Unwanted but Consensual Sexting Among Young Adults: Relations With Attachment and Sexual Motivations

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1-2014

Publication Source

Computers in Human Behavior



Inclusive pages


Peer Reviewed



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.



This document is currently not available here.

  Contact Author