Almost a third of secondary school students have received a sexually explicit picture they didn't ask for.
While over half have been asked to send a naked picture of themselves, according to to a new study.
The study, which was carried out by DCU's National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre gathered data from over 800 15 to 18 year olds from schools all over the country.
Over half of secondary school students were 'frequently' asked to send sexually explicit images.
While almost a third have received sexually explicit images they didn't ask for.
Lead author of the study is Máiread Foody says many people were sending images to a romantic interest.
"When did ask them who they sent the images to they said a boyfriend or a girlfriend or someone they have a crush on."
"You could argue that's part and parcel of modern relationship," she said.
Ms Foody did say there is an "obvious consent issue."
Sexting may seem harmless, but it can involve risks. Young people tell Childline how images can be shared onwards, without their consent. If any young person receives concerning messages, Childline is here to listen and support. See https://t.co/PiuiKeiajy. @AntiBullyingCen https://t.co/YFqJHNMFSO
— ISPCC Childline (@ISPCCChildline) January 25, 2021
"It's not straightforward and things can go pretty negatively for young people.
The findings also pointed to a "really apparent" gender issue, "especially for young girls".
"There is also a sexual harassment element around girls having to receive and see these sexual images when they haven't requested them."
The study found that over 76% of teenagers said they have never sent an explicit picture with almost 17% saying they had done so frequently.
Adolescents who received sexts showed more emotional problems compared to all other groups.