Title

Is sexting good for your relationship? It depends...

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-2017

Publication Source

Computers in Human Behavior

Volume

75

Inclusive pages

749-756

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2017.06.018

Publisher

Elsevier

ISBN/ISSN

0747-5632

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

Our understanding of the prevalence, correlates, predictors, and outcomes of sexting is increasing; however, little is known about potential positive aspects of this emerging behavior, and whether the consequences of sexting vary by gender or relationship type (committed vs. casual). Using a sample of 352 undergraduate students (106 men, 246 women) the present study addresses this gap in the literature. Sixty-two percent of the participants reported that they had sent or received a sexually-explicit picture message. Of these, 56% reported that the sexting occurred with a committed partner, and 44% reported that it was with a casual partner. Men were significantly more likely to report sexting with a casual partner, while women were more likely to report sexting with a committed partner. Approximately half of young adults identified positive or neutral outcomes related to sexting; however, there were differences by relationship type and gender. For the most part, women and those who sexted with a casual partner identified fewer positive and more negative consequences than did men and those who sexted with a committed partner. Overall, findings point to the importance of considering individual and relationship characteristics in identifying and responding to teen and young adult sexting.

Keywords

Sexting, Attachment, Romantic relationships, Gender, Young adults

Disciplines

Psychology

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