Article

Body image self-consciousness and sexting among heterosexual and non-exclusively heterosexual individuals

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

This study sought to explore whether body image self-consciousness during sexual relations predicts whether and for what reasons individuals send sexts. A series of ordinal and binary logistic regression analyses revealed that increased body image self-consciousness during sexual relations predicted consensual but unwanted instances of sexting for men and women, a lower frequency of sending sexts among heterosexual individuals, and a lesser likelihood of sending sexts in order to flirt. Body image self-consciousness, however, was not predictive of sending sexts in general or sending sexts in order to ‘feel sexy’. This research provides support for the negative relationship between body image self-consciousness and sexual agency across gender, and suggests that individuals affected by body image anxieties might be prone to technology-mediated abuse. Study limitations and recommendations for future research are discussed.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... More recent research [31] from population-representative adult studies reports increased rates of online pornography consumption: for those aged 16-19 years, 93.4% of men and 72.5% of women had used pornography in the past year, while among 20-29 year-olds, 88.6% of men and 66.3% of women viewed pornographic material. These online behaviours often serve to facilitate and enhance sexual experiences and fulfil sexual desires, especially for those who exhibit a propensity to be overly preoccupied with sex, or engage in risky sexual behaviours [4,17,26,[32][33][34][35]. Sexting, online sexual behaviours, and pornography consumption have often been conceptualised as interchangeable by some researchers, with these activities being perceived as a safe means to relieve sexual tension [29]. ...
... To date, only three studies have investigated sexual preoccupation or compulsion and sexting behaviours, with contradictory findings. Howard, Klettke, Clancy, Fuelscher, and Fuller-Tyszkiewicz [32] found that sexual preoccupation predicted a greater willingness to send sexually explicit nudes or seminudes. In contrast, Perkins, Becker, Tehee, and Mackelprang [14] found no relationship between sending nude or seminude photographs, pornography use, and sexual compulsion, a phenomenon similar to sexual preoccupation whereby an individual finds it difficult to control his/her drive for sexual activity [14]. ...
... It is noteworthy that all three studies used different measures of sexual preoccupation and investigated various aspects of sexting behaviours, rendering direct comparison of the results difficult. Specifically, whilst both Howard, Klettke, Clancy, Fuelscher, and Fuller-Tyszkiewicz [32] and Perkins, Becker, Tehee, and Mackelprang [14] investigated the sending of sexts, Trendell [47] examined coerced sexting and non-consensual sext dissemination. Nonetheless, the results suggest that sexual preoccupation may be implicated in explaining some sexting behaviours, including those that may be pernicious in nature (sext dissemination). ...
Article
Full-text available
While sexting behaviours have attracted increasing research focus over the last decade as both normative and deviant forms of sexual activity, little attention has been paid to their potential associations with sexual preoccupation and heightened interest in sex. The current study sought to identify whether sexual preoccupation significantly predicts sending, receiving, and disseminating sexts, after controlling for pornography use and risky sexual behaviours. Young Australian adult participants (N = 654, 78.8% women) aged 18 to 34 (M = 19.78, SD = 1.66) completed an anonymous online self-report questionnaire regarding their engagement in sexting behaviours (sending, receiving, and dissemination), pornography use, risky sexual behaviours, and sexual preoccupation. Results showed that individuals with higher sexual preoccupation were more likely to engage in pornography use and risky sexual behaviours. Binary hierarchical logistic regressions revealed that sexual preoccupation predicted higher rates of sending and receiving sexts. However, sexual preoccupation did not significantly contribute to increased rates of sext dissemination. Our study illustrates the need to incorporate pornography viewing and sexting into the promotion of safe sexual behaviours in online and offline contexts, and the potential to utilise modern technology to negotiate safer sex practices.
... Research suggests that individuals with a more positive body image may be more likely to sext. BISC during sexual activity was correlated with sexting frequency, such that those with lower self-consciousness sexted more than those with higher self-consciousness ( Howard et al., 2020 ). However, self-consciousness did not signifi cantly predict sexting frequency or sexting to feel sexy when included in a model that had age, gender, sexual orientation, sexual preoccupation, and sexual risk-taking ( Howard et al., 2020 ). ...
... BISC during sexual activity was correlated with sexting frequency, such that those with lower self-consciousness sexted more than those with higher self-consciousness ( Howard et al., 2020 ). However, self-consciousness did not signifi cantly predict sexting frequency or sexting to feel sexy when included in a model that had age, gender, sexual orientation, sexual preoccupation, and sexual risk-taking ( Howard et al., 2020 ). Furthermore, sexting is correlated with comfortability being nude ( Liong & Cheng, 2019 ). ...
... Men and women with lower BISC in the current sample were more likely to send sexy photos. Indeed, previous research has indicated that those with body dissatisfaction are less likely to sext; the correlation between the BISC and sending picture-based sexts has been demonstrated in other samples ( Howard et al., 2020 ;Howard et al., 2019 ;Liong & Cheng, 2019 ). Additionally, research has indicated that individuals sending sexts for body image reinforcement reasons are more likely to include photos ( Currin et al., 2020a ). ...
Article
Life circumstances at midlife are often different than those for younger adults (e.g., relationship type and duration, physical health, experience of sexual problems), and these circumstances impact experiences of sexuality and sexual behaviour. Past research on sexual behaviours like sexting, which has been primarily conducted on young people, may not generalize to middle-aged adults. Sexting may be a beneficial activity for midlife adults in long-term relationships who are seeking private and convenient ways to communicate sexual interest. Furthermore, as in younger samples, sexting may be associated with body image and sexual satisfaction. A cross-sectional study with a sample of 640 midlife (40–59 years old) married Canadians was conducted to address these suppositions. Structural equation modelling was used to test the factorial validity of a body image self-consciousness (BISC) scale and to investigate the connections between BISC, sexting frequency (to communicate sexual interest, to initiate sexual activity, and that include a picture), and sexual satisfaction. Almost one-half of participants (43%) reported sexting to communicate sexual interest, 37% sexted to initiate sexual activity, and 18% sexted sexy pictures of themselves. Women with lower levels of BISC were more likely to sext (communicate, initiate, and pictures), and men with lower levels of BISC were more likely to send sexts with pictures. Both men and women with lower levels of BISC and those who engaged in sexting to communicate sexual interest had higher levels of sexual satisfaction. Sexting may be an opportunity for busy marital partners to engage in technology-mediated sexual activity when apart. The current results indicate that technology-mediated sexual communication has similar psychological mechanisms to face-to-face interactions and that sexting may be a beneficial behaviour for sexual satisfaction within midlife marriages.
... Quantitative studies by Howard et al. (2019Howard et al. ( , 2020) conducted among young Australian adults revealed that body image satisfaction and self-consciousness, measured as a stable trait, or in the context of sexual activities, was not related to sending sexts in general. However, body-dissatisfied individuals were more likely to send sexts to check if they were attractive, or report feeling pressured to send sexts (Howard et al., 2019). ...
... However, body-dissatisfied individuals were more likely to send sexts to check if they were attractive, or report feeling pressured to send sexts (Howard et al., 2019). Male and female respondents who expressed greater body image self-consciousness during sexual activities were more likely to have consented to sending sexts when they actually did not want to (Howard et al., 2020). Explorations of body image states via ecological momentary assessments, measuring levels of satisfaction with one's body in a given moment, revealed a somewhat different pattern, whereby women with an overall lower trait-based body image satisfaction were found to send sexts more frequently when they experienced states of increased body image satisfaction (Howard et al., 2019). ...
