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Drexel Study: More Than Half Of Kids Have ‘Sexted’

Texting (credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Texting (credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Parents, you won’t like this one bit.

A new study from Drexel claims at least half of minors have sent sexually explicit text messages, otherwise known as “sexts.”

The research, titled “Youth Sexting: Prevalence Rates, Driving Motivations, and the Deterrent Effect of Legal Consequences,” was published online in the June 2014 issue of Sexuality Research and Social Policy.

More than half of the study participants, who filled out an anonymous online survey, reported sexting as minors, and 28% had sent photographic sexts.

Drexel researchers say a significant amount of those surveyed showed little knowledge of the consequences of sexting — including being charged under child porn laws — and that those who did know there were legal consequences were less likely to sext.

“Teenage sexting is very prevalent and, regardless of whether the behavior is normative or problematic, it is something that parents, schools and legislatures have to address. Results from our study suggest that some teenagers might be deterred by legal consequences, which may provide support for enacting sexting-specific legislation,” said Megan Murphy, a JD/PhD candidate at Drexel, and one of the study’s authors.

For more on the study, click here.

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