The first known published mention of the term sexting was in a 2005 article in the Sunday Telegraph Magazine. Sexting has since been described as taking place in the UK, Australia, the United States, and Canada. In a 2008 survey of 1,280 teenagers and young adults of both sexes on Cosmogirl.com 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. Additionally, 39% of teens and 59% of young adults had sent sexually explicit text messages. A sociologist at Colorado College interviewed 80 students and believes this claim is overblown; she claims "I had them go through their last ten messages, their last ten photos and I never saw it" however recent evidence in the scientific literature has called this conclusion into question  Indeed, a widely cited 2011 study indicated the previously reported prevalence was exaggerated. Researchers at the University of New Hampshire surveyed 1,560 children and caregivers, reporting that only 2.5 percent of respondents had sent, received or created sexual pictures distributed via cell phone in the previous year. Perhaps shedding light on the over-reporting of earlier studies, the researchers found that the figure rose to 9.6% when the definition was broadened from images prosecutable as child pornography to any suggestive image, not necessarily nude ones. Despite this, a recent 2012 study conducted by the University of Utah Department of Psychology has received wide international media attention for calling into question the findings reported by the University of New Hampshire researchers. In the University of Utah study, researchers Donald S. Strassberg, Ryan Kelly McKinnon, Michael A. Sustaíta and Jordan Rullo surveyed 606 teenagers ages 14-18 and found that nearly 20 percent of the students said they had sent a sexually explicit image of themselves...
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