... Previous quantitative research on body image and sexting by Howard et al. (2019Howard et al. ( , 2020 examined participants' affective evaluations of general body image satisfaction, rather than contentment with specific body areas. The current study will extend this existing knowledge by investigating whether positive appraisals of specific body parts across genders can predict sending sexts. ...
Article
Image-based sexting constitutes a visual form of sexual communication. Yet, the degree to which satisfaction with one's physical appearance emboldens or inhibits young adults from engaging in sexting behaviors is poorly understood. This study investigated whether body esteem related to specific body parts and functions can uniquely predict sending sexts, sending consensual but unwanted sexts, and decisions against sending sexts. Six hundred and fourteen Australians aged 18–21 years (M = 19.57, SD = 1.15) took part in the study. Binomial regressions revealed that negative body esteem in relation to lips made a unique contribution to the higher likelihood of sending sexts for women. No further individual body parts or functions made a unique contribution to the models for sending sexts, sending consensual but unwanted sexts, or decisions against sexting across genders. However, body image esteem in relation 35 body parts and functions collectively explained 23% and 35% of variance in sending sexts for women and men. It also explained 14% and 28% of variance in decisions against sending sexts for women and men, but made no significant contribution to the prediction of consensual but unwanted sexts across genders. Methodological implications and directions for future research are discussed.
... According to avoidance motivation theory, these motives could be more likely to result in negative consequences if they do not get the feedback they desire or if their images are shared without permission. However, cross-sectional research indicates heterosexual adolescents who are less body-conscious sext more (Howard et al., 2021). Since the directionality of this relationship is unknown, sexting could result in positive body image. ...
... For example, among male and female college students sexting was associated with higher levels of body shame and comfort with nudity, suggesting that sexting could be both objectifying and empowering (Liong & Cheng, 2019). In daily diary research, women with increased body dissatisfaction were more likely to sext in response to pressure/coercion or for body-image reinforcement, yet sexting was associated with decreases in momentary body dissatisfaction suggesting sexting might alleviate negative feelings (Howard et al., 2021). These findings provide avenues for future research examining whether sexting for body-image reinforcement is differentially associated with negative and positive consequences in different contexts. ...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Approximately 15% of adolescent girls in the United States have engaged in sexting. Although sexting frequency is similar across genders, adolescent girls report more negative consequences. To date, the majority of sexting research focuses on demographic and behavioral predictors of sexting frequency or onset and there is limited research on the associations between different sexting motivations and consequences. This cross-sectional study draws upon approach-avoidance motivation theory to examine how different sexting motivations serve as risk and protective factors related to negative sexting consequences and which motivations promote more positive experiences. Method: A sample of 200 cisgender girls, 14-18 years, diverse with respect to race/ethnicity and geographical region, who had sexted a male recipient in the past year completed an online survey. Results: Regression analyses indicated that avoidance motivations sexting in response to peer pressure and popularity and sexting in response to male coercion were risk factors for negative sexting consequences. Sexual subjectivity (sexual body-esteem, entitlement to sexual pleasure, and sexual self-reflection) was a protective factor against negative sexting consequences and, along with sexting for sexual or romantic reasons, an approach motivation, was associated with experiencing more positive sexting consequences. Conclusion: These findings support previous recommendations that schools incorporate ways to counter pressured sexting into existing cyberbullying or dating violence curricula and also align with a positive sexual development framework that acknowledges the importance of consensual and healthy sexual experiences during adolescence that minimize risks and vulnerabilities.
... 48 Through sexting, adolescents can have higher control over body image to experiment freely with their sexuality, thus reducing anxiety from their body image that could arise from face-to-face situations. 48 Gaps in the literature and present study As Howard et al. 49 recognize, studies exploring body image concerns and online sexual behaviors are scarce. Limited research has shown that body image-related constructs have an important role predicting sexting. ...
... Limited research has shown that body image-related constructs have an important role predicting sexting. [48][49][50][51][52] To date, no studies have explicitly explored the effect that body shame has on adolescent's sexting participation and the mediating variables that might play an essential role in the relationship between both constructs. The current study addresses the gaps by replicating the previous findings on the adult population 48,52 among male and female adolescents, and hypothesizing a mediational serial model that explains why adolescents with higher body shame report higher engagement in sexting. ...
Article
The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between body shame and participation in sexting among adolescents by examining the mediational roles of social physique anxiety and misuse of social networking sites (SNSs). Four hundred thirty-nine adolescents completed self-report measures for assessing their levels of body shame, social physique anxiety, SNS addiction symptoms, and sexting participation. Female adolescents reported higher scores in body shame, social physique anxiety, and SNS addiction symptoms, whereas male adolescents reported higher participation in sexting behaviors. In addition, gender did not moderate the relationship between body shame and higher sexting behaviors. Finally, the results showed an indirect (but not a direct) association between body shame and sexting behaviors through social physique anxiety and SNS addiction symptoms. These findings provide empirical evidence for the development of sexting prevention programs that are focused on body acceptance with the aim of reducing body shame, social physique anxiety, and SNS addiction.
... Research has shown that body esteem is an essential aspect of people's sexual functioning: individuals who evaluate their overall physical appearance more favourably tend to engage in more explorative and frequent sexual behaviours, and express greater satisfaction with their sexual lives (Woertman & van den Brink, 2012). Recent studies by Howard et al. (2020), conducted among young adults, revealed that body image satisfaction was not related to sending sexts in general. However, body-dissatisfied individuals were more likely to send sexts to check if they were attractive. ...
Article
Studies on sexting motivations have produced a wealth of data and valuable information, but the roles of potentially relevant psychological variables in predicting specific sexting motivations have rarely been investigated. This study aims to explore, in a sample of 587 Italian adults (Mage = 25.5; SD = 6), whether online moral disengagement, body dissatisfaction, and three psychosexual variables can predict different sexting motivations (i.e., body image reinforcement, sexual, and aggravated/instrumental motivations), and whether these reasons can predict different sexting behaviours, such as private sexting, sexts' dissemination, and posting own’ sexts online. A full Structural Equation Modeling analysis was carried out to explore the relationships between predictors of sexting motivations, sexting motivations, and sexting behaviours. Results showed that sending sexts privately was positively affected by all three sexting motivations. Posting own’ sexts online was only affected by body image reinforcement in a positive direction, whereas disseminating others’ sexts was only positively predicted by aggravated/instrumental reasons. In turn, body image reinforcement was positively affected by sexual preoccupation and negatively by body esteem. Sexual purposes were instead positively predicted by sexual esteem and sexual satisfaction and negatively by online moral disengagement and body esteem. Finally, aggravated/instrumental reasons were positively influenced by online moral disengagement and sexual preoccupation. Our study highlights the role of online moral disengagement in predicting aggravated/instrumental reasons, which lead to harmful or even illegal forms of sexting, and further supports the idea that aggravated and experimental sexting are two distinct behaviours, with distinct precursors.
... While sexting among non-heterosexual youth is mostly studied from the perspective of their unique vulnerabilities in online spaces, some studies have begun to explore the role sexting may play among adult non-heterosexual individuals. Sexual minority young adults have been found to be on average more involved in sexting than heterosexual adults (Bauermeister, Yeagley, Meanley, & Pingel, 2014;Dir, Coskunpinar, Steiner, & Cyders, 2013;Gámez-Guadix et al., 2015;Garcia et al., 2016;Howard, Klettke, Clancy, Fuelscher, & Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, 2020;Morelli et al., 2016aMorelli et al., , 2016b. Gay men were more likely to have sent a sexting image than lesbian women (Garcia et al., 2016). ...
