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In the University of Utah's study, researchers Donald S. Sustaíta, and Jordan Rullo surveyed 606 teenagers ages 14–18 and found that nearly 20 percent of the students said they had sent a sexually explicit image of themselves via cell phone, and nearly twice as many said that they had received a sexually explicit picture.
Of those receiving such a picture, over 25 percent indicated that they had forwarded it to others.
Young adults use the medium of the text message much more than any other new media to transmit messages of a sexual nature.
As a result of sexting being a relatively recent practice, ethics are still being established by both those who engage in it and those who create legislation based on this concept.
Based on the interviews conducted by Albury and Crawford, they discovered that sexting is commonly used in positive aspects.
According to Albury and Crawford, sexting was not only an activity occurring in the context of flirtation or sexual relationships, but also between friends, as a joke or during a moment of bonding.” Reportedly, hedonism played a role in motivating sexting, and the length of relationship was negatively correlated with sexting behaviors.
Whether sexting is seen as a positive or negative experience typically rests on the basis of whether or not consent was given to share the images.
Nevertheless, Australian laws currently view under-18s as being unable to give consent to sexting, even if they meet the legal age for sexual consent.