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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.Whether sexting is seen as a positive or negative experience typically rests on the basis of whether or not consent was given to share the images.
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire surveyed 1,560 children and caregivers, reporting that only 2.5 percent of respondents had sent, received or created sexual pictures distributed via cell phone in the previous year.
Perhaps shedding light on the over-reporting of earlier studies, the researchers found that the figure rose to 9.6% when the definition was broadened from images prosecutable as child pornography to any suggestive image, not necessarily nude ones.
Unfortunately these applications carry the same risks and consequences that have always existed.
A 2009 study claims that 4 percent of teens ages 14–17 have claimed to have sent sexually explicit photos of themselves.
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.
These applications claim no responsibility for explicit messages or photos that are saved.
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.
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.
has received wide international media attention for calling into question the findings reported by the University of New Hampshire researchers.