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Study: 15 percent of teens have gotten ‘sext’ messages

A survey from the Pew Internet and American Life Project reveals that sexting, or sending explicit content via cell phones, is a familiar phenomenon among some teens, CNET reports. The Pew survey, conducted from June 26 to Sept. 24 with the participation of 800 teenagers, found that 4 percent of cell-owning teens ages 12 to 17 say they’ve texted sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images of themselves to someone else, and 15 percent say they have received such material. Older teens, especially those who foot their own cell phone bills, are much more likely to send and receive these images. While 8 percent of 17-year-olds with cell phones have sent a sexually provocative image by text, this number goes up to 17 percent among those who pay their bills themselves. In all, 30 percent of 17-year-olds have received explicit images on their phones, the survey found. It also shows that while the exchange of nude images mostly takes place among romantic partners or potential partners of the same age, these images are also forwarded to non-partners or people in different age groups. The Pew survey follows another recent survey from the Associated Press and MTV, which found that more than a quarter of young people ages 14 to 24 have been involved in some form of sexting. (See "Poll finds sexting common among youth.")

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