One in five teens reports 'sexting'

June 24, 2009 at 2:45 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 24 (UPI) -- A survey indicates one in five U.S. teens engages in sexting -- sending or receiving sexually suggestive, nude or nearly nude photos by e-mail or cell phone.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Cox Communications say they found although teens recognize the danger of sharing personal information online, they do it anyway, USA Today reported Wednesday.

The findings are the result of interviews conducted last April by Harris Interactive, which queried 655 teens ages 13 to 18 about their use of computers and cell phones.

One in four teens said they knew someone who had a bad experience because of information posted on the Internet and 20 percent reported being harassed or threatened online or by text message.

"Teenagers underestimate the risk they take online," says David Walsh of the National Institute on Media and the Family. "The part of their brain that puts the brakes on things is under major construction."

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