Posted Monday, December 5, 2011 --- 6:40 a.m.
CHICAGO (AP) -- A national study finds that the phenomenon of teen sexting on cellphones may not be as widespread as people believe.
The nationally representative study presented in the journal Pediatrics shows that only 1 percent of kids age10 to 17 years old have shared images of themselves or others that involve explicit nudity. Roughly the same number said they'd shared suggestive but less graphic photos; while 7 percent said they'd received either type of picture.
The research suggests texting of sexual photos among younger kids is extremely rare but more common among older teens.
Lead author Kimberly Mitchell of the University of New Hampshire says what's reassuring is that it appears teen sexting isn't rampant, usually isn't malicious, and is generally not something parents should panic over.
Previous reports said as many as one in five young people -- 20 percent -- have participated in sexting.
Copyright 2011. The Associated Press.