and shared with people you had no intention of showing it to – something most of us older than a teenager would be wary about. Hate to think pedophiles will get hold of some of these images.

    December 15, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  3. Tammy, Houma, LA

    Sexual exploration has probably been around since humans discovered they were sexual beings. This is this generation's attempt at figuring it all out. Maybe if the adults in these teens' lives spent less time freaking out about it all and more time explaining things, discussing them, and accepting healthy sexual development (from homosexual to heterosexual), growing up could be a more pleasant experience. Really, what is so scary for the adults about realizing that teens are going to become adults whether we help them get there in one piece or not.

    December 15, 2009 at 3:29 pm |