The survey – published by anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label – found that more than a third of young people aged between 13 -25 have sent a naked photo of themselves via an app.
Females are twice as likely to send a naked photo of themselves once a week than men, the survey also found. It also indicated that around 30 per cent of 15-year-olds have sent a naked photo of themselves at least once.
Professor Ian Rivers, psychologist at Brunel University, said: “Sadly, many children now see sexting as part of normal life, with girls constantly being pestered to provide sexual pictures of themselves.
“It may seem harmless fun but it can often have a devastating end, with images that were never intended to be shared being circulated to a massive audience. Some of the victims are so mortified by what has happened that they turn to self-harm.”
The survey also found that 62 per cent of young people have been sent nasty private messages via smartphone apps.
The most popular apps used by young people were Snapchat (74 per cent), Instagram (68 per cent), Skype (67 per cent) and Whatsapp (57 per cent).
Ditch the Label’s Wireless Report surveyed 2,732 young people aged 13-25 (1,020 respondents were from the United Kingdom).