found that teen sexting was not as prevalent as had been previously reported.
The study found that 1 percent of children aged 10 to 17 were engaging in "adult" communication, and seemed to discredit the often-circulated estimate that as many as one in five teenage girls were sexting.
Parents expressed relief and many people seemed to move on.
And of that 47 percent, about one in 10 have sent a "not suitable for work" message to the wrong person. However, anecdotally, people extend the definition to include sexually explicit and suggestive words as well.
Although most of the research done on sexting has focused on teenagers, a 2010 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, as part of its Internet & American Life Project, also studied adults.
The survey looked specifically at "sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images" sent via text message.
The resulting statistics -- although limited since they only refer to sexts containing photos -- give us a good jumping off point with which to understand how many adults are taking part in this sort of behavior.
The survey, which interviewed 2,252 adults by phone in May 2010, found that 6 percent of adults admitted to sending these type of explicit messages, but 15 percent said they had received them.
The numbers go up when looking at adults in the 30-49 and 18-29 ranges (many of the younger adults grew up in the internet/texting/AIM age).
Thirteen percent of adults 18-29 admitted to sending sexts, while 31 percent said that they had been on the receiving end.
So young adults are the most likely to sext, and while there are a substantial number of adults who engage in sexting with images, the study shows that it's not something "everyone is doing."THE DARK SIDE OF SEXTING The negative aspects of adult sexting may seem obvious.
The ease with which one can communicate through a smartphone means that some missteps will likely occur.
"It can be extremely negative," says relationship coach Carol Allen.
"If you had a few too many [drinks] out with friends, you didn't used to have a way to totally embarrass yourself and ruin your life." Now it seems that for some people the Millennial equivalent of "don't drink and drive" has become "don't drink and text."This ease of smartphones can also create a false sense of intimacy for the parties involved, regardless of whether alcohol enters the picture. It feels like it’s just you and your phone.” And although a sext may seem private, it’s just as easy to forward a sext as it is to send. And beyond public scandal and harassment, missteps during sexting can result in your basic, run-of-the-mill shame and embarrassment -- even for people who feel generally safe and comfortable doing sexting.