Researchers from the University of Michican's school of Public Health looked at the sexting habits of 3,447 young men and women between the ages of 18 and 24.
What they found was that, contrary to popular belief, sexting is not linked to an increase in risky sexual behaviour or psychological problems like anxiety, depression or low self-esteem.
In fact, researchers found that this behaviour is "very common" among young adults who have never known a world without the internet or cellphones.
For them, sexting is simply a part of the courtship and dating process.
More often than not, participants reported that sexts were reciprocal, meaning that most people who sent explicit messages also received them.
The study's authors say that this type of research is important for understanding how technology impacts sexuality and health, but stress that their findings do not apply for those under 18.
"For younger age groups, legality is an issue," co-author Debbie Gordon-Messer told CBS Detroit. "They are also in a very different place in their sexual development."
This study also fails to take into account the psychological trauma that may stem from having sexted photos leaked or viewed by unintended recipients.
What are your thoughts on sexting? Does academic research into the topic make you feel more comfortable with the idea, or are you already in full support of it?
Do the legal implications cancel out the positive elements? Share your thoughts below.
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