December 5th, 2011
10:39 AM ET

Sexting may not be as widespread as thought, study says

Few minors are appearing in, creating or sharing sexually explicit images, according to a new study that counters recent research depicting "sexting" as a more widespread phenomenon for American youth.

The study, released Monday by the journal Pediatrics, found that 1% of minors over the age of 10 had taken explicit pictures of themselves or someone else and that 5.9% had received such images, according to the authors, researchers from the Crimes against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.

In all, 9.6% of minors between 10 and 17 reported appearing in, creating or receiving "sexually suggestive" images that didn't necessarily involve nudity, the study said.

"In the face of some widely cited, but flawed, studies claiming to show as many as 1 in 5 youth 'involved in sexting' these results are to some extent reassuring," the authors said. "Only a low percentage of young people are appearing in or creating sexting images that could be considered illegal child pornography. Moreover, few of these images were being forwarded or posted, situations that could put youth at risk for having their images circulated online."

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soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. RUFFNUTT ( Somalian pirate & fisherman & kcmo resident )

    9.6% $lut$... that's a low precentage..

    December 5, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Why is it that CNN can print "$€Xting" but its bloggers cannot post "$€X" or even J-
    ap? Is it because anyone who writes for CNN is considered holy, or at least as infallible as the Pope when speaking Ex Cathedra?

    December 5, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • CNN's Nicole Saidi

      Hi Joey, you should be able to write the word "sex" in your comments. You may run into trouble with other words that are modifications of that word.

      December 5, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  3. THThite

    Not as widespread as you think?

    It's good news, but not true. It's spread more than ever and is fun to do really, but this article just shows that people have finally gotten better at hiding it.

    Except senators. They need to learn. But at least the kids know better now how to keep it low.

    December 5, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. BOMBO

    @ JIF, because they're "special'. I'm "special" too, just not the right kind of "special".

    @ Nicole, No you can't.

    December 5, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. DJR

    CNN's Nichole Saidi:
    Why is it that someone can post someone else's phone number without their permission, and when one reports the abuse, nothing is done? Isn't that slightly ILLEGAL?

    December 5, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  6. Sovereign Copyright

    They should do a study on $€Xting on former NFL Quarterbacks and legislators and school officials. Bet they find those are *way* up.

    @JIF:
    Japan.

    I'm just sort of special.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ banasy, S.C.:
    Yeah, yeah. You know a trick, smartie.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Street soldier

    Posting someone elses # is illegal with out there permission, some one screwed me up last by posting some elses # in nor cal about two weeks ago and than posted my name as the one who did it , and i had the whole blog after my but on cnn ,,,,

    December 5, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Nicole Saidi:
    Thank you.
    I'm going to post this and then immediately try to post s-
    ex.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BOMBO

    I don't know the trick. So I have to say "Nippon".

    Also "teat" works instead of ___. Imagine that.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ CNN's Nicole Saidi:
    Thank you for your kindness. 🙂
    I tried twice.
    I'll just say
    s-
    ex
    and
    bon appet-
    it.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bambi

    is this considered S E X T I N G

    Girl
    ""´´¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶´´´´´´Sweet
    ´´´´´¶¶¶¢¢¢¢¶¶¶´´´´´
    ´´´´1¶¶¢¢¢¢¢¢¶¶´´´´´
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    ´´´¶¶¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¶´´´´´
    ´´1¶¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢1´´´´´´Naughty
    ´´7¶¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¶¶¶´´´´
    ´´´¶¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¶¶´´´
    ´´¶¶¶¶¶¶¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¶¶´´´$3X!
    ´1¶¶¶´´¶¶¢¢¢¢¢¶¶´´´´
    ´¶¶¶´´´´¶¶¢¢¢¢¶7´´´´
    7¶¢¢1´´´´¶¢¢¢¢¶´´´´´Inteligent
    ´¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¢¢¢¢1¶¢´´´´´
    ´´´´´´1¢¢¢¢¢¢¶7´´´´´
    ´´´´´¢¢¢1111¢¶´´´´´´Loving
    ´´´´¶¶¢¢1111¶¶´´´´´´
    ´´´1¶¢111111¶´´´´´´´
    ´´´´¶¢111111¶´´´´´´´Loyal
    ´´´´¶¢111111¶´´´´´´´
    ´´´´1¶111111¶´´´´´´´
    ´´´´´¶¢1111¢¶´´´´´´´Reliable
    ´´´´´´¶1111¶¢´´´´´´´
    ´´´´´´¶1111¶´´´´´´´´
    ´´´´´´¶¢111¶7´´´´´´´Freaky
    ´´´´´´¶1111¶¢´´´´´´´
    ´´´´´1¶¢111¢¶´´´´´´´
    ´´´´´¶¢1111¢¶´´´´´´´Humuorus
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    ´´´´¶¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¶´´´´´´´
    ´´´´¶¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¶´´´´´´´Dependable
    ´´´´¢¶¢¶1¶¶¢¶¶´´´´´´
    ´´´´´¶¢¶´´¶¶¢¶´´´´´´
    ´´´´´¶¢¶´´´¶¢¶¢´´´´´Trendy
    ´´´´´¶¢¶7´´1¶¶¶´´´´´
    ´´´´´¶¢¶1´´´1¶¶¶´´´´
    ´´´7¶¶¢¶¶´´´´¶¢¶¶´´´Beautiful
    ´´´´¶¶¢¢¶´´´¶¶¢¢¶¶´´
    ´´´´¶¶¢¶¶¶7´´¶¶¢¢¶´´

    December 5, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Virgin nerd

      I don't get it.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ponyography

    The ponyography industry grows each and every year no matter the economy. To think that this filth only grows on adults is stupid. Kids are like sponges and soak-up whatever is in the home environment, especially hidden things. To think that kids can resist what adults cannot is rediculous.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr Ed

      Interesting. And where can one find these ponyographic pictures? I've looked and looked, but I can only find humanography on the internet.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Bambi:
    A+

    December 5, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bambi

    Good to know I found ONE good reply! I was hoping to get someone to bring that out with my picture. It's sad that so called parents see what they DO to their kids and still DON'T care!
    Well said, ponyography

    December 5, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
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