Article
Sexting, herein defined as the sending of self-made sexually explicit images has mostly been studied within the context of heterosexual relationships and among adolescent and young adult populations. This exploratory mixed-method study aims to investigate the prevalence, context and perceptions of sexting among non-heterosexual men of various generations in Belgium. The study used two datasets. A quantitative survey that was conducted among 684 non-heterosexual men between 18 and 77 years old (M = 34.29 years old; SD = 13.41), and qualitative interviews were conducted with 80 non-heterosexual men (M = 37.41 years old; SD = 15.93). Overall, 66.4% of the non-heterosexual men had sent a sexting image, and 84.7% of those who sexted indicated that they were unrecognizable in their images. The qualitative interviews showed that sexting is perceived as a risky but unproblematic practice by non-heterosexual men of all generations. Few generational differences were observed. Sexting takes place within the context of online dating and is perceived as a normative behavior within dating apps. The participants were aware of the potential risks associated with sexting and they protected themselves by sending images in which they were unrecognizable, thereby ensuring their safety and anonymity in online spaces.
... The authors concluded that this use of sexting during adolescence implies the belief that, in order to engage in sexual intercourse, it is important to be well evaluated by a potential partner, on whom the adolescent's SE is dependent. Howard et al. (68) explored whether BI self-consciousness during sexual relations predicts whether and for what reasons individuals send sexts. According to the research results, BI self-consciousness was not predictive of sending sexts in general or sending sexts in order to "feel sexy". ...
... The authors concluded that this use of sexting during adolescence implies the belief that, in order to engage in sexual intercourse, it is important to be well evaluated by a potential partner, on whom the adolescent's SE is dependent. Howard et al. (68) explored whether BI self-consciousness during sexual relations predicts whether and for what reasons individuals send sexts. According to the research results, BI self-consciousness was not predictive of sending sexts in general or sending sexts in order to "feel sexy". ...
Article
The study examines sexting among 3,171 Greek university students in the context of different relationship types (i.e. romantic partners, friends, strangers). Participants completed an anonymous online survey, assessing sexting during the last year along with demographic and relationship status information. Sexting was a common practice among participants, with the use of mobile phones and the Messenger application to exchange sexts. Sexting was more common among males and non-heterosexuals. Participants aged 25 and above were more likely to exchange sexts with strangers than those aged between 18 and 24. Romantic partners reported exchanging sexts more often than strangers. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that non-heterosexual males in a long-distance romantic relationship were more likely to participate in sexting, and that non-heterosexual older males who have been single for the last year were more likely to exchange sexual or provocative messages with strangers. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications.
Article
Full-text available
Body image self-consciousness in intimate relationships is an important aspect of women’s sexuality, related to the women’s ability to get satisfaction in sexual relationships. This is one of the main indicators of healthy sexual relations, which can be evaluated with psychodiagnostic instruments. However, there are no valid and reliable tools for the assessment of the phenomena in Ukrainian psychology. Thus, the aim of the study was to translate and adapt Wiederman’s Body Image Self-Consciousness (BISC) Scale into Ukrainian. Such psychometric properties were under consideration: scale’s items distribution, scale’s factor structure, internal consistency, test-retest reliability and convergent validity. The research was conducted among women (N=731), aged 18-21. 37 women took part in the test-retest evaluation during the 5th-week period. BISC-UA scale сonvergent validity was determined in comparison with the constructs of body image satisfaction and psychological tendencies in sexual relationships, using The Body Areas Satisfaction Scale, Body Image Questionnaire, and the Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire. Considering the indicators of asymmetry and excess, most statements have a normal distribution with slight left asymmetry. The results of exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis confirms that BISC-UA scale is one-factor instrument, which consists of 15 items (RMSEA=0.00, RMR = 0.086, GFI= 0.996, NFI=0.994, CFI=1.00, N=731). The scale has excellent coefficients of internal consistency (Cronbach’s Alpha 0,95, McDonald’s Omega 0,96). The Scale demonstrates an appropriate level of test-retest reliability during the 5th week period (r=0,72) and convergent validity compared with given constructs of body image satisfaction and psychological tendencies in sexual relationships. Conclusions. The Ukrainian-language Body Image Self-Consciousness Scale in intimacy relationships (BISC-UA) has appropriate psychometric properties and can be recommended for use in research on the quality of women’s sexual life. Keywords: adaptation of the questionnaire, validity, reliability, body image, intimacy, partnership, confirmatory factor analysis.
Article
Full-text available
Мета. Ніяковіння жінок через своє тіло під час інтимної близькості з партнером – важливий аспект сексуальності, пов'язаний зі здатністю жінки отримувати сексуальне задоволення від близькості з партнером. Це один з ключових показників гармонійних сексуальних стосунків, які можна оцінити за допомогою психодіагностичних інструментів, проте, в українській психології немає валідних методик для його оцінки. Відтак, метою цього дослідження стали переклад та адаптація українською мовою Шкали ніяковіння жінок через своє тіло під час інтимної близькості з партнером BISC-UA М. Відермана, а саме, визначення розподілу відповідей за кожним твердженням шкали, її факторної структури, а також показників внутрішньої узгодженості тверджень, тест-ретестової надійності та конвергентної валідності. Методи. Адаптація проводилася на жінках (N=731) віком 18-47 років, 37 з яких взяли участь у процедурі тест-ретестової надійності у проміжку п’яти тижнів. Для оцінки конвергентної валідності шкали BISC-UA були використані Шкала задоволеності зонами тіла, Опитувальник образу тіла та Багатовимірний опитувальник сексуальності. Результати. За показниками асиметрії та ексцесу більшість тверджень шкали мають нормальний розподіл з помітною лівосторонньою асиметрією. Результати експлораторного та конфірматорного факторного аналізів підтверджують, що шкала BISC-UA є однофакторним інструментом, який складається з 15 тверджень (RMSEA=0.00, RMR = 0.086, GFI= 0.996, NFI=0.994, CFI=1.00, N=731). Шкала BISC-UA володіє високими показниками внутрішньої узгодженості тверджень (Альфа Кронбаха 0,95, Омега МакДональда 0,96). Шкала демонструє значимий рівень тест-ретестової надійності (r=0,72) та конвергентної валідності при порівнянні з конструктами задоволення своїм тілом та психологічними тенденціями у сексуальних стосунках. Висновки. Україномовна Шкала ніяковіння жінок через своє тіло під час інтимної близькості з партнером (BISC-UA) володіє значимими психометричними показниками і може бути рекомендована для використання у наукових дослідженнях якості сексуального життя жінок.
