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Whether sexting is seen as a positive or negative experience typically rests on the basis of whether or not consent was given to share the images.Nevertheless, Australian laws currently view under-18s as being unable to give consent to sexting, even if they meet the legal age for sexual consent.
This is enhanced with Snapchat, as the person receiving snapchats will not be aware of the contents until they open it. In a 2011 study, 54% of the sample had sent explicit pictures or videos to their partners at least once, and ⅓ of their sample had engaged in such activities occasionally.A 2009 study claims that 4 percent of teens ages 14–17 have claimed to have sent sexually explicit photos of themselves.Fifteen percent of these teens also claimed to have received sexually explicit photos.Those sending photos over Snapchat believe they will disappear without consequences so they feel more secure about sending them.There have been several cases where teens have sent photos over these applications, expecting them to disappear or be seen by the recipient only, yet are saved and distributed, carrying social and legal implications.In 2013, it was found that sexting is often used to enhance the relationship and sexual satisfaction in a romantic partnership.
Sexting thus can be considered a "behaviour that ties into sexuality and the subsequent level of relationship satisfaction experienced by both partners".
Even though users believe their photos on Snapchat for example will go away in seconds, it is easy to save them through other photo capturing technology, third party applications, or simple screenshots.
These applications claim no responsibility for explicit messages or photos that are saved.
In addition, of those who had sent a sexually explicit picture, over a third had done so despite believing that there could be serious legal and other consequences if they got caught.
Students who had sent a picture by cell phone were more likely than others to find the activity acceptable. note: "The news-worthiness of [the University of New Hampshire study] derives from [their] figure [2.5%] being far below (by a factor of 5 or more) the prevalence rates reported in the previous surveys.
The study had a small sample size, so more research needs to be done surrounding sexting and motivation, but it is clear that sexting is a phenomenon that is not constrained to simply unattached individuals looking for fun; it is used by those in intimate relationships to increase feelings of intimacy and closeness one's partner.