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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.
Of those receiving such a picture, over 25 percent indicated that they had forwarded it to others.
A 2009 study claims that 4 percent of teens ages 14–17 have claimed to have sent sexually explicit photos of themselves.
Fifteen percent of these teens also claimed to have received sexually explicit photos.
Sexting has been promoted further by several direct messaging applications that are available on smartphones.
The difference between using these applications and traditional texting is that content is transmitted over the Internet or a data plan, allowing anyone with Internet access to participate.
Thus, instead of increasing intimacy in these types of relationships, sexting may act as a buffer for physical intimacy.Kik and Whats App appeal to teens because of the anonymity of the applications.Snapchat appeals to teens because it allows users to send photos for a maximum of ten seconds before they self-destruct.Those sending photos over Snapchat believe they will disappear without consequences so they feel more secure about sending them.There have been several cases where teens have sent photos over these applications, expecting them to disappear or be seen by the recipient only, yet are saved and distributed, carrying social and legal implications.
most media coverage fixates on negative aspects of adolescent usage.