Article
Full-text available
Sexting is the exchange of sexually suggestive contents via Internet, Smartphone, and Social Networking Websites. Recently, the research on sexting motivations increased in order to distinguish between experimental and aggravated sexting. This study investigated individual correlates of three sexting motivations: sexual purposes, instrumental/aggravated reasons, and body image reinforcement. The study involved 488 adolescents and young adults aged from 14 to 30 years. Sexual purposes and body image reinforcement were the most commonly reported motivations for sexting. Boys reported more instrumental/aggravated reasons, and sexual minorities reported more sexual purposes and body image reinforcement. Sexual purposes increased with age, while body image reinforcement showed a quadratic trend, increasing from adolescence to early young adulthood, and decreasing from early to late young adulthood. Finally, participants who have already had first sex reported more sexual purposes. Research, clinical and educational implications are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Image-based sexual abuse (IBSA) involves three key behaviors: the non-consensual taking or creation of nude or sexual images; the non-consensual sharing or distribution of nude or sexual images; and threats made to distribute nude or sexual images. IBSA is becoming increasingly criminalized internationally, representing an important and rapidly developing cybercrime issue. This paper presents findings of the first national online survey of self-reported lifetime IBSA perpetration in Australia (n = 4053), with a focus on the extent, nature, and predictors of perpetration. Overall, 11.1% (n = 411) of participants self-reported having engaged in some form of IBSA perpetration during their lifetime, with men significantly more likely to report IBSA perpetration than women. With regard to the nature of perpetration, participants reported targeting men and women at similar rates, and were more likely to report perpetrating against intimate partners or ex-partners, family members and friends than strangers or acquaintances. Logistic regression analyses identified that males, lesbian, gay or bisexual participants, participants with a self-reported disability, participants who accepted sexual image-based abuse myths, participants who engaged in or experienced sexual self-image behaviors, and participants who had a nude or sexual image of themselves taken, distributed, and/or threatened to be distributed without their consent were more likely to have engaged in some form of IBSA perpetration during their lifetime.
Article
Full-text available
This study examines the incidence and correlates of coercive sexting by dating partners among middle and high school students, including sex-based differences and associations with other forms of sexual coercion. Survey data from a study of protective factors for teen dating violence in middle and high school students were examined (N = 1,236). Of youth who reported at least one dating or sexual partner in the past 12 months, 12% reported coercive sexting victimization and 8% acknowledged pressuring a partner to sext. Other forms of sexual coercion including the use of threats and insistence on sex without a condom were significantly associated with perpetration and victimization of coercive sexting. Coercive sexting was notably more prevalent in the high school cohort, with boys significantly more likely to pressure a partner than girls. The strong association with other forms of sexual coercion suggests a potential link to broader patterns of teen dating violence.
Article
Full-text available
Sexting motivations during adolescence are related to developmental dimensions-such as sexual identity and body-image development-or harmful intentions-such as aggression among peers and partners. Sociocultural and media models can affect explorations of sexuality and redefini-tions of body image, which in turn are related to sexting behaviors and motivations. In this study, we investigated the roles of body-esteem attribution, the internalization of media models, and body objectification as predictors of three sexting motivations: sexual purposes, body-image reinforcement, and instrumental/aggravated reasons. The participants were 190 Italian adolescents aged from 13 to 20 years old (M age = 17.4, SD age = 1.8; 44.7% females). Sexual purposes were predicted by body-esteem attribution and body objectification; body-image reinforcement was predicted by the internalization of media models, and instrumental/aggravated reasons were not predicted by any variable. Thus, only sexual purposes and body-image reinforcement appeared to be affected by body-image concerns due to media models.
Article
Full-text available
There has been a lack of research into the motivations for sexting. This study presents a self report instrument, the Sexting Motivations Questionnaire (SMQ), evaluating three sexting motivations: sexual purposes, instrumental/aggravated reasons and body image reinforcement. We also investigated which sexting motivations predict different sexting behaviors, distinguishing between experimental and more harmful sexting. The study involved 509 participants aged from 13 to 35 (Mage = 21.4; SDage = 4.6; 63.7% females) who reported having sent sexts during the last year. Explorative factor analysis revealed three factors: sexual purposes, instrumental/aggravated reasons, and body image reinforcement. The results showed that sexual purposes were the most frequently reported, followed by body image reinforcement, and instrumental/aggravated reasons were reported in low but alarming percentages. Only instrumental/aggravated reasons turned out to predict more harmful sexting behaviors, such as publicly posting own sexts and the socalled ‘not allowed sharing’ of a partner’s sexts. These motivations could lead to aggravated sexting. Our findings confirmed the good reliability and criterion validity of the SMQ, a new instrument for assessing sexting motivations in young people.
Article
Full-text available
Sexting is defined as sending/posting/sharing sexually explicit messages or nude/semi-nude images via electronic communication. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess and determine relationships of sexting behavioral intentions, sexting behaviors, and sexting content among selected Southern undergraduate students. Methods: Survey instruments were administered to multiple sections of a required undergraduate Health and Fitness course at a midsized, Southern university. Survey instruments were analyzed using a series of descriptive statistics, t-tests, Kruskal-Wallis tests, and Spearman’s Rho correlations. Results: Of nearly 500 (n=469) undergraduate participants, nearly three-fourths of participants (73.1%) have ever sexted, while 35% have sexted within the past 30 days. Statistically significant differences were found in sexting content among gender, race, number of lifetime and current sexual partners, and number of lifetime sexting partners. Statistically significant (but moderate) positive correlations were found between sexual and sextual partners, sexual images, sexual messages, and risk reduction sexts. Discussion: The majority of participants engaged in a variety of sexting behaviors with varied content. Further, those who sext also discussed STI/HIV prevention, as well as other risk reduction behaviors.
Article
Full-text available
Computer-mediated communication (CMC) is often used to initiate, maintain, or terminate intimate relationships and recently, such platforms have been considered an outlet for sexual communication. This has led to the emerging trend of sending sexually suggestive messages via computer devices in what is known as "sexting." The current study expands the definition of sexting to include different types of sext content (i.e., non-sexters, less explicit, explicit, and very explicit) and modes of transmission (e.g., cell phone, social networking). Our primary goal was to determine whether sexting behaviours, risky health behaviours, attitudes and subjective norms, sensation seeking, and motivations for sexting differ across separate sexter groups (N = 511). Individuals who had never sent a sext message were classified as non-sexters (n = 117), those who had sent sexy word-based messages were classified as less explicit sexters (n = 135), semi-nude photo or video senders were classified as explicit sexters (n = 87), and individuals who had sent fully nude photos or videos were classified as very explicit sexters (n = 172). Results revealed that participants who report very explicit forms of sexting had higher positive attitudes toward sexting and engaged in riskier sexual behaviours relative to explicit, less explicit and non-sexters. In general, sexters perceived more social pressure to engage in sexting and demonstrated a higher need for sensation seeking compared to non-sexters. Higher rates of alcohol consumption were found among the very explicit and explicit sexter groups compared to less explicit and non-sexters.
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we explore a contemporary panic around teen sexting considering why it focuses mostly on girls' bodies and ‘breasts’. Drawing on empirical findings from research with 13- and 15-year olds in two London schools, we ask: How are girls' and boys' mediated bodies and body parts constructed, negotiated and made sense of in the teen peer group? How are images of girls' breasts surveilled and owned by others? In what ways can images of girls' bodies be used to sexually shame them? How do images of ‘boobs’ work differently than those of ‘six-packs’ and ‘pecs’? When and how is digital proof of sexual activity shamed or rewarded? Our analysis explores the affective dimensions of digital affordances and how relative gendered value is generated through social media images and practices. We demonstrate how our qualitative research approach facilitates exploration of the online and offline relational, material embodied performance of negotiating gender and sexuality in teen's digitally mediated peer cultures.
