A survey carried out by a charity called BeatBullying found out that more than a third of secondary school children aged between 11 and 18 have received text messages with explicit content.
The so-called sexts were sent most of the time by people they knew; 23 percent said their current boyfriend or girlfriend sent the text with 70 percent of those surveyed saying they knew the text sender well. Worryingly, 2 percent said that the messages came from adults.
Girls in particular were pressurised into submitting explicit pictures of themselves or "carrying out sex acts"; the charity warned parents about their children being bullied into taking indecent pictures of themselves.
The BBC quotes the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre which reported that some of these pictures end up on pedophile websites. Under the Sexual Offences act 2003, it is illegal to possess or send indecent images of anyone under the age of 18.
The CEOP advises parents whose child might be receiving or sending inappropriate pictures on their mobile phone should talk to them about the consequences of their actions. Once pictures are sent, there is no way the sender can control who has access to the pictures.
Helen Penn, from CEOP, argues that they "are getting more reports of teenagers being bullied, called names and strung up in front of their whole school".
Arguably, sexting doesn't only involve texts but also other means of communications like chat or probably DM on Twitter. The advent of MMS (Multimedia Services) made sexting even more graphical and descriptive. The survey results come a few days after a British Catholic archibishop said that Social Networking websites could lead to teenage suicide due to the amount of bullying.