Sexting Most Popular Among Those 18-24 for First Time

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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The practice of sexting has usually been depicted as a teen’s sport.

Yet new research is finding sexting is occurring now among slightly older people at nearly twice the rate seen just two years ago. This is, in part, largely attributed to the growing popularity of smartphones.

According to Pew Research, since 2012 the amount of young people sexting has jumped from 26 percent to 44 percent.

Furthermore, one in five smartphone users said they’d personally received nude or near-nude photos from a partner regardless of age. That represents a 25 percent jump since they asked in 2012.

Being on the receiving end of a sext is one thing, but researchers found more and more users are also sending these modern messages. One-third more of smartphone users said they had personally sent a sext compared with just two years prior.

“Young people sexting jumped

from 26 percent to 44 percent.”

Ultimately, Pew classified these increases as being “statistically significant.”

When asking the same questions to couples together for more than a decade, on average only 6 percent indicated sexting. This compares with 32 percent among those together for less than 10 years.

Sexting was found to be most common, however, among those who also embrace online dating. Of those, 55 percent indicated receiving sexts and 31 percent admitted sending at least one.

The team at Pew also resurfaced some questions they had not asked since 2005, including how many couples believed the Internet had a direct impact on their own relationship.

Eight years ago, the response was just 16 percent. In the new report, however, that number jumped to 27 percent.

In 2005, 13 percent of participants viewed the Internet’s impact on relationships as negative compared with 20 percent in the new report.


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