Article
Full-text available
BackgroundJump to sectionBackgroundPurposeMethodsResultsDiscussionTranslation to Health Education PracticeBackgroundPurposeMethodsResultsDiscussionTranslation into Health Education PracticeEmpirical studies on sexting are limited, and many sexting studies only assessed sexting behaviors. Few studies have assessed attitudes, subjective norms, or behavioral intentions related to sexting.PurposeJump to sectionBackgroundPurposeMethodsResultsDiscussionTranslation to Health Education PracticeBackgroundPurposeMethodsResultsDiscussionTranslation into Health Education PracticeThe purpose of this study was to assess attitudes, subjective norms, behavioral intentions, and behaviors related to sexting (i.e., sending, posting, or sharing/forwarding sexually suggestive messages, nude/seminude pictures/videos, or both) among selected undergraduate students and to determine whether statistically significant differences in variables mentioned above existed based on selected demographic variables (i.e., gender, current relationship status, lifetime sexual partners, and current sexual partners).MethodsJump to sectionBackgroundPurposeMethodsResultsDiscussionTranslation to Health Education PracticeBackgroundPurposeMethodsResultsDiscussionTranslation into Health Education PracticeNearly 700 surveys (n = 697) were completed by selected undergraduate students. Independent sample t tests were used determine differences in attitudes, subjective norms, behavioral intentions, and behaviors related to sexting based on gender. One-way analyses of variance were used to calculate differences in attitudes, subjective norms, behavioral intentions, and behaviors related to sexting based on relationships status. Spearman's rho correlations were computed to determine the relationship between attitudes, subjective norms, behavioral intentions, and behaviors related to sexting and total and current number of sexual partners.ResultsJump to sectionBackgroundPurposeMethodsResultsDiscussionTranslation to Health Education PracticeBackgroundPurposeMethodsResultsDiscussionTranslation into Health Education PracticeMost of this study's participants were engaged in at least one sexting behavior in their lifetime (80.9%) and nearly half (48.5%) of all participants were currently “sextually active,” engaging in some type of sexting behavior within the past 30 days. Statistically significant differences were found for gender and all variables, current relationship status and sexting behaviors, and sexting behaviors and number of lifetime sexual partners. Statistically significant positive relationships were found among attitudes toward sexting, subjective norms toward sexting, sexting behavioral intentions, and sexting behaviors.DiscussionJump to sectionBackgroundPurposeMethodsResultsDiscussionTranslation to Health Education PracticeBackgroundPurposeMethodsResultsDiscussionTranslation into Health Education PracticeEven though media portrays sexting as a risky behavior to avoid, sexting behaviors still remain prevalent among these selected undergraduates.Translation to Health Education PracticeJump to sectionBackgroundPurposeMethodsResultsDiscussionTranslation to Health Education PracticeBackground PurposeMethods ResultsDiscussionTranslation into Health Education PracticeFuture research should explore more in-depth reasons for sexting/not sexting as well as benefits of sexting among consensual adults, paying particular attention to how sexting is used for sexual communication and sexual assertiveness.
Article
Full-text available
Social media are found to facilitate social information exchange among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals who are subjected to social stigma. This study tested the protective role of LGB-tailored social media uses and gratifications in promoting LGB group membership, which we hypothesized to reduce LGB stigma and enhance mental health among LGB individuals in Hong Kong. Based on a sample of 233 Chinese LGB individuals in Hong Kong, structural equation modeling showed evidence for our hypotheses, χ (df=62)2 = 88.20, GFI = 0.95, CFI = 0.98, NNFI = 0.98, SRMR = 0.07, RMSEA = 0.04. Community surveillance, identity expression, and emotional support on social media may promote mental health by instilling a sense of group membership and reducing stigma. Social media may build camaraderie and bolster resilience among LGB individuals that may otherwise be difficult in conservative regions.
Article
Full-text available
Unlabelled: Background 'Sexting' is the exchange of sexually explicit material via communication technologies. Despite significant media attention, there has been little examination of sexting in the Australian setting. This study aimed to provide insight into sexting behaviours and attitudes among young Australians. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with a convenience sample of people aged 16-29 years attending a music festival (n=1372). Correlates of lifetime sexting were determined using multivariate logistic regression. Attitudes towards and perceived consequences of sexting were explored in focus group discussions (FGDs) with 39 young people. Results: Forty percent of survey participants reported that they had ever sent or received a sext (48% of males, 36% of females), most commonly with a regular partner. Lower levels of education, greater recreational spending, greater number of sexual partners, inconsistent condom use with a regular partner, identifying as being nonheterosexual and risky alcohol consumption were all independent correlates of sexting. FGD participants made a clear distinction between consensual creating, sending and possessing of sexts, and nonconsensual sharing of sexts. Positive outcomes of consensual sexting included flirting and sexual experimentation, with sexting perceived as a normalised aspect of sexual interaction. Conclusions: Sexting is a common and normalised practice among young Australians. Our findings highlight the distinction in young people's minds between consensual sexting and the nonconsensual sharing or circulation of sexts, which is not currently well recognised in sexuality education, the media or the law.
Article
Full-text available
Social scientists have begun to explore sexting—sharing nude or semi-nude images of oneself with others using digital technology—to understand its extent and nature. Building on this growing body of research, the current study utilizes the self-control and opportunity perspectives from criminology to explain sending, receiving, and mutually sending and receiving sext messages. The possible mediating effects of lifestyles and routine activities on the effects of low self-control also were tested using a sample of college students. Results revealed that low self-control is significantly and positively related to each type of sexting behavior, and that while certain lifestyles and routines mediated these effects, low self-control remained a significant predictor of participation in sexting.
Article
Full-text available
This article offers objectification theory as a framework for understanding the experiential consequences of being female in a culture that sexually objectifies the female body. Objectification theory posits that girls and women are typically acculturated to internalize an observer's perspective as a primary view of their physical selves. This perspective on self can lead to habitual body monitoring, which, in turn, can increase women's opportunities for shame and anxiety, reduce opportunities for peak motivational states, and diminish awareness of internal bodily states. Accumulations of such experiences may help account for an array of mental health risks that disproportionately affect women: unipolar depression, sexual dysfunction, and eating disorders. Objectification theory also illuminates why changes in these mental health risks appear to occur in step with life-course changes in the female body.
Article
Full-text available
In Western cultures, women's bodies are objectified more so than men's, and other writers have noted the multiple ways that such objectification may negatively impact women's lives. As women's sexual desirability is often equated with physical attractiveness and thinness, it is surprising that previous investigations have not included women's body image self‐consciousness during physical intimacy with a partner. In the current set of studies, a 15‐item measure of the construct was developed and shown to have excellent psychometric properties. Approximately one third of college student women indicated experiencing body image self‐consciousness during physical intimacy with a heterosexual partner at least some of the time. Even after statistically controlling for actual body size, measures of general body image, general sexual anxiety, and general well‐being, scores on the new measure were predictive of heterosexual experience, sexual esteem, sexual assertive‐ness, and avoidance of sexual activity. Results are discussed with regard to implications and directions for future research.
Article
Full-text available
The Sexuality Scale (SS; Snell & Papini, 1989) was designed to measure sexual‐esteem, (the dispositional tendency to evaluate positively one's capacity to relate sexually to others), sexual‐depression, (the chronic tendency to feel depressed about the sexual aspects of one's life), and sexual‐preoccupation, (the persistent tendency to be absorbed and obsessed with sexual matters). The purpose of the present research was to provide evidence from two separate studies for the reliability and validity of the Sexuality Scale. The results indicated that all three SS subscales had high reliability (both test‐retest and internal consistency). Other findings indicated that the dispositional sexual tendencies measured by the Sexuality Scale were related in predictable ways to men's and women's reports of their sexual behaviors and attitudes.
