Adult sex photos
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.
Those sending photos over Snapchat believe they will disappear without consequences so they feel more secure about sending them.
There have been several cases where teens have sent photos over these applications, expecting them to disappear or be seen by the recipient only, yet are saved and distributed, carrying social and legal implications.
In a 2008 survey of 1,280 teenagers and young adults of both sexes sponsored by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 20% of teens (13–20) and 33% of young adults (20–26) had sent nude or semi-nude photographs of themselves electronically.
Fifteen percent of these teens also claimed to have received sexually explicit photos.
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.
The study had a small sample size, so more research needs to be done surrounding sexting and motivation, but it is clear that sexting is a phenomenon that is not constrained to simply unattached individuals looking for fun; it is used by those in intimate relationships to increase feelings of intimacy and closeness one's partner.
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.