For teens, sexting can also act as a prelude (or in lieu of) sexual activity, as an experimental phase for those who are yet to be sexually active, and for those who are hoping to start a relationship with someone.In a 2013 study conducted by Drouin et al., it was found that sexting is also associated with attachment styles, as those with attachment avoidance are more likely to engage in sexting behaviours (just as these individuals are also more likely to engage in casual sex).Unfortunately these applications carry the same risks and consequences that have always existed.

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Of those receiving such a picture, over 25 percent indicated that they had forwarded it to others.

In addition, of those who had sent a sexually explicit picture, over a third had done so despite believing that there could be serious legal and other consequences if they got caught.

These applications claim no responsibility for explicit messages or photos that are saved.

Snapchat's privacy policy on sexting has evolved to include sending content over new smartphone applications because of their appealing features such as the anonymity or temporary elements.

Additionally, 39% of teens and 59% of young adults had sent sexually explicit text messages.

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.

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's study, researchers Donald S. 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 via cell phone, and nearly twice as many said that they had received a sexually explicit picture.

Nevertheless, Australian laws currently view under-18s as being unable to give consent to sexting, even if they meet the legal age for sexual consent.