Drexel University just released a new study that finds that the majority of minors engage in sexting.
The study, "Youth Sexting: Prevalence Rates, Driving Motivations, and the Deterrent Effect of Legal Consequences," was published online by the journal Sexuality Research and Social Policy.
Researchers surveyed undergraduate students about their teenage sexting behaviors, and more than half reported sending or receiving sexually explicit messages via text.
Researchers also found that the students were largely unaware of potential legal consequences of sexting. In some areas, underaged sexters can be prosecuted for child pornography or other offenses.
"This is a scary and disturbing combination," said Drexel researcher David DeMatteo in a statement. "Given the harsh legal penalties sometimes associated with youth sexting and the apparent frequency with which youth are engaging in it, the lack of comprehension regarding such penalties presents a serious problem."
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