Article
Full-text available
This article describes the development of the Sexuality Scale, an instrument designed to measure three aspects of human sexuality: sexual‐esteem, defined as positive regard for and confidence in the capacity to experience one's sexuality in a satisfying and enjoyable way; sexual‐depression, defined as the experience of feelings of depression regarding one's sex life; and sexual‐preoccupation, defined as the tendency to think about sex to an excessive degree. The procedure involved (a) item construction, selection and subsequent validation through item analysis; and (b) a factor analysis of the items on the Sexuality Scale and the establishment of factorial validity. The results indicated that the three subscales were psychometrically sound, that males reported more sexual‐preoccupation than did females, and that the three subscales have unique intercorrelation patterns. The exploratory nature of these findings are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
The work addresses the issue of sexting among Czech preadolescents and adolescents. It monitors the prevalence of this phenomenon, focuses on the forms of sharing of these sexual materials on the Internet and describes children's motivation for such sharing. It also focuses on the dangers of this phenomenon and the consequences of sexting implementation (damage of one's reputation, cyber bullying, suicides, etc.). The paper is an outcome of an original survey which was carried out by the author in cooperation with other researchers from The Centre for the Prevention of High-risk Virtual Communication at the Faculty of Education at Palacky University in Olomouc. The survey was conducted in 2011 on a sample of 10,000 respondents aged 11-17.
Article
Full-text available
Although there is a substantial body of research on the effects of body objectification in women, there is a paucity of research on this topic in men. In the limited objectification theory research with men, experimental designs that test causal effects of objectification exposure are underemployed. Furthermore, in this research, muscularity-idealizing exposure, which may be particularly salient for men, and the potential role of sexual minority status are not attended to consistently. To address these gaps, we employed an experimental design to test the effects of exposure to muscularity-idealizing media images, versus exposure to control images (e.g., animals, landscapes, objects), on men's body image. We also explored potential main and interaction effects involving sexual minority status. Data from 140 heterosexual and sexual minority undergraduate men were analyzed. Results indicated that compared with participants who viewed the control images, participants who viewed muscularity-idealizing magazine images did not report more negative body image on the 5 dependent variables (i.e., drive for muscularity, body dissatisfaction, body surveillance, body shame, and social physique anxiety). However, sexual minority status did have significant main (but not interaction) effects for 3 of the body image variables, with sexual minority men reporting more body dissatisfaction, body surveillance, and social physique anxiety relative to heterosexual men. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge in the research fields of body image and sexuality has significantly increased in the last decade. In this review, data from 57 studies were compiled for a review of empirical evidence regarding the association between sexuality and body image among healthy women. The overall conclusion is that body image issues can affect all domains of sexual functioning. Cognitions and self-consciousness seem to be key factors in understanding the complex relationships between women's body image and sexuality. Body evaluations and cognitions not only interfere with sexual responses and experiences during sexual activity, but also with sexual behavior, sexual avoidance, and risky sexual behavior.
Article
Full-text available
The increased use of the Internet as a new tool in communication has changed the way people interact. This fact is even more evident in the recent development and use of friend-networking sites. However, no research has evaluated these sites and their impact on college students. Therefore, the present study was conducted to evaluate: (a) why people use these friend-networking sites, (b) what the characteristics are of the typical college user, and (c) what uses and gratifications are met by using these sites. Results indicated that the vast majority of college students are using these friend-networking sites for a significant portion of their day for reasons such as making new friends and locating old friends. Additionally, both men and women of traditional college age are equally engaging in this form of online communication with this result holding true for nearly all ethnic groups. Finally, results showed that many uses and gratifications are met by users (e.g., "keeping in touch with friends"). Results are discussed in light of the impact that friend-networking sites have on communication and social needs of college students.
Article
The current study explores the effect of body dissatisfaction (both stable, trait-level and specific, state-based instances in daily life) on sexting behaviors, and the impact of sending and receiving sexts on body dissatisfaction levels in daily life. One hundred and forty-seven women aged 18 to 42 years completed baseline measures of body dissatisfaction and sexting (i.e., trait-level), and took part in a 7-day experience sampling period measuring sexting behaviors and body dissatisfaction 10 times daily (state-level data). No relationship was found between trait body dissatisfaction and general tendency to send sexts. However, participants were less likely to sext in general or as a result of pressure when they experienced heightened states of body dissatisfaction. When participants sent or received sexts, they experienced a momentary decrease in body dissatisfaction states. Affective factors associated with sexting behaviors may prove useful for understanding what perpetuates and prevents sexting.
Article
Sexting (e.g., conveying nude electronic images) is now common among young adults. Despite leading to negative consequences for some (e.g., harassment and unwanted dissemination), findings regarding sexting behaviors and mental health variables have been mixed. We recruited a convenience sample of young adults (N = 444, M age = 20, SD = 1) to test the hypothesis that sexting might be associated with poorer mental health. Our results showed no association between receiving or sending sexts overall. However, receiving unwanted sexts, or sexting under coercion, was associated with higher depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms, and lower self-esteem, and these two sexting experiences were independent predictors of psychological distress. The relationship between these sexting behaviors with poor mental health was moderated by gender, with poorer outcomes for males receiving unwanted sexts. These findings indicate a possible moderating factor in sexting and mental health.
Article
Little is known about motivations of adults who sext their relationship partners. Participants (N = 126, 71 male) completed an online questionnaire to assess their motivations for sexting their current relationship partner(s). The results of a MANOVA indicated the overwhelming motivation was to initiate sexual behaviors for all groups. Other motivations of instrumental/aggressive reasons were significantly higher for heterosexual men, and body image reinforcement was significantly higher for sexual-minority men. With results indicating the main motivation to sext was to initiate sexual behaviors, the potential of using sexting as an intervention to increase sexual intimacy in relationships is discussed.
Article
Drawing on focus group research (N = 39) with young people between 15 and 18 years old in Dutch-speaking Belgium, this article looks at sexting in the context of early social constructionist work on (sexual) stigma. Considering the context of digital media, which are used by young people to express themselves sexually, this contribution explores why stigma surrounds sexual self-representation in digital media and youth cultures. The findings illustrate how young people’s discourse creates a consistent ideology, defining sexting as a violation of the norm of ‘good’ online conduct, while normalizing stigmatizing responses to sexting (e.g. shaming and bullying). Perceptions of social media affordances, societal responses and surrounding cultural values to sexting were found to be crucial sources of knowledge used to make sense of sexting as stigma.
Article
Scholars are divided as to whether sexting—an unprecedented sexual activity using digital media—is objectifying or sexually liberating. One notion is that sexting involves the representation of an individual’s sexuality in the presence of others and thus reinforces objectification. Another perspective contends that the self-portrayal of the body in sexting facilitates the exploration of sexual subjectivity and is, therefore, sexually liberating. By testing a model of sexting, objectified body consciousness (body surveillance, body shame, and body control beliefs), and comfort with nudity (indicator of sexual liberation) on 361 college students in Hong Kong, the current study revealed that, across genders, sexters demonstrated higher levels of body surveillance, body shame, and comfort with nudity than nonsexters. The results suggest that sexting is both sexually objectifying and liberating and that it has opened up a new sexual arena that combines sexual objectification and empowerment.
