Sexting is sending sexually explicit messages via cell phone or instant messenger. As technology has advanced and cell phones have the capability to record and send photos and video, the practice of sending suggestive and explicit pictures has increased, especially among teens.
A study by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reported that 20% of teens (ages 13-19) and 33% of young adults (ages 20-26) have shared nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves either via text or by posting online. Teen girls are slightly more likely to do this than boys.
According to staff at Forensic Nursing Services at Via Christi Hospitals in Wichita, youth may be pressured into participating, or may be responding to a crush on another person. They usually don’t think about how this can affect their future. Consequences of sexting include: criminal charges of producing, possessing or distributing child pornography. Anyone who has the photo can be charged. Besides legal consequences, youth may be mocked, excluded, or become objects of harassment by their peers or others in the community.