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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

“˜Sexting’ A Growing Trend In Australia

April 28, 2010

Australia’s government warned young people not to jump on the “sexting” bandwagon on Wednesday, and said that sending provocative images by mobile phones could have “very bad long-term consequences.”

Tanya Plibersek, minister for the Status of Women, said this was a rising “ranch culture phenomenon” and it is a part of youth culture that “completely passes adults by.”

“Things like people filming sexual assaults on mobile phones … taking pornographic pictures … and passing them around,” she said during a debate on women’s issues at the National Press Club in Canberra.

“The fact that those decisions are made in such a public way, on the Internet or circulated on mobile phones, means that they last forever,” Plibersek added.

She said the government was preparing an online public education campaign that will build respectful relationships among young people.

The Pew Research Center performed a study that found 15 percent of U.S. youths between the ages of 12 to 17 have received nude or nearly nude images of someone they know.

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