About 15% of children 12 to 17 say they have received sexually suggestive images, or sexts, on their cell phone, while only 4% admitted to sending images of themselves, accord to The Pew Research Center/Pew Internet & American Life Project, which released results of a study called "Teens and Sexting."
The study found that by age 17, about 30% have received nude or nearly nude images on their phone.
The study also found that teens feel less comfortable sending or receiving sexually suggestive images if they're not footing the bill. Teens whose parents pay for their cell phone were five times less likely to send sexts (3%) than teens who pay their own bill (17%.) That's good and bad news for parents, but since about 70% of teens' cell phones are paid by someone else, it's probably the most effective deterrent.
According to research, teens said that there were three reasons for sexting: sending images between a dating couple, images shared with others outside the relationship and where two people aren't in a relationship but at least one person hopes to be.