In a nationally representative survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 15% of cell-owning teens ages 12-17 say they have received sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images of someone they know via text messaging on their cell phone, a practice known as “sexting.” Older teens are much more likely to send and receive these images; 8% of 17-year-olds with cell phones have sent a sexually provocative image by text and 30% have received a nude or nearly nude image on their phone. Parents, educators and advocates have grown increasingly concerned about the role of cell phones in the sexual lives of teens and young adults. The greatest amount of concern has focused on the creating, sharing and forwarding of sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images by minor teens. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.