A new study out today from a pair of researchers at the University of Rhode Island shows that college-age kids may be as promiscuous electronically as they are in real life. A survey of 204 college students reveals that 67 percent of college students have sent out sexually explicit text messages. An even greater portion, 78 percent, report receiving sexts--i.e. simply sexually explicit texts--at one point, and 56 percent report being sent sexually explicit images on their phones from others.
These findings could be written off as innocuous fun if it wasn't for a recently passed law in Rhode Island allowing police to charge sexting minors with child pornography--but only as a minor "status" offense, according to the Craston Patch. The new rule, signed into law last week, brought condemnation from the state's ACLU and seemed to have prompted today's study. "While it is important to protect minors and help them recognize the short- and long-term implications of sending sexually explicit images, opening them up to something as serious as potential child pornography charges may not be the most effective course of action," Tiffani Kisler, one of the researchers, said in a statement.