One in two teenage boys and girls have used a mobile phone to send a sexually explicit image of themselves, according to the biggest sexting survey undertaken in Australia.
Teenage girls are using their mobiles to send sexual images of themselves because they think it’s fun and sexy, rather than because they feel pressured by boys, the new research from the Australian Institute of Criminology found.
Most of the 1200 teens surveyed who had sexted said they sent the image to a person with whom they had a relationship. Forty per cent had sent a sext to more than one person in the past year. Only six per cent of sexters reported sending an image on to a third party for whom the picture wasn’t originally intended.
The criminology researchers who conducted the survey said the results underscored the mismatch between sexting laws, which classify the practice as child abuse or child pornography and do not distinguish between consensual and non-consensual sexting, and the reality of teen sexting.