Article
Visibility management is a process the lesbian, gay, and bisexual-identifying (LGB) people use to manage the extent to which they will identify (“out”) themselves in various contexts such as school, work, family, and home-based settings. The purpose of this study then was to explore LGB persons' experiences of electronic visibility in online environments such as social networking sites and the manner in which LGB persons most commonly monitor their electronic visibility as individuals and in couple relationships. Analysis of the survey responses of 61 young adult participants indicated that this sample felt more positive about their identities overall compared with a national sample and that they frequently reported their sexual orientation online, most often on Facebook. In addition, participants reported online disclosure did not have an effect on their relationship satisfaction. Discussion and implications for research and clinical practice are presented.
Article
We examined the role of sexting coercion as a component of the intimate partner abuse (IPA) construct among young adults to determine whether sexting coercion would emerge alongside other forms of partner aggression as a cumulative risk factor for psychological, sexual, and attachment problems. In a sample of 885 undergraduates (301 men and 584 women), 40% had experienced some type of coercion. Although there was some overlap between sexual coercion and sexting coercion (21% of participants had experienced both), some individuals had experienced only sexting coercion (8%) and some only sexual coercion (11%). Women were more likely than men to be coerced into sexting. Both sexting coercion and sexual coercion were significantly and independently related to negative mental health symptoms, sexual problems, and attachment dysfunction, and, notably, sexting coercion was found to be a cumulative risk factor for nearly all of these negative effects. These data support the idea that digital sexual victimization is a new component of IPA polyvictimization, potentially increasing the negative effects experienced by victims of multiple forms of partner aggression.
Article
Concerns about sexting are increasingly prevalent in mainstream and academic media despite limited and inconsistent research findings about the practice. Much of this discourse centers around harm and sexting is commonly considered to be a risky behavior. A driving factor in these discussions is the apparent conflation of consensual and nonconsensual acts or sexting behaviors. A systematic review was conducted to determine the extent to which consensual and nonconsensual acts were conflated in the legal, educational, and psychological literatures on sexting, and how nonconsensual sexting was conceptualized within these disciplines. Definitions of sexting varied widely with regard to the inclusion or exclusion of nonconsensual acts. Nonconsensual acts were conceptualized in the following ways: as a risk of sexing, as being the fault of the victim, as bullying, or as a form of violence against women. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Article
A growing literature points to the role of body-image attitudes in human sexual functioning. Specifically, body dissatisfaction and excessive psychological investment in one's physical appearance may lead to physical self-consciousness and body exposure avoidance during sexual relations, which in turn may impair sexual desire, enjoyment, and performance. The present research with 145 college women and 118 college men evaluated a contextual body-image measure, the Body Exposure during Sexual Activities Questionnaire (BESAQ), which assesses anxious/avoidant body focus during sex. Findings supported the BESAQ's reliability and validity. Associations with sexual functioning were stronger for the BESAQ than for trait body-image measures. For both sexes, better sexual functioning was related to less anxious/avoidant body focus and stronger sexual self-schemas. Physical self-consciousness during sexual relations focused substantially on weight and gender-relevant attributes. Clinical and research implications of the findings are considered.
Article
The technology world has been growing and flourishing the interest in designing technologies that mediate and create a feeling of relatedness within interpersonal relationships beyond the explicit verbal communication. The purpose of this article is to present a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of technology in couple relationships. To accomplish this, we conducted a recursive open-coding analysis on an already existing data set. Findings indicated the advantages of technology in relationships include the contribution to the development of relationships, relationship management, and relationship enhancement. Challenges introduce by technology into relationships include distancing, lack of clarity, and impaired trust. Implications and areas for future research are discussed. Copyright 2014: Katherine M. Hertlein, Katrina Ancheta, and Nova Southeastern University.
Article
Communication over the Internet is helpful for marginalized individuals in their efforts to feel a part of the collective whole and gain personal empowerment. For individuals who identify as part of the LGB community, the Internet can be seen as a tool to take control of their lives, may promote self-esteem, and foster a sense of belongingness. The purpose of the study was about sexting practices on college campuses in general. It builds on the existing body of knowledge by attending specifically to sexting rather than the previous literature about engagement in sexual behavior online. Participants responded to a survey on sexting and technology use as well as questions from the Sociosexual Orientation Inventory–Revised (SOI-R) and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Identity Scale (LGBIS). Findings indicated that sexting is viewed as more acceptable in same-sex relationships compared with heterosexual relationships. Implications for future research include exploring how greater degrees of perceived acceptability manifests in both problematic and advantageous ways in relationships. Implications for practice include being able to identify how same sex couples reporting higher degrees of acceptability with sexting in their relationship can translate to heterosexual relationships.
Article
In this study, we examined the relationships between sexting coercion, physical sex coercion, intimate partner violence, and mental health and trauma symptoms within a sample of 480 young adult undergraduates (160 men and 320 women). Approximately one fifth of the sample indicated that they had engaged in sexting when they did not want to. Those who had been coerced into sexting had usually been coerced by subtler tactics (e.g., repeated asking and being made to feel obligated) than more severe forms of coercion (e.g., physical threats). Nevertheless, the trauma related to these acts of coercion both at the time they occurred and now (looking back) were greater for sexting coercion than for physical sex coercion. Moreover, women noted significantly more trauma now (looking back) than at the time the events occurred for sexting coercion. Additionally, those who experienced more instances of sexting coercion also endorsed more symptoms of anxiety, depression, and generalized trauma. Finally, sexting coercion was related to both physical sex coercion and intimate partner violence, which suggests that sexting coercion may be a form of intimate partner violence, providing perpetrators with a new, digital route for physical and sexual covictimization.
Article
Although the objectification of women is widespread, there is relatively little research on objectification in romantic relationships. The purpose of our research was to explore how partner-objectification might be related to sexual pressure and coercion in heterosexual relationships. Two studies were conducted, one with heterosexual men and one with heterosexual women as participants. An online survey of 119 heterosexual men in the United States demonstrated that men who frequently survey their partners’ bodies are more likely to sexually pressure and coerce their partners—primarily because partner-surveillance is related to feelings of shame regarding one’s partner’s body, which in turn is related to increased sexual pressure and coercion. An online survey of 162 heterosexual women in the United States demonstrated feeling objectified by a partner is related to several (but not all) measures of sexual pressure and coercion. Furthermore, women who felt that their partners frequently surveyed their bodies were more likely to experience self-surveillance, which in turn predicted increased body shame and lowered sexual agency. Our research can inform interventions aimed at reducing sexual coercion and spark future research on the distinction between physical attraction and objectification in the context of romantic relationships.
Article
The consistent use of condoms is the most effective behavior for reducing the acquisition of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and condom use self-efficacy has been shown to be a key construct related to condom use. However, the examination of modifiable psychosocial and behavioral correlates of condom use self-efficacy is lacking. Recent investigations have highlighted the association of body dissatisfaction with condom use self-efficacy, and the current study conducted a meta-analysis on all available data addressing this relationship. Eleven individual effect-size parameters from nine studies yielded a total sample of 2495 men and women participants. A random-effects model revealed an average effect-size of r=-.25, Cohen's d=-0.52, which is moderate in strength. As body dissatisfaction increases, ones' self-efficacy regarding the use of condoms diminishes. Integrating interventions to decrease body dissatisfaction and sexual risk behaviors may prove to be an effective strategy to decrease STIs. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Article
This study investigated the roles of indicators of the self-objectification process in women's condom use self-efficacy. Data were collected from 595 college women. Self-objectification variables were assessed with measures of internalization of cultural standards of beauty, body surveillance, and body shame. Participants also completed measures of perceived control over sexual activity, acceptance of sexuality, and condom use self-efficacy. Measurement and structural invariance were supported, indicating that the measurement model and hypothesized structural model did not differ across participants who were or were not sexually active. Structural equation modeling results were consistent with hypotheses and prior evidence indicating that body surveillance partially mediated the link between internalization of cultural standards of beauty and body shame. Results also indicated that body shame was associated with lower condom use self-efficacy both directly and indirectly through the partial mediation of perceived control over sexual activity; acceptance of sexuality was not a significant mediator of this link but was associated directly with greater condom use self-efficacy. These results connect the substantial literature on the self-objectification process with women's condom use self-efficacy. Specifically, these results point to interrupting the self-objectification process and reducing body shame as well as to enhancing acceptance of sexuality and control over sexual activity as potentially fruitful targets for interventions to promote women's condom use self-efficacy.
