Nearly 30 percent of U.S. teenagers are sexting, sending nude photos via email or text, according to a study that shows the behavior is more common than previously thought.

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch also found that more than half of teens have been asked to send a nude photo of themselves to someone, and 31 percent had requested a naked picture to be sent to them.”Sexting is a prevalent behavior among teens and it may be a fairly reliable indicator of actual sexual behavior,” said Dr Jeff Temple, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and the lead author of the study.”I think it is an indication of what teens are doing in their offline lives,” he added.Unlike earlier online research and polls and a smaller published study on sexting, Temple’s findings, which are based on a survey of nearly 1,000 students in public high schools in southeast Texas, indicate a higher rate of sexting among teens.”I think this is a more accurate representation of high school students,” he explained, referring to other studies. “Our results are on the higher end.”

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