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Study Finds That Teen Sexting Is Less Common Than Originally Thought

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(Photo credit Franko Lee/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit Franko Lee/AFP/Getty Images)

WBZ-TV's Lauren Leamanczyk Lauren Leamanczyk
Lauren Leamanczyk is an I-Team Correspondent for WBZ-TV News and is...
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MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBS) – Some believe it’s happening all over the place, but researchers in New Hampshire say the dangerous behavior known as sexting isn’t happening as often as we think.

There have been some really high profile cases of sexting; kids sending explicit pictures of themselves on their cell phones. Some studies have found as many as 20 percent of teenagers are doing it. But researchers at the UNH say it’s just not true.

“Overall what we found is very reassuring,” says Janis Wolak. “That not many kids are creating these sorts of pictures and that when kids do receive them, they are generally not forwarding them.”

WBZ-TV’s Lauren Leamanczyk reports

This new study surveyed more than 1,500 kids between the ages of 10 and 17.

It found only about two percent of them had sent a sexual picture. About seven percent had received the pictures via text message.

The New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force doesn’t keep numbers on sexting, but Sgt. Tom Grella says cases where the pictures are widely distributed are pretty rare.

Still he says parents need to be wary.

“Two kids may think it’s just between them but it could go further and further and they don’t know where it ends,” says Grella.

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