Article
This study analyzes 85 personal narratives to explore the ways young adults navigate sexting exchanges and find meaning in them within the college context. We find that respondents who sext and those who abstain both believe that sexting carries significant risks, including the possibility that one’s sext could be shared with unintended viewers. Respondents attempt to minimize perceived risks through content control strategies such as “keeping it fun,” limiting explicitness, and creating plausible deniability. Moreover, respondents offer accounts aimed at neutralizing their discreditable actions through the claim of normalcy, justification by comparison, and the claim of benefits. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for micro-sociological perspectives on deviant behavior.
Article
A wide body of research has examined unwanted but consensual sex in a face-to-face context, focusing on intercourse, petting, kissing, and other sexual activity that people consent to even though they do not want to. Recent research has shown many people engage in sexual interactions via computer-mediated mediums; yet, to date, there are no studies that have investigated whether unwanted but consensual sexual activity exists in these contexts. In this study, we examined the extent to which 93 women and 62 men had consented to unwanted sexting within committed relationships and the attachment characteristics and motivations that are associated with this behavior. Approximately one half of the sample (52.3%) had engaged in unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner, and most did so for flirtation, foreplay, to fulfill a partner’s needs, or for intimacy. Among men, neither of the attachment dimensions was related to unwanted but consensual sexting. However, among women, anxious attachment was significantly related to frequency of consenting to unwanted sexting, and consenting to avoid an argument was a mediator in the relationship between anxious attachment and consenting to unwanted sexting. These results are compared to previous work on unwanted but consensual sex, and future directions are discussed.
Article
We know little about the prevalence of sexting behavior among young men who have sex with men (YMSM) or its association with their sexual behaviors. To address these gaps, we used data from an online study examining the partner-seeking behaviors of single YMSM (N = 1,502; ages 18-24 years) in the United States. Most participants (87.5%) reported sexting, with 75.7% of the sample reporting having sent and received a sext. Sexting was more frequent among sexually active YMSM, with YMSM who had sent and received a sext being more likely to report insertive anal intercourse, with and without condoms, than those who had not sexted. We found no association between sexting and receptive anal intercourse. Our findings suggest that sexting may vary by YMSM's sexual roles. We discuss our findings with attention to their implications for sexual health promotion.
Article
This study examined the impact of body image satisfaction on university students’ (N = 465) involvement in risky sexual behaviors. A valid and reliable survey instrument was designed and administered to students in their classrooms at a Midwestern university. Of 465 participants, 53.8 % reported having low levels of body image satisfaction and 78.9 % indicated they had engaged in sexual intercourse during their lifetime. Of the sexually active students, 80 % have had sexual intercourse without the use of a condom, 76 % have had sexual intercourse while intoxicated, and 21 % have had sexual intercourse following illegal drug use. Students who had high body image satisfaction were significantly more likely to have ever engaged in sexual intercourse. These results should be considered when developing and implementing sexual education efforts for university students. Future studies should seek to identify specific strategies to increase body image satisfaction and decrease risky sexual behaviors among this high-risk population.
Article
Purpose: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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.
Article
Problems related to negative body image are very common among young women. In this study, we examined the relationship between women's body image and their sexual functioning over and above the effects of physical exercise and body mass index (BMI) in a sample of 214 university women. Low situational body image dysphoria and low body dissatisfaction were associated with high sexual assertiveness and sexual esteem, low sexual anxiety, and fewer sexual problems. Positive body image was significantly associated with better sexual functioning, even after controlling for BMI and exercise. Although related to body image, BMI and exercise did not predict sexual functioning. These results were interpreted as indicating that a woman's subjective body image is significantly related to her sexual functioning beyond the effects of actual body size and level of physical exercise.
Article
“Sexting” refers to sending and receiving sexually suggestive images, videos, or texts on cell phones. As a means for maintaining or initiating a relationship, sexting behavior and attitudes may be understood through adult attachment theory. One hundred and twenty-eight participants (M=22 and F=106), aged 18–30years, completed an online questionnaire about their adult attachment styles and sexting behavior and attitudes. Attachment anxiety predicted sending texts that solicit sexual activity for those individuals in relationships. Attachment anxiety also predicted positive attitudes towards sexting such as accepting it as normal, that it will enhance the relationship, and that partners will expect sexting. Sexting may be a novel form for expressing attachment anxiety.
Article
This study examined the factor structure and reliability of a brief but comprehensive measure, the adolescent risk inventory (ARI), designed to assess adolescent risk behaviors and attitudes. Measures assessing demographics and risk behaviors were administered to 134 youth (ages 12-19) in psychiatric treatment. A confirmatory factor analysis of the four attitude scales (HIV Anxiety, HIV Prevention Self-Efficacy, General Distress, and General Risk) revealed excellent goodness of fit statistics. Exploratory factor analysis of the behavior items revealed three behavior factors (Sex Risk, Abuse/Self-Harm, and Acting Out). The preliminary analysis suggested that all subscales had reasonable internal consistency reliability and appeared to be independent measures, rather than part of a single unitary construct. Differences emerged based on gender, sexual activity status, and trauma history. Exploratory regression analyses revealed that, even when controlling for demographic factors and sex risk attitudes (e.g., HIV Prevention Self-Efficacy), Abuse/self-harm behaviors were highly significantly predictive of sex risk. These analyses suggest that the ARI can be useful in quickly identifying the broad range of risk behaviors found among adolescents with psychiatric disorders.
Article
Sociocultural factors that underpin gender differences in body dissatisfaction have not frequently been explored. We examined the relative contribution of internalization of media body ideals and perceived pressure to achieve this ideal in explaining body dissatisfaction in adolescent boys and girls. A sample of 819 boys and 791 girls completed measures of internalization of body ideals, perceived pressure, body mass index (BMI) and body dissatisfaction. As expected, girls showed higher body dissatisfaction, internalization and pressure than boys. Internalization, pressure and BMI contributed to the prediction of body dissatisfaction in boys and in girls although these variables explained less variance in body dissatisfaction in boys. In addition, for girls the strongest predictor of body dissatisfaction was internalization, whilst for boys the strongest predictor was pressure. Differences in extent of internalization and pressure may contribute to higher body dissatisfaction in girls than boys. These sociocultural factors may affect girls and boys differently.
Low risk associated with most teenage sexting: a study of 617 18-year-olds
  • E Englander
Englander E (2012) Low risk associated with most teenage sexting: a study of 617 18-year-olds. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/marc_reports/6/
The body exposure during Sexual Activities Questionnaire (Measurement instrument)
  • T F Cash
Cash TF (2004) The body exposure during Sexual Activities Questionnaire (Measurement instrument). Available at: http://www.body-images.com/assessments/besaq.html