Most Of Us Are Sexting, But Not Everyone Is Enjoying Themselves
Sexting is pretty prevalent among young people these days. But why do some people instantly regret it?
A recent report from security firm McAfee proposed that among 18 to 24-year-olds, 70 percent have sexted. But a new study published in the scientific journal, Computers in Human Behavior, says not everyone is enjoying themselves.
Of the 352 college students surveyed, 10 percent suffered sexter’s remorse—feeling pangs of regret after sending sexually explicit texts and photos. It may be no surprise (considering the cultural prevalence of revenge porn and all) to learn that women, as well as people in more casual relationships, were more likely to report negative outcomes, both emotional and sexual.
The study also found that men were more likely to report sexting with a casual partner, while women were more likely to sext while in a long term relationship.
One of the report's authors, Michelle Drouin of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, told PsyPost that “many people experience regret or worry about the pictures they have sent to recent partners, and some even report discomfort and trauma at the time they sent the pictures.
“Most importantly, women and those who send these sexual images to casual sex partners report fewer relationship benefits (emotional or sexual) and more relationship detriments associated with the sexting than those who send them to committed partners.”
But not every woman is plagued by the “why TF did I do that?” feels. About half of all those studied said it led to positive sexual or emotional outcomes. Yay!
“People may be motivated to send sexually-explicit pictures or video messages to their romantic partner because they think it is fun or flirtatious or they want to please their partners,” Drouin said. “In fact, when we ask them, these are young adults’ most commonly cited motivations for sexting.”
But despite their initial motivations, not much is known about whether sexting can actually be beneficial to partners. So the title of the research paper, “Is Sexting Good For Your Relationship? It Depends” is pretty apt, then.
“Unfortunately, the technology changes more quickly than we can study its effects,” said Drouin. “Which means that the field is always vast, and the questions are always many.”
Keep on sextin’, young people! Or don’t. It’s all good.
Words: Jerico Mandybur
Photo: Daria Kobayashi Ritch