Six out of 10 teenagers say they have been asked for sexual images or videos, an NSPCC/ChildLine poll seen by the BBC’s Newsnight programme suggests.
Of those polled, 40% said they had created a sexual image or video, and about a quarter said they had sent one to someone else by text.
The NSPCC’s head, Peter Wanless, said “sexting” was getting much more common.
“These results show that sexting is increasingly a feature of adolescent relationships,” he told Newsnight.
“It is almost becoming the norm that a young person in a relationship should share an explicit image of themselves,” he said.
For the survey, NSPCC and ChildLine spoke to 450 teenagers from across the country.
Of those who had sent an image or video to someone else by text, 58% said the image had been sent to a boyfriend or girlfriend, but a third said they had sent it to someone they knew online but had never met.
About 15% said they had sent the material to a stranger.
Of those who said they had sent a photo to someone, 20% said it had then been shared with other people, while 28% said they did not know if their picture had been shared with anyone else.
More than half (53%) of those polled said they had received a sexual photo or video, a third of whom had received it from a stranger.