Sext rule: Don't text head shots. You don't want your face all over the internet.Sext rule: Don’t text head shots. You don’t want your face all over the internet.

A new study, announced last week, finds that one in five teens have sent sexually explicit photos on their mobile phone—many of them with no awareness of the psychological, social and legal consequences of doing so.

In the US, those sending or receiving sexual pictures of people under 18 risk charges as serious as possession or distribution of child pornography. But even when minors understand the legal consequences, many continue to “sext”.

In the study, the University Of Utah recruited 606 students from a private high school who completed a questionnaire about their experiences of sexting and their understanding of what consequences they believed were associated with being caught sexting.

The students were also asked about their attitudes toward sending sexually explicit mobile phone photos—for example, in what context it might be wrong.

Nearly 20 percent of the students, some as young as 14, said they had sent a sexually explicit image of themselves via mobile phone, and nearly twice as many said that they had received a sexually explicit photo. Of those receiving such a picture, over 25 percent indicated that they had forwarded it to others.

The findings were published online in the journal Archives Of Sexual Behaviour.

Last month, Britain issued a report stating that teenage girls were experiencing increasing pressure to text and email sexually explicit pictures of themselves, with many accepting it “as a fact of life”. In the report, sexting was said to affect more than a third of adolescents under the age of 18.

If you’re an adult, however, here are some rules on how to sext.

Rule #1: Don’t sext with minors. It’s creepy and it’s just child pornography.

Rule #2: Don’t sext head shots. If things go wrong, you don’t want your face plastered all over the internet.

Rule #3: Make sure you have a texting plan that allows you to send a lot of messages. No one likes a huge phone bill to come in the mail. It can really ruin your mojo.

Source: Relaxnews