According to a new study, hype surrounding the trend of teenagers sending sexually explicit pictures to one another may only be just that -- hype. "Only 1 percent of kids aged 10 to 17 have shared images of themselves or others that involve explicit nudity, a nationally representative study found" published today in the journal Pediatrics, reports the AP. Roughly another 1 percent have shared non-nude but still suggestive photos, while 9.6 percent of 10- to 17-year-olds say that they have received or sent sexually suggestive images, says The New York Times -- meaning that a few teens are responsible for most of the photo sexting. So "sexting" in general may be much less of a phenomenon among young teens than the public rancor would lead one to believe. So who is actually sending all those sexy photo by text? A previous "oft-cited" study pegged the percentage of kids engaging in sexting at 20 percent, reports The Times, but that study included kids older than 17, likely shifting the numbers to make the problem appear more prevalent among younger teens than it actually was. Another study issued this summer says that 56 percent of college students have received sexual photos by text. But the new study suggests a lot of them are seeing the same images.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.