Sexting among teens on the rise: Study

A new study found 27 percent of kids younger than 18 receive sext messages, including nude photos, and nearly 15 percent of teens send them.
3:00 | 02/27/18

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Transcript for Sexting among teens on the rise: Study
We are back with a surprising new study about teens and sexting. It suggests it's on the rise and could cause them legal trouble. Adrienne Bankert has details. Good morning. Good morning. Images shared between teens on their phones whether by text or social media is becoming more and more explicit and more and more the norm. A new pediatric study finds one in four teens receive sexts. Sending them could be criminal. Teens may be seconding moxting. Guys ask for them. They're not really -- they're not really like shy about asking. They'll just ask you straight out. Hey, send me nudes. Megan, 15 and Alaina, 17, who don't send or share explicit photos but block the numbers of guys who do say most students they know send nudes. Aka sexting. A new study finds 27% of kids under 18 receive sext messages. Nearly 15% of teens send them. There are some teens that don't recognize the cause and effect nature of sexting and that once you press that send button there is a possibility that those pictures will be distributed. Reporter: Bethany was in high school when she sent a revealing shot to a boy she was dated but ended up in the wrong hands. I just wanted to be alone. I felt horrible. Reporter: For three years she says she received threatening messages from an anonymous number demanding she send more explicit photos. I got a text that said I have some photos of you. If you don't do what I say, you're going to regret it relationship the person on the other end a former classmate found guilty of exploiting her. He remains behind bars. Some of the most concerning new data in the report relates to consent. A study finds 1% of teens forward a sext without permission. Teens who send pornographic photos risk arrest and jail time. It's important for parents to have conversations about healthy dating relationships and sexting, sexuality and peer relationships with their teens. Megan and Alaina's mom have all their phones check in at night. No rooms in the phone after 9:00 P.M. Experts advise parents to talk to their kids about it. Let's talk about it with sunny Hostin. It's not a game. It's very serious and were just discussing these technically images qualify as child pornography and the child pornography laws federally and by state are very robust. These are felony charges you're possibly exposed to. If you're convicted even as a child you have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. More states are going to be passing these laws. Well, I think there are about 20 states that have these sexting laws so the fines and penalties are less significant because they understand that these are children. But not the majority of states have them and so we have to be really careful with our kids. I know I always tell my kids you don't send them. You don't ask them. You don't forward them on. If you get them delete them immediately. Parents need to talk to their -- Delete them. Not send them on to police. To their friend. Certainly not to friends. Not to their friends, yeah. No sharing. So what else should parents know about this. I think parents really need to do their due diligence and do their research and find out what the law is in their state. Do you have a child sexting law and if you don't what are the ramifications for child pornography? And then discuss it with your children because I don't think they understand the import of it. I don't think they understand what the penalties are. Once they do because my children do their eyes get wide and realize, wow, this is really serious. This could change everything. This could change everything for me. Unfortunately, the law, the wheels of justice move very slowly when it comes to technology. We just haven't caught up so beware. And have the conversation. Sunny, thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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