Title

“Love the way you lie”: Sexting deception in romantic relationships

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2014

Publication Source

Computers in Human Behavior

Volume

35

Inclusive pages

542–547

DOI

10.1016/j.chb.2014.02.047

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

In this study, we examined the prevalence of lying during sexting in a sample of 155 young adult college students. More than one third (37%) of those who had ever had a committed relationship and approximately half (48%) of active sexters (i.e., those who had ever sent a sexual text message) had lied to their committed partners during sexting about what they were wearing, doing, or both. Most people (67%) lied to serve their partner in some way (e.g., make it better for their partner) but some (33%) lied to serve themselves (e.g., they were bored). Additionally, lying during sexting was much more common among women than men: 45% of women and 24% of men had lied during sexting with committed partners. When attachment characteristics were considered, attachment avoidance predicted lying during sexting among active sexters, even after controlling for gender. Therefore, lying during sexting, just like pretending orgasm in a face-to-face context, is more likely to occur among those with insecure attachments to relationship partners. We discuss the similarities and differences between sexual deception in face-to-face and CMC contexts and propose future directions for this research.

Keywords

Sexting; Deception; Attachment; Gender; Computer-mediated communication

Disciplines

Psychology

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