A new study finds more than 80% of adults admit to sending or receiving sexually explicit text messages—a practice commonly known as sexting—and for many couples, it may increase relationship satisfaction.
Stories of sexting gone wrong—including leaked or altered photos—usually dominate news coverage of the practice. When private photos or videos go public, many people have little empathy for an activity that some find taboo. Some think a loss of privacy is a predictable outcome of sending or receiving sexually explicit text messages. However, the findings presented at the American Psychological Association’s 123rd annual convention indicate that sexting is common, especially among couples.
Sexting and the Effect on Satisfactionheterosexual. Forty percent were currently married, while an additional 40% had never been married. Twenty-six percent were currently single. Researchers asked participants about their sexting habits, as well as their relationship and sexual satisfaction.
Eighty-eight percent of participants said they had sexted at least once, and 82% had sexted in the last year. Seventy-five percent reported sexting with a committed romantic partner, while 43% said they sexted with casual partners.
Both men and women who engaged in frequent sexting also reported higher levels of sexual satisfaction. However, for couples who reported to be in “very committed” relationships, sexting seemed to make no difference in sexual satisfaction. Sexting also had little effect on sexual satisfaction for single respondents.
Researchers also uncovered some differences between men and women. Men were more likely than women to describe sexting as an enjoyable and expected part of a relationship. On average, women were slightly more likely to prefer sending sexts to receiving them.
Not All Sexting Is Equal
Revenge porn websites, unwanted sexts from online strangers, and similar occurrences often raise concerns about the potential danger of sexting. The research team found sexting was not always positive. While 60% of respondents said they only sexted when they wanted to, 40% said they sometimes sexted when they did not want to.
- Mozes, A. (2015, August 10). Many U.S. adults sext, and it may even help some relationships. Retrieved from http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2015/08/08/many-us-adults-sext-and-it-may-even-help-some-relationships
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