New research from the University of Michigan has found that sexting is not only relatively common with young adults, but it’s an important tool for relationships. Far from the picture of a naive waif sending an ill-advised snap, the study shows that sexting is part of the courtship process. One possible conclusion: It’s totally normal.
“Our results also suggest that sexting is most often a reciprocal behavior,” the study said.” Among those participants who had ever sent or received a sext, 66 percent reported both sending and receiving sexts. Given findings that most young men and women report sharing sexts within a dating relationship, it is likely that our findings reflect sexting between romantic partners.”
The study interviewed 3,447 men and women ages 18 to 24. Here’s the statistical breakdown:
- 57 percent of respondents were nonsexters
- 28.2 percent were two-way sexters
- 12.6 percent were receivers
- 2 perecent 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, no differences were found across sexting groups in the number of sexual partners or the number of unprotected sex partners in the past 30 days.
- No relationship between sexting and psychological well-being.
Potential innocuous conclusions drawn from this research, however, don’t apply to teens who sext, as the news release states: “For younger age groups, legality is an issue,” co-author Debbie Gordon-Messer said. “They are also in a very different place in their sexual development.”
One finding in the study abstract that caught our eye: “Male respondents were more likely to be receivers than their female counterparts.” Unacceptable! Ladies, we’ve already addressed how to take a safe pic for your man. Now it’s time for him to ante up! Challenge him to send you a sexy sentence or a suggestive snap. Even if it turns out more silly than sultry, he gets brownie points for the attempt.
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