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.
has received wide international media attention for calling into question the findings reported by the University of New Hampshire researchers.
Nevertheless, Australian laws currently view under-18s as being unable to give consent to sexting, even if they meet the legal age for sexual consent.
Sexting has been promoted further by several direct messaging applications that are available on smartphones.
For teens, sexting can also act as a prelude (or in lieu of) sexual activity, as an experimental phase for those who are yet to be sexually active, and for those who are hoping to start a relationship with someone.A widely cited 2011 study indicated the previously reported prevalence was exaggerated.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.However, while technically accurate, the 2.5% figure is actually rather misleading.As seen in Table 1 of their publication, Mitchell et al.Sexting is sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs, or images, primarily between mobile phones, of oneself to others.It may also include the use of a computer or any digital device.In 2013, it was found that sexting is often used to enhance the relationship and sexual satisfaction in a romantic partnership.Sexting thus can be considered a "behaviour that ties into sexuality and the subsequent level of relationship satisfaction experienced by both partners".Based on the interviews conducted by Albury and Crawford, they discovered that sexting is commonly used in positive aspects.According to Albury and Crawford, sexting was not only an activity occurring in the context of flirtation or sexual relationships, but also between friends, as a joke or during a moment of bonding.” Reportedly, hedonism played a role in motivating sexting, and the length of relationship was negatively correlated with sexting behaviors.