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New survey says sexting numbers among teens lower than thought

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

By Kim Painter, Special for USA TODAY

    Teen sexting is a real problem, but not the pervasive scourge some reports have suggested, according to the first detailed national study on youths who share sexual images on phones and the Internet.

    Just 2.5% of kids ages 10 to 17 admit to creating or appearing in such photos or videos, and even fewer produce images that amount to pornography, says the study, published today in Pediatrics.

    ""Many of these are very benign pictures"" — of kids who might strike a sexual pose, but who remain clothed, often wearing bathing suits or underwear, says lead author Kimberly Mitchell, a researcher at the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.

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