Sexting Among Young Adults

Prevention Research Center of Michigan, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Journal of Adolescent Health (Impact Factor: 3.61). 07/2012; 52(3). DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.05.013
Source: PubMed


Sexting has stirred debate over its legality and safety, but few researchers have documented the relationship between sexting and health. We describe the sexting behavior of young adults in the United States, and examine its association with sexual behavior and psychological well-being.

Using an adapted Web version of respondent-driven sampling, we recruited a sample of U.S. young adults (aged 18-24 years, N = 3,447). We examined participant sexting behavior using four categories of sexting: (1) nonsexters, (2) receivers, (3) senders, and (4) two-way sexters. We then assessed the relationships between sexting categories and sociodemographic characteristics, sexual behavior, and psychological well-being.

More than half (57%) of the respondents were nonsexters, 28.2% were two-way sexters, 12.6% were receivers, and 2% were senders. Male respondents were more likely to be receivers than their female counterparts. Sexually active respondents were more likely to be two-way sexters than non-sexually active ones. Among participants who were sexually active in the past 30 days, we found no differences across sexting groups in the number of sexual partners or the number of unprotected sex partners in the past 30 days. We also found no relationship between sexting and psychological well-being.

Our results suggest that sexting is not related to sexual risk behavior or psychological well-being. We discuss the findings of this study and propose directions for further research on sexting.

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Available from: Jose Arturo Bauermeister
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    • "Within this theoretical framework, this study aims to investigate the role of ambivalent sexism as a possible moderating factor in the relationship between sexting and dating violence perpetration, focusing on a specific kind of sextingdi.e., the sharing of photos or videos of someone else without his/her consentdthat we will name " not-allowed sharing of sexts. " Since previous studies have pointed out the influence of individual variables such as age, gender and sexual orientation on sexting and dating violence behaviors (Dir, Cyders, & Coskunpinar, 2013;Gordon-Messer, Bauermeister, Grodzinski, & Zimmerman, 2013;Rice et al., 2014;Strassberg, McKinnon, Sustaita, & Rullo, 2013), we expected that ambivalent sexism would remain an important moderating factor, even when controlling for age, gender and sexual orientation. Specifically, we hypothesized two different possible moderation effects of benevolent and hostile sexism. "
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    ABSTRACT: Several studies have found that coercive sexting increases the probability of being victimized within a dating relationship. Our study focused on the perpetrator's perspective instead. It aimed to investigate the relationship between a specific sexting behavior, the sharing of someone else's sexts without his/her consent and dating violence perpetration. Specifically, we aimed to test the moderation role of benevolent and hostile sexism in this relationship. The study involved 715 Italian participants from 13 to 30 years of age (Mage = 22.01; females: 71.7%), who completed a survey composed of socio-demographic data, the Sexting Behavior Scale, the Conflict in Adolescent Dating Relationships Inventory and the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory. The results highlighted that, in the relationship between not-allowed sharing of sexts and dating violence perpetration, benevolent sexism could be a protective factor while, on the contrary, hostile sexism could be a risk factor, controlling for age, gender and sexual orientation. Our findings suggested the existence of a few factors linked to sexting behaviors: these factors could have implications for prevention programs.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Computers in Human Behavior
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    • "Brandtzaeg et al., 2009; Gordon-Messer, Bauermeister, Grodzinski, & Zimmerman, 2012). Young people seem using ICTs in a risky way without being aware of the dangers, and they become vulnerable to various online threats such as cyber bullying, sexting, pornography or identity theft as perpetrators and victims (Brandtzaeg et al., 2009; Gordon-Messer, et al., 2012; Sabina, Wolak, & Finkelhor, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the misuse of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) among children and youth. The data source was newspaper reports obtained from three Turkish daily newspapers, between January 2006 and December 2012. In that seven years period, a total of 66 ICT misuse incidents were reported in the selected newspapers. Document analysis was performed on the newspaper reports. Themes and codes were entered as variables to manage the data quantitatively. Results revealed that ICT misuse was most commonly conducted through cell phones, social networking sites, instant messaging and web pages. Young people’s involvement of ICT misuse had three forms; from young perpetrator/s to the young victim/s, from young perpetrator/s to adult victim/s and from adult perpetrator/s to young victim/s. ICTs were commonly misused for sexual abuse, insulting or taking revenge. While perpetrators were mostly males whose ages ranged between 14 and 52, a great majority of ICT misuse victims were females, with an age range from 8 to 46. Negative psychological and physiological impacts were reported by the victims.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015
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    • "This would suggest that sharing or posting sexual pictures is perhaps more reflective of typical sexual expression in romantic relationships among adolescents. Studies of young adults also are conflicting: some have found sexting is associated with risky sexual behavior [5], whereas others have not [6] [7]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: To examine the relation between "sexting" (sending and sharing sexual photos online, via text messaging, and in person) with sexual risk behaviors and psychosocial challenge in adolescence. Methods: Data were collected online between 2010 and 2011 with 3,715 randomly selected 13- to 18-year-old youth across the United States. Results: Seven percent of youth reported sending or showing someone sexual pictures of themselves, in which they were nude or nearly nude, online, via text messaging, or in person, during the past year. Although females and older youth were more likely to share sexual photos than males and younger youth, the profile of psychosocial challenge and sexual behavior was similar for all youth. After adjusting for demographic characteristics, sharing sexual photos was associated with all types of sexual behaviors assessed (e.g., oral sex, vaginal sex) as well as some of the risky sexual behaviors examined-particularly having concurrent sexual partners and having more past-year sexual partners. Adolescents who shared sexual photos also were more likely to use substances and less likely to have high self-esteem than their demographically similar peers. Conclusions: Although the media has portrayed sexting as a problem caused by new technology, health professionals may be more effective by approaching it as an aspect of adolescent sexual development and exploration and, in some cases, risk-taking and psychosocial challenge.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Adolescent Health
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