“Sexting” Rare, Police Aren’t Overreacting, New Studies Show


Teen sexting of nude photos online or via cellphone may be far less common than people think, says new research reported by the Associated Press. Only 1 percent of kids 10 to 17 have shared images of themselves or others that involve explicit nudity, a nationally representative study found. Abouty the same number said they’d shared suggestive but less graphic photos; while 7 percent said they’d received either type of picture.

Previous reports said as many as one in five young people have participated in sexting. A separate study on how police deal with teen sexting of photos found that contrary to some reports, few kids are being prosecuted or forced to register as sex offenders for sexting. It estimates that nearly 4,000 teen sexting cases were reported to police nationwide in 2008 and 2009. About one-third of those cases resulted in arrests. The studies were released today in the journal Pediatrics. The results suggest that police generally aren’t overreacting to teen sexting, said researcher Janis Wolak.

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