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Adult Sexting On The Rise: 1 In 5 Americans Send Explicit Text Messages, Poll Finds

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A recent survey of adult sexting found that 1 in 5 Americans send explicit text messages with a smartphone.
A recent survey of adult sexting found that 1 in 5 Americans send explicit text messages with a smartphone.

We may not all be politicians or famous movie stars, but we sure sext like them. A recent Harris Interactive poll found that one in five Americans sext or share racy text messages with others on their smartphones.

Sponsored by Lookout Mobile Security, the results of the 2,097 adults surveyed focused on a particular rising trend -- adult sexting. While the convention may be popular among text-savvy teens, sexting has become more prevalent among older generations, as one in 10 baby boomers surveyed admitted to sending or receiving explicit photos.

Though the Lookout survey revealed habitual sexting among baby boomers and parents -- one out of five moms and dads -- the largest percentage of 'sexters' still falls within the 18- to 34-year old category, at 40 percent. Between men and women, the largest number of males who sext are between 18 and 34, while women who sext tend to be older, in the 35- to 44-year-old range.

Adult sexting statistics are few and far between. Although sexting among adults was thrown into the spotlight during Anthony Weiner's Twitter scandal last year, very little was known about the extent of the private behavior until now.

Past reports drew from a 2010 Pew Research Center poll that found six percent of Americans over 18 sent a racy photo, while 15 percent of adults received such a photo. Within the 18-to-29 demographic, the number of adults sexting was higher: 31 percent sent a photo and 13 percent were on the receiving end of a nude or nearly nude pic.

Following in line with the 2010 Pew results, it appears young adults are still more likely to sext than older generations. With more and more adults sexting, privacy issues become apparent as photos can be swiped or accidentally sent to the wrong person.

As a sponsor of the most recent sexting survey, Lookout notes the privacy issues inherent in texting and and touts its own mobile security software as a solution. Aside from purchasing one of Lookout's apps, the company also recommends smartphone users turn off push notifications and use a strong passcode if they're going to sext.

Though 69 percent of smartphone owners have lost their mobile device at some point in time, a mere 3 percent of people surveyed said their biggest worry with a lost phone was leaked sexual photos.

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